We can get so caught up in the chaos of everyday life that we often forget to think about others. But a small act of kindness can not only make someone else’s day better, but it can also make yours.
As you all know, I love to give back and one thing that made my year extra special was helping others whenever I could. Giving back is incredibly simple and to give you some ideas on just how simple it can be, I have put together a list of 12 acts of kindness that I gifted throughout the year.
TREAT A STRANGER I was in line at Starbucks waiting to buy my favourite green tea latte when the lady in front of me ordered a large coffee. After ordering she realised she didn’t have enough cash on her so I gave her my change to make up the difference.
CLOTHING DONATION Every few months I do an apartment clean out and donate my unwanted/unused clothes and goods to various charities in need. Throughout the year I also sell items on eBay, donating a percentage of the sale to charity.
SUPPORTING ANIMAL SHELTERS This year I collected a bag full of old blankets and towels and donated them to my local animal shelter. During winter, a shelters supply often becomes dirty and damaged quite quickly, as a result of the the wet weather. So anything they can get helps!
BRIGHTEN SOMEONES DAY I normally don’t approach strangers, but during a recent trip home from work, I saw a woman sitting across from me on the train reading a text message and crying. I had no idea why she was crying but for some reason I felt compelled to cheer her up. Earlier that day I had bought a small bunch of flowers and so I searched my bag for a packet of tissues and as I reached my stop, I handed her both the tissues and flowers. She was surprised at first and then gave me a small smile and whispered thank you. I never saw her again, but I hope my gesture cheered her up a little.
THE UNEXPECTED I paid for three hours parking at my local shopping center, however I was finished in one. Upon leaving I gave my ticket with the remaining two hours to someone who had parked in a space nearby. They were so appreciative and said if they were done within the two hours they would pass the ticket onto someone else. I just love the pay it forward gesture.
GIVING THANKS Every day I say good morning to the cleaner in my apartment block and wish her a good day. I notice a lot of my fellow residents pass her by barely even noticing her. She works hard and is always so cheerful so I like to acknowledge that.
VOLUNTEER I volunteered with the charity Marie Curie during their Christmas collections. I gave up a few hours of my day, visited my local train station and stood with a bucket collecting donations. I raised £87 which equals four hours of nursing care. It took little effort on my part and will make a huge difference to those needing the nursing services.
GIFT OF LOVE Even though Luca and I live and travel together, our schedules can be quite busy, so whenever we’re not together I always try and leave him notes around the house to say “I appreciate you, thank you and I love you.” Making sure that I never take people for granted is really important to me.
PROVIDE ASSISTANCE Too often I see people struggling to lift their suitcases up the stairs in train stations, etc., so I always offer my assistance. I mean, two hands are better than one right and I’ve so been there before!
KIND GESTURE Waiting in line at the supermarket, there was a lady behind me with two very energetic young children. By the look on her face I could tell she wanted to get them home ASAP. Even though I had less items than her, I asked if she wanted to go in front of me. She was beyond grateful.
HOLD THE LIFT I can’t even count the number of times when I’ve been standing in a lift after work, the doors are closing and I see someone running towards it only to miss it. I always think that the person running for the lift is obviously in a rush, so whenever I’m near the front of the lift, if I see this happening, I always hold the door open for them.
HOTEL TOILETRIES Relaying my blog post ‘how your hotel toiletries can help others’, I always like to collect the shampoos, shower gels, etc., from my hotel stays when I travel and donate them to my local woman’s shelters once I have collected a bag full.
Whatever it is you do, never underestimate your ability to make someone else’s life better.