Kindness is a virtue we all possess. Why not make South Africa better? We expressly show it to those who are close to us but what about those who we don’t know, those nameless faces we pass by each day. As Jean Jacques Rousseau said, ‘What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?’ Sharing your kindness not only says something about you, but also has the potential to brighten someone’s day – even if it’s only for a moment. So if you want to put a smile on someone’s face, here are eight acts of kindness that you can easily put into action:
- Smile. It might sound like such a simple thing to do, but smiles are contagious for many people. They not only help others but they help you as well. Research on smiling has shown that smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match.
- Call your parents. When life gets busy, we tend to focus on what is right in front of us. Taking 10 minutes out of your day to phone the ones that brought you into this world will mean the world to them. They love to hear from you, especially your mom. This goes for your grandparents too. In a recent survey conducted by Family Share, one mom remarked, “When my child calls and says ‘I was just thinking about you, Mom. How are you doing?’ it makes me so happy.”
- Become a blood or organ donor. Being a blood donor can save someone’s life, especially if you have a rare blood type or if you are a universal donor. If you get really generous and become an organ donor you could potentially save 7 people’s lives. Talk about a leaving a great legacy.
- Donate. Not your money, but your old books, children’s toys and clothes. There are many organisations, like Hospice, andcharity shops that will accept your donations, selling them to raise funds or give them to those who need it. You can also donate your time, whether it is walking dogs or playing with orphans.
- Adopt an animal from a shelter. If you are looking to get a new member of the family, adopt one and give it a new leas(h)e on life. Many of these shelters love the animals that have come to them and what to ensure that they go to good homes. Have a look here and here.
- Remember your manners. Opening a door for an old lady, helping a pregnant woman with her bags or saying thank you to the teller can literally change a person’s day.
- Compliment a stranger. If you think that the person at the next table has a nice bag, tell them. The worst thing that happens is they smile. Compliments boost our self-confidence, making us feel better. Have a look here.
- Give a meal. This can be in the form of a ready-made meal – bought or homemade – or some staple groceries that they need, like bread, milk, etc. Giving food may not be a sustainable solution for many but a full stomach makes everyone happy.
There are many more ways that you can positively impact someone’s life, even if it is only for a moment. Kindness is addictive so how will you start making a difference today?