115 Best Random Acts of Kindness Ideas to Improve the World
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115 Best Random Acts of Kindness Ideas to Improve the World

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Do you want to make the world a better place? Then, be kind.

This is not a gimmick.

In a world beset by negativity, kindness is like a ray of sunlight shining through the dark clouds of pessimism, anger, and misery.

It does not take too much effort to be kind. Moreover, it does not cost so much to extend kindness to others.

Doing random acts of kindness is an awesome antidote to negative experiences. It can lift your mood and leave you feeling inspired. In addition, an act of kindness can make someone’s day. On a more dramatic scale, it can change the course of a person’s life or re-write history.

You don’t need to have a certain educational background or economic status in life in order to be kind.

If you’re a parent, you can set a positive example to your children by being compassionate, charitable, and thoughtful.  (In fact, this can be one of the most enjoyable activities you can share with your kids.)

These are important values to learn, and with mom and dad showing kindness at every opportunity, kids will most likely follow the example and grow up to be kind human beings.

And isn’t that the ultimate goal — to become the best versions of ourselves?

In addition, studies have shown that kindness actually helps you live longer.

In this post, we are featuring the best 115 random acts of kindness ideas that you can ​use to make the world a better place. They are guaranteed to infuse positivity into your day and to others as well.

Here we go.

What You Will Learn

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It does not take too much effort to be kind. In a world beset by negativity, kindness is like a ray of sunshine.

1. Set aside your phone.

These days, time is the greatest gift we can give to others. If you’re usually on the phone a lot, take a break from this habit. Take time to engage in a meaningful face-to-face conversation with a friend or family member.

2. Send a care package to a friend.

A care 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.

3. Leave notes with positive and encouraging messages.

A little written reminder from you about someone’s positive attributes or how much you appreciate their presence in your life can lift anyone’s spirit.

4. Hug someone today.

We are now more isolated from each other that some people go for weeks without having physical contact with another human being. Hug someone today. Studies have shown that not only does a  hug improve mood, but it can also strengthen the immune system.

5. Write a letter to someone and actually mail it.

Text messages are good for quick exchanges of information and status updates. However, to rekindle the connection with either a friend or a family member, the best way to do it is to send a letter where you share news about your life in written form.

6. Prepare a meal for someone.

A hot, home-cooked meal is a boon for most people who have hectic schedules. It’s a welcome break from the usual fast food fare. Add value to the experience by sharing the meal with them.

7. Gift someone with a souvenir from your trip.

When you return from a trip, give someone a souvenir that they’d appreciate. It’s a nice gesture that tells the recipients that they were in your thoughts while you were away.

8. Volunteer to do a friend’s or a family member’s laundry.

Doing the laundry is considered as one of the most tedious of household chores. People will appreciate it if you take the effort to wash their clothes for them.

9. Get someone to go on a spontaneous adventure with you.

You don’t need to tough it out in the wild. It could mean just exploring your city or town and discovering new things — a great hole-in-the-wall restaurant, perhaps? It does not even have to be about traveling.

Trying out new stuff and learning something for the first time are also considered adventures. Invite someone to come with you on these adventures.

10. Give someone a list of the things you love about them.

Most people only see their failings. Change this by giving someone you know a list of their qualities that make them awesome.

11. Prepare and organize a surprise party for someone.

Throwing someone a surprise party takes commitment and resourcefulness. People appreciate that others will go the extra mile to celebrate happy moments in their lives, especially if it’s a surprise.

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Random act of kindness: Prepare and organize a surprise party for someone.

12. Be a baby/dog/cat-sitter for the day – for free.

Many parents (of humans and fur babies) forego taking time out for themselves because sitters’ rates are often expensive. They will certainly appreciate your offer to look after their precious little ones without charge.

13. Ditch your usual route and offer someone a ride home.

You don’t lose much if you offer to drop someone off away from your usual route. What’s more, you could ease someone’s loneliness by providing company for the entire duration of the drive.

14. Treat someone to the movies.

Invite someone to the movies, not as a date but as a chance to connect or bond with each other. Choose a film that the person will like. Buy them a popcorn, too!

