Wednesday, 20 January 2016

20 Creative Random Acts Of Kindness



Here are 20 Random Acts Of Kindness ideas that don't involve spending any money (at least not more than you would otherwise). These ideas help you to prioritize staying connected with others and making the most of your life. And as with all acts of kindness, they are great fun too!
Perhaps some of these can be included on your Bucket List for 2016.

1. Organize a ‘Free hugs’ event 
This one is so much fun! All you need is some FREE HUGS signs and then you just wait for people who are in need of a hug, somewhere in a busy part of town. It is one of the best ways to experience that giving and receiving are one and the same. It will make your day. And it is also a great way to meet cool people!

2. Donate things you no longer need to people who might need it
Give your stuff away online, give it to someone you know (perhaps you know someone who needs it more than you do) or bring it to a "Free Shop". If there is no free shop in your area yet, perhaps you can start one up. You only need to invest a few hours each week to run the 'shop' (which can also be in your garage or yard). Make sure everyone knows your 'trading times' and encourage everyone to bring stuff they no longer need and/or to come and browse around.

3. Pick up a hitchhiker
This one may be tricky if you don't have a car (like me), but remember it is also possible to give someone a lift on your bike, and even on foot (piggyback ride). This is yet another fun way to meet interesting people! 


4. Busking - and doing something good with the proceeds (if there are any)
Okay, so busking may not always be an act of kindness - depending on your skills... But it never hurts to try. So get out there and perform your favorite act in front of a random crowd and people may start throwing cash at you. If they do, you can use it to do something good in the community. For example, you can buy meals or healthy snacks for homeless people in the area, or you can donate the money to a local animal shelter.

5. Share your home with a couchsurfer
This is also a great way to meet new people (from all over the world) and make friends, all from the comfort of your own home! And if you share the most interesting things about yourself on your Couchsurfing profile, chances are you will attract like-minded people.


6. Volunteer your time at a local charity / organization
In most places there are plenty of opportunities for volunteering. Try homeless shelters, free shops, animal shelters, homes for the elderly, a zoo, the library, etc. Ask them when they need help most and be someone they can count on. It will be very much appreciated! It can be very difficult for organizations to find reliable volunteers, yet many depend on them for their survival.

7. Volunteer as a pet-sitter
Especially during the holidays. Many people who have pets have a hard time going anywhere (on holiday, on weekend trips, to conferences, ...), because it can be very difficult to find the right person (caring and responsible) to look after the pet and some places are just not very pet-friendly, so sometimes it is no option to bring them along either. So if you are able to help out, it will be much appreciated! You can offer your help online (e.g. on a Facebook forum) or respond to ads.


8. Plant a tree
This is a random act of kindness that benefits everyone and everything. And, it can be free too. Find out what type of tree grows in your area and how you can help them multiply and thrive. Sometimes they carry their seeds on them, which you can help spread by planting them at the right time and in the right way, while protecting them from animals that may eat the seeds. You may also be able to use some kind of division process. Given the right climate, you may also be able to grow a tree from food scraps, such as apple, lemon, mango, avocado, orange or olive. 
When you are not sure how to get started, remember: Google knows almost everything!

9. Give someone a genuine compliment
If you do this regularly, you will automatically start to look for things you appreciate about a person as soon as you meet them (whether you actually tell them or not). It is therefore a great way to practice unconditional love, acceptance and positivity. Of course you may not always be in the mood for this, and that's okay too.

10. Smile from the heart
How? Follow your passion. Do what you love. Follow your bliss. Do what makes your heart sing. Let your light shine bright. Walk in the forest. Enjoy the sunshine. Breathe in the sea air. And most of all: sloooowwww dowwwnnn.

11. Share food with someone: invite someone over for dinner
Dumpster dinners are the best! It is free, good for the earth and it can feed a lot of hungry people if you do it right.

