Last year I overheard a conversation. A woman told her friend she would practice random acts of kindness for Lent. I liked the idea and posted a blog about it then.
Well, it’s Lent again. Time to dust off the kindness file. And perhaps elevate your kindness to make it the new norm.
Make Kindness the Norm
There are days when I scroll through the news that I’m discouraged. It’s hard to think of kindness as the norm. But we should always make the effort. There’s even a twitter feed, (#MakeKindnessTheNorm), filled with people trying to do just that. Most of the examples were from Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 17 to 21, 2020). Yet it’s a start.
Here are a few examples.
- High school students provided treats and notes of appreciation to their school bus drivers.
- Northeast Credit Union handed out gift cards to members and delivered lunch to the local fire department.
- Another organization dropped off pizza at the local police department.
- The Dalai Lama left a message encouraging us to give others the gift of our forgiveness.
- One company’s staff members volunteered at a homeless center to help clean and organize the shelter.
Acts of kindness need not be carefully planned group projects. In fact, Wikipedia defines a random act of kindness as “a non-premeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world.” It’s a spontaneous effort to help others, make them happier, and increase the positive energy in the community.
Take the six-week challenge
Now the challenge. Can you perform a random act of kindness each day during the six weeks of Lent? I’ll even offer a tool to help you. The Random Acts of Kindness website has a downloadable calendar containing daily ideas to inspire you. Each month has a theme (happiness, responsibility, gratitude) for the compiled activities. I’ve listed a few suggestions from each month. Yes, these are selected examples from twelve months, but if you download the calendar you should have enough ideas for the six-week challenge.
- Give public praise to someone who has helped you.
- Tip a little more than usual.
- Ask coworkers how they are feeling and listen to the answers.
- Prepare a meal for someone who is struggling at work.
- Apologize when you’ve made a mistake.
- Don’t interrupt when someone else is talking.
- Do something you love today.
- Tap into your creative side and create something today.
- Do one thing outside your comfort zone.
- Have that tough conversation you’ve been avoiding and do it kindly.
- Invite a new colleague to lunch.
- Become more involved in your community.
- Use reusable grocery bags.
- Don’t let someone else take the blame for something you did.
- Call a loved one you haven’t spoken with in a while.
- Offer to help someone today.
- Do a favor without asking for anything in return.
- Leave only kind comments on social media today.
- Take the high road when something difficult comes your way.
- Avoid complaining for the whole day.
- Leave a small gift of gratitude for the night shift custodians.
- Text the last person on your text list and say something uplifting.
- Celebrate one of your favorite customers or clients today by telling them how much you appreciate them.
- Start and end the day with positive intentions.