15. Treat a teenager to lunch at a restaurant.

There is something about dining with proper cutlery and glassware that brings out the best in most people. Taking a teen out to lunch in a resto tells them that they are special and worth treating well.

16. Mow a neighbor’s lawn after mowing your own.

Get the most out of the adrenaline rush of cutting your lawn grass by also mowing your neighbor’s yard. It could just restore their faith in humanity.

17. Prepare breakfast in bed for your family.

Show how much you care for and appreciate your family by making breakfast in bed for them. Your effort will be appreciated.

18. Bring some eatables to work for sharing.

It could be cookies you baked by yourself or some donuts you bought from the shop on your way to work. This kind gesture will likely inspire your coworkers to do the same the next time around.

19. Prepare two lunches: One for yourself and another for giving to someone.

There is such a thing as free lunch if you’re the one sharing it with another person.

20. Teach someone a skill.

One of the best ways to show a kindness to someone is to teach them a skill. Whether it’s basic cooking, how to pay bills, how to build a how, the know-how will be your lasting legacy to someone’s life. As a kind gesture for yourself, learn something new as well with pointers from this article.

21. Take time to listen to your grandparents 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.

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Random act of kindness: Take time to listen to your grandparents reminisce about the “good old days.”

22. Volunteer at a homeless shelter

Most shelters are usually understaffed. Volunteering can ease the burden and gives you a chance to make a difference.

23. Be a storyteller for kids’ story time at the library

Develop a child’s sense of wonder through storytelling. Sign up as a storyteller in your city or town’s library.

24. Keep the elevator door open for someone rushing to take a ride

It takes just a few seconds’ wait. You could avert a crisis by preventing a person from being late.

25. Hold a musical performance in a retirement home.

Do you know how to sing or play a musical instrument? Share your talent by providing entertainment for the elderly.

26. Tip generously.

People who work in the service industry usually rely on tips for their income. Help them meet their needs by tipping fairly or, better yet, generously.

27. Smile at people you meet.

A smile could brighten up someone’s day. Why not have it as your default greeting?

28. If you see a mother taking pictures of her kids, offer to take their family picture.

The self-timer on the camera is another option but not always the best one. Parents would be happy to be included in a well-composed family picture of a day together with the kids.

29. Instead of giving your leftovers to the homeless, buy some food for them.

When you decide to give, give the best that you have. It’s the core of true generosity.

30. Write a letter to former teachers who made a difference in your life.

Teachers often do not realize how much influence they have on their students’ lives. Write them a letter (email or regular post) and tell them how they contributed to who you are at present.

31. When someone speaks, listen intently.

The art of mindful listening is nearly extinct. Keep it alive by stopping yourself from constantly thinking of ways to one-up the person’s experience with something of your own. Just be present and let the other tell their stories with you as the captive audience.

32. Talk to the person sitting by their lonesome at a party.

Even if you are feeling shy yourself, get out of your comfort zone and muster the courage to strike a conversation with someone who’s alone in a corner while the party rages on.

You could be forging a friendship that would last a lifetime.

33. Let them cut you in line.

Develop the habit of cutting people some slack. Let people go ahead of you in a line or give them the parking space. It could be that they are in a hurry because of some personal emergency.

34. Do your best to make people feel included during conversations.

There are those who monopolize conversations. Make sure you are not one of them. Develop eye contact with everyone in the group while you speak, to assure each individual that you acknowledge them and are communicating with them.

35. Say thank you to the janitor.

They are often the unsung heroes of every building. Acknowledge what they do with sincere words of thanks.

36. Buy a glass of lemonade from the kids’ stands.

It does not cost much and could develop children’s confidence in their abilities.

37. Show up when you are invited to a party.

It might not be an ideal way to spend your time, but showing up tells the host that you acknowledge the effort they made to plan the gathering.

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Random act of kindness: Showing up to a party tells the host that you acknowledge the effort in planning it all.

38. Be courteous and kind to customer-care representatives.

It is easy to be an irate customer on the phone when a company’s service is not up to par. However, always remember that you are speaking with another human being. Moreover, the issue you’re calling in about is most likely not their fault.

39. Wash the dishes even if it’s someone else’s turn.

Chores can be tedious. Give someone a break from doing the washing up shows you care.

