A favorite celebration for many, Random Acts of Kindness Day (Feb. 17), has many practices we can act on throughout the year. It also offers an opportunity to consider what exactly it means to be kind. We can all build our kindness muscles, and the benefits of doing so include improving overall wellness and solidifying essential relationships.
What It Means To Be Kind
We, as humans, thrive on compassion. It’s been argued that kindness is one of humanity’s most vital pillars. Everyone deserves a little empathy because the ebbs and flows of life are complex. Showing strangers and people within our inner circle kindness can build new relationships, and lets loved ones know they’re special. It’s also a two-way street. Being kind to others encourages them to be kind to you, boosting your mood and long-term health.
Jane Goodall once said, “The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” Maya Angelou stated, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Think about these powerful words. Goodall’s suggests the moment we stop showing concern towards others, our society is at risk of falling apart. Angelou points out a time will come when we’re no longer around. People will only have their memories of us. Accomplishing accolades and generating wealth are popular life goals, but are those all you want to be known for? What about being remembered as kind?
Our lives must consist of giving and receiving kindness. Here are several actions for you and your girl(s) to try.
Random Acts of Kindness Towards Strangers
Being kind to strangers may seem insignificant to some. In reality, the action benefits you as well as them. Acts of kindness can boost your mood because oxytocin (the natural happiness chemical in your brain) releases. Here are several kind actions to show towards strangers throughout the day:
- If you are in the drive-thru, pay for the person’s food that’s behind you
- Volunteer for a cause you believe in
- Compliment a stranger
- When in line, let someone cut in front of you
- Hold the open door for someone
- Offer to help people you see are struggling
Random Acts of Kindness Towards Family + Friends
Displaying kindness towards family and friends can increase the sense of community and friendship between you. Here are different kind actions you can do for those close to your heart.
- Cook a homemade meal for them
- Write them a thoughtful note
- Call someone to say hi and see how they’re doing
- Give them a hug
- Buy them breakfast, lunch, or dinner
- Bake them a dessert and deliver it
We must exhibit kindness towards each other now more than ever.
Written by Latee’ Wilburn
Top photo by Randalyn Hill for Unsplash.