It doesn’t take much to turn your own (or someone else’s) day around. Tiny, gracious gestures really can make the world a kinder place. This realization (after an, as Alexander would say, a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day) inspired me to round up of my favorite 25 small things we can all do to leave this place better than we found it.
A few days ago, while sitting in traffic during rush hour, I spilled a (large, hot) latte down the front of my new silk blouse. I spent the next 45 minutes driving seven miles an hour with a wet, mocha-scented shirt clinging to me, mentally cursing my luck.
When I finally got home, I realized I’d missed trash day (oh, hello another week of overflowing recycling) and that I’d forgotten to pick up the one missing ingredient for dinner.
I told you, it was bad.
I sat down at my computer to sulk (and maybe fire off a whiny email to my best friend) when I checked my inbox. And there, glowing amidst the spam, was a note that completely turned my day around. A friend had followed the advice I’d given her with amazing results and she took five minutes out of her day to thank me.
And all of a sudden, I didn’t care that I’d ruined my shirt or that we’d be ordering takeout for dinner.
So, here they are.
25 Small Things You Can Do To Make The World a Kinder Place:
1. Smile at people more! Start with your neighbor or your barista.
2. Let a car merge in front of you and do it with a smile. I’m looking at you, Los Angeles!
3. Buy an extra cup of coffee in the morning and give it to a co-worker.
4. Leave a nice note in the morning for your honey. “I know you’ll do a great job today!”
5. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you’ve made. Today’s a new day – let’s get on with it.
6. Give a generous tip to your waiter and a kind note on the bill!
7. Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while (that’s why they invented Facebook!).
8. Eat and buy local.
9. Be kind to someone even when you’re frustrated with them.
10. Pay for your friend’s portion of the dinner tab without them knowing. They’ll be so surprised when the receipt comes for you to sign!
11. Hold the elevator door for others.
12. Offer to babysit your friends kids for free.
13. Resist the urge to honk at other cars on the road.
14. Compliment a stranger. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I tell them I love their hair, or shoes, or the way they pulled themselves together. They usually light up with a smile
and I’m so happy I helped to make their day a good one!
15. Send a care package to your friends or co-workers. I’ll put together small boxes of stationery, cards, pens, candles, lip gloss and send it off to someone special and it’s so fun.
16. Let someone at the grocery store with just a few items go ahead of you at the cashier.
17. Let someone take your parking spot.
18. Tell your honey how particularly ravishing he or she looks today!
19. Leave extra time on a parking meter.
20. Fill the refrigerator with your roommates or partner’s favorite foods.
21. Offer to cover a shift for a co-worker who needs to leave early.
22. Open the door for someone.
23. Tell someone you had a disagreement with that you’re sorry.
24. Offer to pick up your friend’s children after school.
25. Write notes of appreciation and love to three people who have changed your life for the better.
Doing just one of these things is sure to turn your day around. And it’s sure to improve the day of your friend who’s been sitting in traffic, covered in coffee.
I’m starting now – are you with me?
Danielle’s goal is to inspire women to live inspiring and authentic lives in order to achieve their dreams and experience a life better lived. When she’s not changing lives, she’s out enjoying nature, sipping on a green juice, flowing through a yoga class, or laughing it up with her close girlfriends.