November 13th is World Kindness Day. Now, that’s something this tired old world could use … simple kindness to one another.
When I was younger – and I was a weird kid – me and a friend would go to downtown Chicago to pass out balloons to little kids. For no reason. Just for fun.
As an adult, I have anonymously given money and gifts and done small favors. While these blessed the receiver, it blessed me more to help someone.
These are random acts of kindness – RAKs.
What is a random act of kindness? It’s doing something kind for someone without receiving any type of reward, reciprocation, or recognition. It could be shoveling your neighbor’s driveway while he sleeps or buying coffee for the next person in line – something that happens with regularity to me at Starbucks!
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.
Discover the 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. Giving flowers to your date isn’t quite the same as giving flowers anonymously to the old lady that lives on the corner.
- 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 is 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 your physical and mental health.
- You make others happy.
- When you’re kind toward someone, you make them feel important and loved. Plus, 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. It has been shown that just witnessing kindness lowers blood pressure and increases levels of hormones that are associated with feeling optimistic.
A few random acts of kindness include taking in the garbage cans for your neighbor, leaving a complimentary note on a windshield, giving a small gift card, or cleaning the snow and ice from someone’s car. The possibilities are nearly endless. What ideas do you have?
You can have a huge impact on the world just be 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 afterwards. You won’t want to stop.
What ideas do you have for random acts of kindness? Share your ideas here so we can never run out of them!