55 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas to Improve the World Around You
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.
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 55 random acts of kindness ideas that you can apply right after reading this article. They are guaranteed to infuse positivity into your day and to other’s as well.
Here we go.
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 fastfood 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 in 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.
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 the random acts of kindness ideas listed above and do it daily for the next two weeks. 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.