40. Respond to an unsolicited phone call or email.

You might want to respond to a cold outreach every once in a while. Although we view spam and telemarketing as a nuisance, the people who do this often expect only rejection. Replying to their emails or spending time to listen to them pitch their ideas is a true act of kindness.

41. Introduce someone to a potential employer or business associate.

Receiving outside help when one is building up a career or a business is a wonderful gift. The introduction you made could be the break that someone is waiting for.

42. Help someone cross the street.

Whether it is an elderly, a kid, or a person carrying a huge parcel, be their guide as they maneuver the sidewalk to the other side of the road.

43. Pay for the lunch of the person standing behind you in line.

It does not cost much, but the gesture shows that there are still strangers who care.

44. Let an inspiring influencer, e. g. a blogger or journalist, know that they make a difference.

Email your thoughts to encourage those who spread positivity through media to continue what they are doing.

45. Buy the seedling and plant a tree.

Even better, plant several trees. It is an act of kindness not only for the environment but also for future generations.

46. Praise someone’s performance in front of other co-workers.

Most workplaces have office politics, where each one watches their own backs. Change the negative office culture into something positive by praising a colleague in front of others.

47. At the grocery, let the person purchasing just one or two items check out ahead of you.

It would probably take less than five minutes for them to check out. You could use the time to practice mindfulness.

48. Support local businesses.

Most local businesses are family-owned enterprises that do not have the might of major brands or international conglomerates. Support your neighborhood coffee shop, farmer’s market, or artisans making a conscious choice to patronize their products or services.

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Random act of kindness: Support your local shops and make a conscious choice to patronize their products or services.

49. Tell a manager about the wonderful service given by a waiter or waitress.

Spread more kindness in the world by highlighting the positive things. Approaching the restaurant manager and speaking to him/her of the great waitress/waiter.

50. Forgive even when no apology was offered.

The act of forgiveness even when the person who has done you wrong didn’t offer an apology frees you from the pain of the past. It is an act of kindness that mainly benefits your health and your well-being.

51. Write a gratitude letter.

Thank those who have made a positive impact on your life. Sometimes, people do not realize that they have made a difference to others. It’s an act of kindness to inform them that their actions matter.

52. Relay a compliment you’ve overheard to the person himself/herself.

Negative people only relay criticisms that make others feel bad or unsure about themselves. You can counter this and brighten someone’s day almost instantly by relaying a compliment you’ve overheard about them.

53. Keep in touch with your friends.

Call them on the phone and have a long chat. Suggest meeting at a local coffee shop to catch up how life’s been for each of you.

54. Become an agent of positivity.

It’s almost second nature for most people to be negative. Choose to be more positive as a way of being kind. You can learn how to stop being negative with tips from this article.

55. Be kind to yourself.

Your random acts of kindness should not only extend to others. It is also important to show kindness to yourself. Learn to practice some good self-care habits for your own sake.

56. Wash your neighbor’s car.

The most tedious thing about washing your car is getting everything you need out and putting it away. If you’re already washing your own car, it won’t take much effort to wash your neighbor’s car as well while you still have all of the materials out.

57. Leave money in a vending machine for the next person.

Treat a stranger to a snack by leaving money in the vending machine after purchasing your item. While they may not know it wasn’t a mistake, the person who finds it will still feel like it is their lucky day.

58. 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, we would live in an even messier environment. Take the time to clean up behind others when you see the need.

59. Write letters to people in the military.

People who overseas appreciate hearing from us back in their home country who appreciate all of the work that they do. Write letters to them giving them words of encouragement and thanks.

60. Offer to walk someone’s dog.

If you have a friend who works full time and has to take time in the middle of the day to drive home to let the dog out, offer to do it for them on occasion if you’re able to. This can be a huge time relief for people who are busy at work but still need to care for their pets.

61. Learn to say “hello” in a variety of languages.

Prepare yourself to be able to greet people of any background in public by learning how to say “hello” in different languages. Being able to do so can help a stranger who is surrounded by unfamiliar people feel a small sense of comfort.

62. Give away a gift card.

If you win a gift card at work or are given one to a store that you know one of your friends especially loves, give it to them to use. This will be an unexpected but very welcomed surprise for a friend.

