Updated: May 27
It does not take much effort to be kind and it certainly doesn't cost much to extend kindness to others. It's a new day and it's time to make the world a better place.
(RAK = Random Act of Kindness)
Performing random acts of kindness is a life-enriching antidote in this newly infected world. Performing just one RAK can lift someone's mood (even your own) and leave them (and you) feeling inspired, fulfilled and joyful. In addition, just one RAK can truly make someone’s day. Taking it a step further, some RAKs have been known to change the course of a person’s life or even re-write history.
Kindness is contagious and studies have shown that kindness actually helps you live longer.
In this post, here are 15 of the best random acts of kindness ideas (even amidst current social distancing guidelines) that you can perform to make our world a better place - right now. They will infuse positivity into your day and make those that are on the receiving end of the RAK, light up with joy.
1. Write a letter to someone and actually mail it.
Text messages are good for quick exchanges of information and status updates. However, there's nothing more personal that a handwritten letter, note or card to rekindle the connection with either a friend or a family member.
"When you care enough to send the very best." - Hallmark
2. Send (or deliver) a care package or a joy package to a friend.
A care (or joy) package is a wonderful thing to receive. Not only does it contains things someone would be happy to have, but the good thought that goes along with it can help boost positive feelings. Yesterday, March 18, my friends Karin Emde and her Mom Judy Holden came back home to Eureka Springs from visiting their homeland, Canada, and what did I find on my door? Delicious, sentimental Canadian treats as well as some interesting books to read.
3. Mow a neighbor’s lawn after mowing your own.
This is easy. Get out there and get the most out of the adrenaline rush. After you finish cutting your lawn head on over to your neighbor’s yard.
4. Call your grandparents and take time to listen to them reminisce about the “good old days.”
Grandchildren often roll their eyes whenever their grandparents begin to talk about their younger days. It is an act of kindness to sincerely listen to these stories that are part of your heritage.
5. Write a letter to former teachers who made a difference in your life.
Teachers often do not realize how much influence they have on the lives of their students. Write a teacher a letter (email or snail mail) and tell them how they contributed to who you are today and how much you appreciate them.
6. When someone speaks, practice active listening.
Ahhhhh, active listening. This art form is nearly extinct. Be present, put the cell phone down, make eye contact, nod, acknowledge and let the other tell their stories with you as their captive audience. Listening is a form of love.
7. Wash the dishes even if it’s someone else’s turn.
Since March 11, 2020, when the World Health Organization made the announcement of pandemic, EVERYONE IS HOME!!!! With more people inside the house, things get messy and chores can be tedious. Give someone a break in your household from doing the washing up. Show them how much you care. Your RAK might even trigger someone else to step up to the sink and RAK-n-roll tomorrow.
8. Introduce someone to a potential employer or business associate or help them with their resume.
A few months ago, I had an opportunity to help a friend rework her resume and today she works at the beautiful Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. While I certainly don't take credit for this win, I'm beyond happy to simply be part of her career journey and in helping her out in some way. This was one of the easiest, most meaningful RAKs yet.
Receiving outside help when one is building up a career or a business is a wonderful RAK. The introduction you made could be the break that someone is waiting for.
9. Support local businesses.
Eureka Springs is abundant with small businesses and most local small businesses are family-owned. Support neighborhood coffee shops, art galleries, restaurants and pubs, souvenir and clothing stores, the farmer’s market, specialty shops or visit with one of our many artisans. Make a conscious choice to patronize their products or services. Every little bit helps. Even, in times like these, online shopping and shipping can make a difference. Check out our many shops here https://www.facebook.com/groups/heartofeureka/
10. Call and tell a manager about the wonderful service you received.
With all the wonderful food and beverage options in Eureka Springs, spread more kindness in the world by highlighting the positive things. Many shops are doing curbside service and delivering meals to the elderly, and making pickup service available as well.
After you've been surprised and delighted, call the restaurant manager and speak to him/her for a moment. Gush about the great service that you received. It makes everyone feel good, especially because statistics show "a customer that had a negative experience usually tells ten people, but a customer that had a positive experience rarely tells anyone." - especially the manager.
11. Paint rocks.
Many people enjoy the hobby of finding small rocks and bringing them home to paint or put a positive artistic flourish upon them or an inspirational message or two. When finished, they return the rocks to where they found them, or they pollinate another area of town by simply dropping one in a new location. They are then discovered by locals and visitors.
My neighbor Debbie did this recently. She decided to take two rocks, stencil one of them with a solid red heart and the other with the word love. She simply found a spot in our yard to position them.
On Tuesday evening, March 17, 2020, I was putting out the weekly trash for pickup and I saw them. I beamed with joy. It was a delightful thing to find in the yard - and at random too. Thank you Debbie.
I loved the solid red heart so much, I brought it indoors and positioned it in our dining room on a side accent table so I could see it while working from home during this period of time.
12. Leave positive comments for people on social media.
With all that is going on in the world, social media is a-buzz. Make it a point to leave positive feedback, or share positive feedback on the internet. Albeit a blog post, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Facebook, or leave compliments on someone’s social media profile, especially for people that you don’t know very well. This can help uplift people in uncertain times like these.
13. Pick up litter that you see.
It’s easy to walk by litter and tell yourself that it’s not your problem. But, if everyone did that, Eureka would be filthy dirty. Take pride in keeping up our town. Take the time to clean up behind others if and when you see the need to do so.
14. Give away a gift card.
One of my favorite RAKs of all time is giving away a gift card. If I win a gift card at work or if I am given one to a department store or restaurant that I know one of my friends really loves, I will give it to them to use. This is always an unexpected but very welcomed surprise. I love seeing people smile when I give them a gift card.
15. Become an agent of positivity.
www.iloveureka.com knows it's place - this blog is a a true agent of positivity for Eureka Springs and beyond. It’s almost second nature for most people to be negative, especially in times like these. Please stop for a moment, breathe, and take a second to consciously redirect your free will to choose a different direction than a negative one.
Take the path of least resistance.
...and, finally ... in the words of Brian Weinmann's wife - "continue to love one another." ❤️