A Random Act Of Kindness – 17 Ways To Spread Positivity

Sometimes, the world saddens me. There are wars fought every day, both between opposing armies but, more often, just in our own heads. It’s easy to believe the world is going to hell in a handbasket. That’s why it’s more important than ever to perform a random act of kindness.


Spread positivity by performing a random act of kindness

One of my personal missions is to make the world a more positive place. While large movements can make big changes (hence why I started the NOvember campaign), there’s a lot to be said for the cumulative effect of lots of small actions.

If you’re like me, though, you find it hard to think of something to do. That’s why, in this post, I’m challenging you (and myself) to perform a random act of kindness this week, and I’m giving some suggestions to make it as easy as possible.

Apart from the obvious benefit of just feeling good about yourself, a random act of kindness can make all the difference to the person on the receiving end.

Still not convinced that you can change someone’s life without even breaking a sweat? Let me share a story from my own life just a few short years ago:

I suffered from post-natal depression after having my daughter. It was a dark time for me, and every day was a struggle. I’d count the minutes until my husband finished work.

Spread positivity by performing a random act of kindness

One week, he was abroad on business and I took Scout grocery shopping, which I always found to be a stressful experience. At the checkout, she refused to stay in the trolley, so I silently tried to sprout eyes in the back of my head to keep an eye on her while simultaneously packing my bags. That’s when the lady behind me in the queue spoke up.

She commented on how well behaved Scout was. I thanked her, and joked that that wasn’t always the case. (To me, it was a miracle that she was remaining still and quiet, patiently waiting for me to finish, not a product of good parenting on my part.)

I could easily have walked away and thought no more of the encounter, being too concerned with just surviving the day, but she continued. “She’s a credit to you,” she said. I was a little stunned, and thanked her again. When I returned to the car, I hopped in and heaved great big sobs.

Spread positivity by performing a random act of kindness – Scout in denim jacket, toddler style

The truth is, when you’re suffering from post-natal depression, you don’t always feel like you have things under control. You don’t always feel like you’re doing a good job or that you’re coping. Even the smallest thing can seem like the biggest hurdle.

For that stranger in the supermarket, it was a simple exchange. A casual remark. I probably didn’t even look like I needed it, as I efficiently packed my bags and placed them in the trolley while Scout stood by. I’m sure I looked like a mother who had it all together.

Nobody knew how much I was struggling. How low I was feeling. Her comment made me feel acknowledged at a time when I was starting to believe I was invisible.

When we help others, even in a small way, we have no idea of the profound impact it can have on their lives. Maybe it will do nothing more than just brighten their day a bit, or maybe it will turn their whole life around and help them see sunshine where before there were only dark clouds.

Spread positivity by performing a random act of kindness – Scout in Portugal

Never think that your contribution to the world is too small. That lady I met did nothing more than speak a few words to me in passing, but she helped me see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. She was a ray of hope when I really needed it.

Thousands of people read my blog every week. If each of us performed just one random act of kindness, collectively we’d reach thousands more people. And those, in turn, may be inspired to brighten thousands more lives.

It starts with a single act… and spreads.

If you’re struggling to think of a good deed to do, here are some suggestions:

17 Good Deeds

  • Say a kind word to the mother running errands with her kids.
  • Pay for the person behind you in the coffee shop or drive-through.
  • Leave a larger than usual tip for the service staff.
  • Make a donation to a charity of your choice. (It doesn’t have to be monetary – animal shelters, for example, are always looking for blankets.)
  • Make up care packages for the homeless in your area and distribute them or donate them to a local hostel.
  • Volunteer at a food bank, soup kitchen, nursing home, etc.
  • Leave some coupons or vouchers for someone to find. (I’ve handed them to people behind me in the checkout queue.)
  • Send a bunch of flowers or a card to someone you care about.
  • Leave a positive review or message for a company who deserves it.
  • Cut your neighbour’s grass, rake their leaves, etc.
  • Offer your babysitting or cooking services to a new mother.
  • Pop some extra coins in someone’s parking meter if it’s about to run out.
  • Smile at a stranger.
  • Let a car pull out ahead of you.
  • Tell a friend or family member what you admire most about them.
  • Visit an elderly neighbour.
  • Give a genuine compliment.

Kindness doesn't have to cost a thing... but it is priceless.

Spread positivity by performing a random act of kindness – Scout in sun dress

You never know when someone needs even a small sign that things will be OK, and a simple gesture can make all the difference. Even a smile can change the fate of someone who feels like no-one cares. A coupon can take some of the stress and strain off a family when their budget is stretched. And a compliment can mean the difference between a mother feeling like she can’t cope and feeling like she’s actually got some things under control.

Spread a little sunshine and positivity with a random act of kindness, and see if your own life isn’t all the lighter and brighter for it.

What will your random act of kindness be?

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  1. I am all about the random acts of kindness. I always bring back carts for people if I can at Aldi and often leave one for others so they don’t need to use a quarter. Hold doors for others. Compliment people’s awesomely bright colored hair or maybe their kids. I point out the well behaved kiddos too… Since I have had my fair share of the opposite. And then when I see that mama struggling I give them that I have been there smile or help with something if I am able. I let others hop in front of me in the line to check out. I have had lots of kind strangers do these things for me as well. I don’t know if it is the area I live in but people often strike up conversation at the store or hold a door or say kind words. Just the other night I had a grocery cart over flowing with food and had the baby start screaming at the check out. The long line behind me was saying nice things. They asked if it was my first and I said no and someone said… I can tell you are keeping your cool. I even had a woman offer to help me when she was done checking out. I declined but it was very nice and made me feel better about my grumpy babe. I have had someone leave me a starbucks gift card on my windshield one year and it made my day… It was for $5 but brought me alot of joy. Oh and the other day a lady walked up to me and handed me a flower plant at the store when I was bagging with my oldest daughter who was sick. It was very kind. So now when I look at it blooming it makes me smile. Yay for random acts of kindness. Good to have a reminder of all the good there is in the world.

    • Those are all such beautiful gestures, and good suggestions for what others could do to pay it forward. I’m adding some of these to my list. =) Thanks so much for sharing, Stacy.

  2. Catherine Inez Kirby

    I looked at the “Urgent Needs” list at the YWCA, and that is where I will donate things I have to donate that are on that list, including hand soaps, baby things like burp rags, toddler clothing, and some household cleaners. Toddler clothing was in bold, so it makes me happy that they will be glad to get it all. I was glad to get it too!! I have been the receiver of plenty of things, including toddler clothing, which my very large 19 month old has outgrown. I like to know they will be happy to get what I give them! I recently donated two blankets to a veterinary hospital, and they were happy to take them too! The woman at Goodwill thanked me for my donation of kids clothes recently too. It made me feel good. I also Got kids’ clothes there. Great deals!

  3. I have suffered from depression all my life. My journey of performing RAKS started as a way to try to help other people not feel how I was feeling. I realized how much better I felt doing them. I try to do, at the very least, one RAK while I’m out. I’m not out much, so I do what I can from home. I always feel better afterward.

  4. My own daily mantra…

    Who will you smile at?
    Who will you hold the door for?
    Who will you not dismiss, but look them in the eye and really listen to?
    Who will you remember in prayer?
    Who is lonely that would love to receive a message from you or hear your voice?
    Whose day can you absolutely change?”

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