63. Don’t complain out loud.

While this is something that you aren’t doing, it is something that can take some effort and spare other people's stress. If you tend to verbally complain about work, traffic, the weather, or anything else, make a determined attempt to keep the negativity to yourself. This will help prevent you from bringing other people down.

64. Bring coloring books to the children’s hospital.

Buy some coloring books and markers to bring to children who are sick to help brighten their day and give them a fun activity to do. When you drop them off, take some time to visit with the kids and do a little bit of coloring yourself.

65. Donate your hair.

If you have long hair, donate it next time you get a significant amount cut off. Find a company that collects donated hair to make wigs for children who are experiencing hair loss due to cancer treatments or other medical-related issues.

66. Volunteer to take a shift.

If you have a co-worker who needs to take some time off or have their shift covered for any reason, volunteer to work for them to take that pressure off of their plate.

67. Ride your bike to work.

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Ride your bike to work, it will help in reducing traffic and pollution.

While you may not be able to see the impact of this random act of kindness, riding your bike to work instead of driving will help reduce traffic and pollution. If you made a lot of these small changes every day, it would add up to create a better world for future generations.

68. Pick up groceries for your neighbor.

Next time you’re running to the store, ask your neighbor if you can pick anything up for them. Saving someone else a trip can be a huge help, especially if it is during a busy time like a Sunday afternoon when the grocery store is probably packed. Don’t ask for anything in return, of course.

69. Sign up at your church to make dinner for those in need.

Oftentimes, churches will provide dinners for members of their congregation during times of need, which are made by other members of the church. If you are not a member of a church, find one nearby and just put your name on the list so they can contact you next time there is a family in need who could use the help of having dinner provided for them.

70. Offer to babysit.

Tell a friend to leave the kids with you and have a night out, free of charge. Free babysitting is always something that parents are looking for, so if you can offer this to someone, you will be giving them a much-needed break.

71. Leave positive comments for people on social media.

Leave a positive feedback on a blog post or compliments on someone’s social media profile, especially for people that you don’t know very well. This can help uplift people in an arena that is often filled with negative comments.

72. Help the new person.

If you have someone new in your office, introduce yourself and offer to help show them the ropes. This will allow them to have an ally at work where they don’t know many people and are probably full of questions. Let them know that they can come to you if they need anything.

73. Donate towels to an animal shelter.

If you have old towels or blankets that you’re no longer using, donate them to the local animal shelter. They will use these donations to put in the animals’ cages to help them stay warm and comfortable.

74. Create handmade cards.

Next time it’s someone’s birthday or there is a celebration of some sort, take the time to make them a card by hand instead of buying one from the store. This will show that some extra thought went into the process of creating the card and it will leave them with a nice, handmade keepsake.

75. Donate blood.

Blood donations are critical for patients suffering from trauma and those who are going through a variety of medical situations, such as transplants, surgeries, and chronic illnesses. Out of all of those who are eligible to donate blood, only 10% tend to do so, so this is an important act of kindness that you can do to help others who are in need.

76. Let someone into your lane.

I know you have watched that poor person who waited until the last minute just sit there with their blinker on while all the cars speed on by. Be the one to let someone who needs to get over into your lane, even if you have to make an effort to slow down and do so. You know you would want someone to do the same for you.

77. Volunteer for a crisis hotline.

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Volunteer to help people who are going through especially tough times by working at a crisis hotline.

You may not think you’re prepared to do this, but you will receive ample training before getting on the phones. Volunteer to help people who are going through especially tough times by working at a crisis hotline. You could make an immeasurable difference in someone’s life.

78. Buy a round.

If you’re out at happy hour with co-workers or even just out with friends, buy a round of drinks for the bar. This will put everyone there is a grateful mood, which could influence them to turn around and do something nice for someone else.

79. Donate your clothes.

My rule is if I haven’t worn it in a year and it’s not a special occasion item (like a fancy dress that I wouldn’t necessarily have a reason to wear every year), it goes to the donation center. This helps the environment by reducing landfill waste, it helps people in need, and it will help you get rid of clutter so you can organize your space better.

