A gift everyone can afford to give
Dorothy Day was an aspiring young author, but she struggled with alcoholism and depression. It was only after admitting her flaws that she got her life back by shifting her focus from herself to others.
In 1933, she founded a newspaper called The Catholic Worker, which aimed to aid people suffering amid the Depression and to use Catholic social values to create a society for the greater good.
As today’s society is already obsessed with “sharing,” living like Day isn’t so difficult. All we need to do is to turn our focus from narcissistic self-love to the service of others.
Which brings us to the central premise of this post:
Every day offers a new opportunity to be kind.
More specifically, every day offers us new opportunities to practice random acts of kindness.
By simply being kind, we jump-start a ripple effect of good deeds.
We find that when we go out of our way to brighten someone else’s day, we also inspire family, friends, and even strangers to do nice things for others in their lives.
So what exactly is a random act of kindness?
It’s doing something kind for someone without expecting to receive any type of reward, reciprocation, or recognition.
Random acts of kindness might seem like something that’s great for the person on the receiving end of the kindness, but the person being kind actually gets a lot out of it too.
Kindness also benefits those that observe others being kind.
One small action on your part can do so much for so many people.
Benefits Of Practicing Random Acts Of Kindness
📌 You feel good about yourself.
How can you not feel good about doing something so selfless?
You feel like a million bucks when you do something for someone else.
Most of the kindness we give or receive comes with strings attached.
On some level, we expect something from the kindness we dole out to the world, even if it’s just improving our image to those around us.
A random act of kindness is different because your intentions are entirely pure.
Try it — you’ll love how good you feel about yourself!
📌 You realize that there’s enough to go around.
When you give something away without any hope of receiving anything in return, you’re sending yourself a positive message.
You’re showing yourself that you have sufficient resources and time.
There’s no lack, no scarcity.
In fact, there’s an abundance — plenty for you to be grateful for, as well as the recipient of your kindness.
📌 You strengthen your health.
Research shows that practicing acts of kindness reduces anxiety and increases happiness.
Research subjects also report feeling more energetic, positive, and less depressed.
Kindness also reduces pain.
Being kind is an easy way to boost both your physical and mental health.
📌 You make others happy.
When you’re kind toward someone, you make them feel important and loved.
And the people around them are likely to be happier too.
Your simple act could also start a chain reaction of kindness.
The person on the receiving end of your kindness might decide to do the same for someone else— and so on.
📌 It helps the people that witness the act of kindness.
The impact of your kindness reaches further than you think.
Its been shown that just witnessing kindness lowers blood pressure and increases levels of hormones that are associated with feeling optimistic.
Ideas For Spreading Random Acts Of Kindness
✒️ Give someone a gift —just because.
✒️ Open your home to those displaced by disaster.
✒️ Help a grieving friend. Listen to your heart for inspiration and do what you can to lighten that friend’s burden.
✒️ Buy a homeless person a hot meal. A hungry person needs nutrition and nourishment of the body and soul.
✒️ Help someone cross a busy street. Be it a woman navigating a stroller with other children in tow, an elderly person with a bag of groceries, a child on a bike, a homeless veteran with a shopping cart, or anyone else who looks like they could use a little help — offer to help.
✒️ Welcome new neighbors. Start a committee to greet new families moving into your neighborhood. Make sure everyone takes some time to go over to the new neighbors’ home to introduce themselves. Welcome them to their new community of kindness.
✒️ Help unload a neighbor’s car. If you see a neighbor unloading their bags from the car after a shopping trip, offer to help take the bags inside.
✒️ Help a coworker succeed. By helping others get ahead, you increase your chances for success as well. We all need a champion in our corner. Be a champion for someone else. When you climb up the career ladder, pull someone up behind you.
✒️ Volunteer at a suicide prevention phone bank. Help save someone’s life who is suffering and in deep distress.
✒️ Volunteer at an animal rescue facility. You could do something as simple as answering the phones.
✒️ Donate a dog or cat bed to an animal shelter. These organizations often have small budgets, so little donations like a bed will go a long way to ensuring at least one animal’s comfort.
✒️ Balance unkindness with acts of kindness. If the person in the line ahead of you at the bank snaps meanly at the teller, shift the energy. When it’s your turn, say something to lift their spirits.
✒️ Admit when you’re wrong. Go to the person involved and apologize. It will make that person feel validated, and you will generate good karma as you learn from your mistake.
✒️ Keep your promises. Follow through whenever you give your word. If you make a promise to someone and then forget about it later, that lack of attention to follow through violates any trust you may have established. Remember what you promised to do and then do it.
✒️ Speak out against hateful comments. When you hear slurs or epithets hurled at someone, stand up for that person. Refuse to be complicit in the act by your inaction. Do something. Apathy is bad karma.
✒️ Forgive. Priests, psychologists, and doctors know that the act of forgiveness helps heal a person’s body as well as heart, mind, and soul. You may think forgiving helps the other person, but, in fact, it helps you both.
✒️ Build a support network. Stuck is the worst place to be, both physically and psychologically. Creating a network of kindhearted friends that each of you can reach out to when times get rough ensures that you will all be able to carry on and move forward.
The possibilities are nearly endless.
What ideas do you have?
You can have a huge impact on the world just by being kind.
You’ll help yourself, the recipient of your kindness, all those who witness it, and the multitude of people down the chain.
A simple act of kindness doesn’t have to cost you a dime, but the returns are priceless.
There are countless opportunities to be kind each day.
Think of someone you could help in a simple, but meaningful way.
Try to be kind without any expectation of receiving anything in return.
Notice how you feel afterward.
You won’t want to stop…