I was am a literal person. The song,
Every day, every day, every day, every way, This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine. Let it shine, all the time, let it shine.
I thought this song was about a literal light, a flashlight or a light bulb.
What if random acts of kindness weren’t so random? What if we planned them?
What if you made the intention to commit one random act of goodness once a day, a week, a month?
Would that raise the stakes, so all of us would be more likely to become recipients of intentional acts of kindness? The random part of the act makes us feel like we’re detached from it. Random feels impersonal, like a lottery ticket, or finding a fiver on the sidewalk. Like that half smile you give people when you’re not sure about someone.
When you reach out with your wallet, an apple, or a hand, you’re actually committing a personal, and intentional act of kindness.
It’s not random.
Random is a happy accident. Maybe we can all expect to be recipients of intentional acts of kindness. Share your intentional kindness, expect kindness, and get kindness.
I like to leave whatever situation I encounter in better condition than when I found it. This can apply to a meeting, a restaurant, a train, a highway, the world.
The energy you bring to a space can be a source of light or a source of darkness for others. Don’t hold back, let your light shine.
In any of the opportunities where you meet people, you have a chance to impact their day. You can either make it better or make it worse.
Here are some ways to make someone’s day better:
- Leave paper towels handy for the next potty-goer to conveniently dry their hands in the public restroom
- Pay for coffee for the person behind you
- When a stranger is caught with an expired train ticket, offer one of yours (this literally just happened as I was writing this)
- As someone is paying for parking at a machine – stick your credit card in and pay for their parking.
- Put change in a parking meter
- Write a thank-you note, on paper
- Leave little notes of love or encouragement everywhere you go – tucked into a tip for the Starbucks barista, in library books, in cash you hand the homeless, on trains, on planes, at the gas pump… the opportunities are limitless
- Put toothpaste on your spouse’s toothbrush, ready to go in the morning (can't say I've done this - but it's worth a try!)
- Warm up your spouse’s towel in the dryer while they’re in the shower
- Hold a door
- Leave an unexpectedly generous tip
- Give a random stranger a gift from their Amazon list
- Write a poem, give it to someone
- Leave grocery store coupons on the store shelf (bonus if you leave them with the product the coupon is for)
- Write down all the kindness you experience - I promise it'll blow you away
- Offer public praise of your waiter, barista, or anyone who offered great service
- Send a card, and not on a holiday (bonus if you make it yourself)
- Talk to a homeless person, or at the very least, smile and say hello
- Say thank you
- Smile, to everyone