80. Tutor a child.

Schools often get volunteers to help tutor students in reading and math. Go to your local school to see if you can sign up to be a volunteer to help children keep up with their classes and get that extra help they may need for success.

81. Help someone move.

Moving is a huge task that anyone would welcome help in doing. If you have a friend who is moving, offer to help take some boxes from one house to the other or help move furniture until it is set just how they want it. Moving day can be fun, you just have to get on board!

82. Return the lost cart.

There is always that one lost grocery cart in the parking lot, left by someone who didn’t want to take it back inside or to the corral. Grab the cart and return it (or use it) so an employee doesn’t have to chase it down. By doing this, you could also be helping prevent someone from damaging their car by hitting it.

83. Write a recommendation letter for someone.

If you have a LinkedIn account or you’re on another professional social media site, write a general letter of recommendation for someone you have worked with in the past. Even if they may not need the letter right now, it will always come in handy down the road when they’re looking for a new job.

84. Take the survey.

You know when you’re asked if you want to take a customer service survey after you call a company? Go ahead and take it and leave some positive feedback for the person who helped you.

85. Strategically place your coupons.

If you have some extra coupons, place them on top of the items in the store that they match. This will help someone save some money when they weren’t expecting it on something that they had to buy anyway!

86. Compliment people on the positive behavior of their children.

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Compliment people on the positive behavior of their children. Let them know they are doing a good job.

People often get nasty looks or comments under the breath when their children are misbehaving in public, but rarely do you see people complimenting parents on how well behaved their children are. Let parents know that they’re doing a great job because chances are, they will need to have that positive comment in their memory arsenal the next time their child has a tantrum in public.

87. Learn people’s names.

You know the people that you see every day but don’t interact with? The security guard at your work, the front desk associate at your gym, a neighbor who is always walking their dog…

Learn their names and greet them when you see them. This is such an easy act of kindness that can help bring people together.

88. Make a playlist for a friend who is going through a hard time.

Studies have shown the impact of music on people’s emotions. Compile a list of songs that always lift your mood and put them together for someone who you think could use some uplifting tunes.

89. Send dessert to another table.

Next time you go out to a sit-down dinner, ask your server to send dessert to another table in the restaurant and add it to your bill. Let it go to their table as an anonymous surprise.

90. Switch seats on the plane.

If you have a window or aisle seat, offer it to the person in the middle. No one likes to sit in the middle.

91. Share your table.

If you’re in a busy food court or somewhere that seating is at a premium and you have extra space, offer it to a stranger who doesn’t have anywhere to sit.

92. Pay for someone’s medical debt.

It is easy to get way over your head in medical debt and it can have a very negative impact on your life, especially when it’s coupled with the medical issue that’s being paid for. Donate to RIP Medical Debt, a non-profit that pays off people’s medical debt at a rate of 1% per $100. Every $100 you give pays for $10,000 in medical debt, which can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

93. Create a book of memories.

Next time a friend’s loved one passes away, contact friends and family members to compile a book of stories about the person who passed away. Give your friend the book and make sure to add any old pictures that people can give you.

94. Donate as you shop online.

If you shop on Amazon, you can donate money to your favorite nonprofit through Amazon Smile. It takes under a minute to set it up and Amazon will donate to your charity every time you buy something from their site.

95. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway.

If you get a big snowstorm and you’re heading out to shovel your driveway, allow yourself enough time to help a neighbor out and shovel their driveway as well. You can even wipe off their car if they haven’t done so already.

96. Stick a note in your loved one’s lunch box.

If you’re making lunch to send off with your kids or spouse, write a little love note in there or a reminder of how important they are to you. Offer some words of encouragement to help them get through their day.

97. Donate the flowers.

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After a big celebration, don't just throw the flowers away. Donate them to a local nursing home to use in their common areas.

After a wedding or other big celebration, don’t just throw the flowers away. Take them to a local nursing home to use in their common areas. Or, you could take it one step further and deliver a flower to each resident.

98. Send an article to someone.

If you come across a magazine article or something online that reminds you of someone or you think it could help someone out that you know, take the time to send it to them. Let them know that the article made you think of them and you think it could be useful to them in some way.

