Today after putting up the new fence for the garden, we had to return a tool we rented. We were tired and hungry and decided to get lunch. While we sat outside a woman and her husband were leaving. She stopped and asked if were cold. I replied not really, actually feels nice out. (54 degrees) I laughed that we didn’t want to eat inside since we were filthy from yard work. She then looks at Derek and says “I’m going to give you a hug! And I don’t miss anyone, so you’re getting hugged too” and then by joe she did hug us both.
This got me to thinking, how hard is it to do small random acts of kindness? Not hard at all. And I don’t mean just buying the food or coffee for the person behind you in the drive thru. That act doesn’t require actual interaction with the person. While it may not be advisable to start hugging random people I give you a list of suggestions –
1 – Help someone take the groceries out of the basket and load them into their car.
2 – If they’ve done it already grab their cart and return to the cart area.
The one for me, I did last week, was I saw an elderly woman trimming her small decorative hedge while on my way home from a rose pruning session at the Discovery Garden. I pulled over, and pruners in hand walked up and said how can I help? She looked at me like I was crazy but gave a grateful smile and pointing to what she was trying to accomplish. This act took only 30 minutes of my time. Maybe that’s why I was hugged today.
3 – Take your neighbors trash cans out to the street for pick up or bring them in after trash is picked up.
4 – Go to an Assisted Living home and for 30 minutes let them just talk. You have no idea how many of our elderly sit in homes each day with no visitors and for them to be able to talk to someone who listens and asks questions lifts their spirits immeasurably!
5 – And for those in high traffic areas this is a biggie – If someone signals, let them over. For 24 driving hours allow all who need to merge to merge. It really isn’t going to cost you that much extra time.
6 – Tell a stranger they look nice.
7 – If you want to spend money, that waitress/waiter…leave them double the tip.
8 – Donate blood! There is a huge shortage.
9 – This summer, leave a cold beverage out for your mail carrier/gardener/bus driver etc.
10 – Call someone you haven’t talked to in ages just to ask how they are doing.
There are thousands of ways we can be better at making our environment better. I would love to hear about your acts of kindness as simple or complex as they are. You never know the ripple affect, but acts of kindness can only be positive.