12. Spread love & inspiration instead of fear & hate (e.g. on social media)
Take a good look at what you are sharing on Facebook and other social media. What is the "tone" of your posts? Is it spreading hate and fear or is it promoting love and inspiration?
13. Ask a stranger (or someone you don't know that well) if they are willing to share their life story with you
Everyone has an interesting story to tell. And knowing someone's story might help you understand them better. Commit yourself fully to listening; and you'll discover that listening is much more rewarding than talking. Ask questions. Try to put yourself in their shoes and find out exactly what life was (and is) like for them. Why did they make certain decisions? What were some life-changing events they have been through? What has made life worthwhile for them? What goals, hopes and dreams do they have for the future?

14. Pick up roadside litter
Instead of mentally complaining about how some people never pick up their trash, imagine that someone left this here just to give you the opportunity to do something good and to make a statement about who you are as a person (i.e. someone who cares about the environment). Maybe you were meant to walk by and see it so that you could pick it up. This mindset not only removes frustration, but it also reinforces the inner notion that you are the kind of person who enjoys looking after the earth, and that it is no big deal for you to pick up trash and put it where it belongs. And it feels good! Another good deed done.

15. Leave positive notes (with affirmations) for strangers
Such as in this video by DaveyWavey, where the message is: You are beautiful. Of course you can also leave notes for friends or your partner. Leave them a sweet, caring, thoughtful, loving note in an unexpected place at an unexpected time.

16. Believe in someone who doesn’t believe in themselves yet – including yourself
Having blind faith in yourself and others does not have to be connected to a certain outcome. In fact, it is much easier to believe in yourself when you detach of all possible outcomes and just trust that life will turn out just the way it should, and that (when you don't get in your own way) you will always do exactly what you need to do. Because life is exactly like that.

17. Give someone a back/neck/shoulder massage
Well... who needs a reason really? Massages are the best. But in case you need a reason: there are many health benefits of having regular massages. So that makes it a great gift to give someone you care about!



18. Organize a ceremony in a special location to celebrate a friendship
You can do this with your partner or with your best friend. The ceremony can be structured like a wedding ceremony, including friendship 'vows' / exchanges of appreciation and someone who reads out the 'vows'. See here for an example of 'vows'. Of course you can also use this time to reflect on wonderful memories and funny incidents you went through together.
I did this with my best friend Saskia in 2011. It was great fun! We both dressed up (well, compared to our standard "I-don't-care"-look) and went to the beach. This photo was taken just before the event:



19. Meditate, or organize a group meditation 
Just find a comfortable place in public where you can  meditate and put a sign nearby that reads something like:
“Meditation for love and peace in progress. Feel free to join for as long as you like. Just focus on your breathing and let go of everything else for a moment… ”
Then just meditate and allow people to come and go as they please. You can position meditation cushions around you to make it more inviting, or you can choose existing 'waiting areas' with seats already available, e.g. at train stations, airports, the tax office or other places that can have long (and boring) waits.

20. Write someone you love a letter of appreciation (or dedicate a post on Facebook to someone)
Tell them how they made a difference in your life. Telling someone how much difference they are making is one of the kindest and sweetest things you can do, because it instantly demonstrates life's purpose. And almost everyone goes through phases in their life where they fail to see that purpose for themselves, so it can be a a great reminder.

Conclusion: Have fun and enjoy life

Most of us (including me most of the time) take life way too seriously. Therefore it is important to remind yourself (and others) that it is important to have fun, in everything you do. The key to this is giving yourself the gift of time in the things you do. There is absolutely no need to rush through life - if you do you will miss out on all the good parts! And random acts of kindness are definitely some of the good parts.

The more you practice random acts of kindness, the less random they will become. It will become second nature to you over time and it will naturally slow you down: it will take the rush out of your life. Opportunities for kindness are life's pleasant interruptions that keep us in a state of awareness, joy and gratitude. And there are opportunities everywhere!

Enjoy.


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3 comments:

  1. Love your list - although hitchhiker looks a little on the edge of my comfort zone - great share!
    Thanks
    Bren
    Kindness Project

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bren!
      Your project looks pretty cool too!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the tips! This is great and I really like it..This is very innovative and unique...

    examples of acts of kindness
    paying forward

    ReplyDelete