99. Join the bone marrow registry.

Donating bone marrow can help save a life. Collecting bone marrow from donors is one out of just two ways that doctors can collect blood-forming cells to use in bone marrow transplants. This is a generous and selfless act that will significantly impact many people’s lives.

100. Keep a spare umbrella around.

Keep an extra umbrella at your desk at work so you can lend it to a co-worker on a day of unexpected rain.

101. Offer services for free.

This random act of kindness is dependant upon your profession, but if you’re able to offer free services to people, do it. For example, I know of a dry cleaning business that offers to clean suits for free for anyone who is unemployed and on the hunt for a job. Another example could be if you run a bowling alley, offer free rounds of bowling to local residential facilities that house children who are in foster care.

102. Be there for a friend in need.

If you have ever been through a particularly rough time, chances are that you may have been surprised at the people who were actually there for you. Often, the people that we assume will be supportive when things get tough to run the other way and it is the people you would have least expected that show up to support you.

Don’t just tell a friend, “Let me know if there is anything I can do.” Check-in with your friend every day and make more concrete offers such as, “I’m going to pick up your groceries today and clean your house tomorrow.” Trust me when I say you will be in the minority.

103. Share the good things that you see.

A friend of mine works with children who have behavioral issues and whenever a child does something especially good, she contacts their parents. This helps the family celebrate the small wins instead of only hearing about negative behaviors or incidents that happen with their children.

104. Stop negative talk.

When you hear people speaking poorly about someone else, step in and say something positive about that person.

105. Sign up to give Christmas gifts to families in need.

Every child deserves a magical Christmas. Find a way to sponsor a family in your area for Christmas and buy gifts to put under their tree for everyone in the family.

106. Invite someone to dinner.

If you have a friend or co-worker who doesn’t have family in town, invite them over for Thanksgiving dinner so they have somewhere to go. Make sure that everyone you know has someone to celebrate the holidays with.

107. Think before you speak.

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Think before responding. This can help prevent you from saying something hurtful.

If you’re having a conversation or discussion that is making you upset, take a few moments to breathe and think before responding. This can help prevent you from saying something hurtful or something that you may regret later.

108. Introduce people to each other.

Connect people who you think can benefit each other in some way. This could be setting two friends up for a date or making a professional connection between two people you know that could be mutually beneficial for them.

109. Paint rocks.

I’ve known people to find small rocks and bring them home to paint and put a positive or inspirational message on of some sort before returning the rocks to where they found them. They are then discovered by strangers and can help lift up someone’s mood.

110. Leave a note in a library book.

Leave an uplifting note for the next person who checks out the book. You already know you have something in common with them since they read the same types of literature as you!

111. Teach random acts of kindness to your kids.

Teaching your kids about doing random acts of kindness will help spread the positivity into the next generations.

112. Offer the benefit of the doubt.

Assume people are good until you are offered proof that shows otherwise. Have empathy for people if they handle a situation differently than you would and don’t be cynical. You’ve probably been in situations where you needed other people to give you the benefit of the doubt, so practice doing this with those around you.

113. Join a senior buddy program.

Find a program in your area that will put you in touch with a senior who has no family around or is isolated in some way. Take an hour each week to go visit with the person and play games with them, get to know them, and even help around the house a bit.

114. Answer someone’s question online.

Go on some online forums that talk about a topic in which you’re an expert and answer some questions. Giving free professional advice for information to those in need can be very helpful and you may prevent them from getting incorrect information from other sources.

115. Fold someone else’s clothes.

If you open the dryer to put your wet laundry in there and there are already clothes in there, don’t put them in a heap on top of the dryer. Instead, take the time to neatly fold them for that person.

Conclusion

Being kind does not just benefit others but you who perform the act as well. It creates a ripple effect of positivity that inspires people.

It is more advantageous for our health and well-being to have kindness rather than negativity as our default attitude in life.

Moreover, as a good mom or dad, it is also very important that you lead by example so that your children will adopt positive values.

As a challenge, choose from among this list of the 115 random acts of kindness ideas ​that we just provided and do a few daily for the next ​month. Record your experiences, thoughts, and insights in a journal. When possible, share your experience in the comments below.

Lastly, check out this definitive guide with over 200 ideas for staying energized throughout the day.

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