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There are so many ‘Pay It Forward’ missions out there these days. In discussing them you’ll come across a variety of opinions. Paying it forward with the expectation that someone else will pay it forward immediately after you? Is that really a random act of kindness? Or is it really hopes of setting off a chain reaction that others will feel pressured to comply with?
When you pay for the car behind you in the Starbucks drive-thru, do you expect that they will pay for the person behind them? I know that people expect it. Hope for it. They want to be the one to set things rolling.
And I understand that. But sometimes? The most random acts are the ones with no expectations. Here are a few ideas for random acts of kindness you can consider doing in your day-to-day.
10 Random Acts Of Kindness
1. Find yourself out to eat with your coupon book on-hand? Stop by the next table and see if they can use one of your buy-one get-one coupons. They’ll truly appreciate the free entree!
2. See a mom or dad struggling to bring their grocery cart back to the store or the cart return while their child is wiggling in their arms? Grab it for them. Even if you’re headed to your own car. Trust me. They’ll love you for it.
3. Have you seen the little free libraries that people have been making? They’re popping up in the most random of places. Sometimes your local coffee shop will have them. Sometimes they’re in front of your neighbor’s house. Bring a few books over and drop them off. No note. No swap. Just pass them on. You’ll make someone’s day.
4. Do you carry a discount card for the store you’re shopping in, and the person in front of you doesn’t? Let them borrow yours. It doesn’t cost you anything and might give them the savings they need to stretch their paycheck this week.
5. Live in an area where there are parking meters? Leave a few quarters on someone’s car or pop them into the meter to save them from getting a ticket. 25c will go so far.
6. Same for the office vending machine. A few coins or a dollar or two on the nearby table or at the machine gives someone their free 3 o’clock caffeine fix or snack for the day.
7. Have you seen those leave a penny, keep a penny containers at the check-out counters? Leave a few pennies. Someone will need them eventually.
8. Bring some books or magazines to your doctor’s office. Leave them there.
9. Girl Scouts are out and about selling cookies right now, and yes, they’re everywhere! You may not want or need to buy any cookies, but if you feel like it, toss a dollar or two into their donation jar or give it to the girls. Just one dollar represents more to them than they make per box sold. I can speak from experience and say how amazing it feels to receive that extra money. The girls and the troop leaders truly appreciate it.
10. Do something anonymously for a neighbor in need. Shovel their front walk, rake the random leaves that clutter the front yard, leave a gift card for a local restaurant that delivers, drop off a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, or something to say ‘Hey, I see you and I care!’ to someone who lives alone, or a family with a new baby, an elderly person or couple … all of those things can truly brighten their day.
So, what’s your favorite random act of kindness? Share your ideas so we can encourage others to do good and simple things that will unexpectedly bring a smile to someone’s face.
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