In this day and age, the world is full of people who look out for who they think is really important– themselves. Hardly anyone, I hate to say, thinks of others above themselves, leaving others disheartened, with no hope in or for society. If you’re a rare person who likes to do little things to give others a smile, or you want to start, here are ten simple ways to make someone’s day brighter.
1. When in a crowded store, full of hurried shoppers and their carts full of items, say “Go ahead,” and let them pass in front of you. People are usually used to others cutting them off with their carts, with the purpose of making sure they get their things first, and not worrying about anyone else. Letting people pass, will surprise them greatly.
2. When you go out to somewhere like Starbucks, pay for the person behind you. Most Starbucks coffee drinks cost between $4 and $5, so simply leave that much behind, or money left over on your gift cards, and make someone’s day. They are not likely to forget that random act of kindness.
3. Leave inspirational notes on index cards, and leave them in random places in public. They don’t need to be long. Simple words like “Don’t frown, because you never know who may be falling in love with your smile,” or your own favorite proverbs, will suffice.
4. If you’re in a store, and see something misplaced, pick it up and return it to its rightful home. Sure, they pay employees to do this, but it doesn’t hurt to make their job a little easier by returning an item or two. You never know, a little slack like this may be the thing someone needs that day.
5. Write a letter to a good friend, and tell them the things you admire and appreciate about them. Send it in the mail, because even though it’s a dying art form, everyone enjoys a nice snail mail letter. For added randomness, send it anonymously. It will bless your friend, even though they don’t know who it’s from.
6. When in line at the store, don’t act cold and distant to the cashier. Ask them how they are doing, and if they have more than “fine” to say, hold a short conversation with them. Don’t forget to tell them to have a nice day when you leave. It’s rare that cashiers get nice customers.
7. Purchase a few inexpensive children’s books and stuffed animals. Drop them off at a local daycare or preschool. A lot of places don’t have a whole lot for kids to play with–or the previous items are old, so this would probably be greatly appreciated.
8. If you have a favorite teacher from school, and you know they’re still there, or if you can find them easily, pay them a visit, and tell them how they impacted your life and inspired you. I know that for teachers, things like that motivate them to keep teaching.
9. If you have an extra ten dollars or so, get it all in one dollar bills. Grab a roll of tape, and tape each dollar somewhere random in public, where someone can easily find it. This may be a huge blessing to someone in need.
10. Lastly, hold a car wash, bake sale, or some other fundraiser to benefit a charity or cause of your choice, like breast cancer research, or LGBT rights. Charities and causes are always thankful for donations.
If you want to make a difference in the world, don’t walk around with a chip on your shoulder and a frown on your face. Look around, at world around you. If you see someone in need, whether they are vocal about it or not, extend a hand, and do as Ghandi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”