Whether an individual lives in a fast-paced city in New York, on a mountaintop in Peru, in a quiet town in North Dakota or a remote village in Cambodia, all humanity faces a common denominator; adversity. While our paths may differ and our challenges vary, we are not meant to walk alone.
Opportunities to serve others are all around us, not just limited to third-world countries. Acts of kindness can come unexpectedly or take careful planning on our part, and can be directed toward those within our close circle as well as those we may only encounter once in our lives. Having our thoughts and actions focused outward, strengthens our empathy toward others.
Here are some ways you can serve those around you:
- Send a thoughtful text to someone
- Compliment a stranger
- Put your phone away and listen intently
- Give someone the benefit of the doubt
- Write someone a real letter and mail it to them
- Let those around you know specifically what you appreciate about them
- Try to make sure everyone in a group conversation feels included
- Say thank you to a janitor
- Give up your seat to someone
- Offer to return a shopping cart to the store for someone loading groceries in their car
- Call your parents to tell them you love them
- Be kind to the customer service rep on the phone. It’s probably not their fault
- Leave extra quarters in a laundry room
- Pay for the car behind you at a drive-through
- When you buy a new article of clothing, give an old one away
- Encourage someone in their goals
- Leave an anonymous gift on your neighbor’s porch
- Leave a couple “hidden” dollars in the toy section at the dollar store
- Wash someone’s car
- When you have negative or discouraging thoughts toward yourself, get rid of them — you deserve kindness too!