I love random acts of kindness and the idea of paying it forward. There are few things better than doing something for no other reason than the pleasure of making someone feel good.
What’s even better about being kind, is that it makes other people want to be kind also. Your one small act will spread like the seeds of a dandelion.
Here are a few ways to practice kindness that you might not have thought of, and they don’t cost a thing:
Listen without judgment or the need to give advice. This isn’t as easy as it sounds! Most of the time when someone is telling you a story about their life, what they really want is for you to “bear witness” and simply listen. Be present and let them speak.
Be honest and genuine. Doing what you say and saying what you mean, is one of the kindest things that you can do. Don’t tell someone that you are going to be somewhere if you don’t plan on showing up, or tell someone that it’s great to see them if you don’t feel that way. They can usually tell that you are being disingenuous.
Make someone laugh. I recently had one of the worst days of my life, and one of my funny, delightful friends made a silly comment that totally turned my day around. Sometimes a little laughter lightens the load and can make you feel like things aren’t so bad.
Pay someone a compliment. There are very few things nicer than when you receive an out-of-the blue compliment.
Take care of yourself. When you’re happy and you feel good, it’s infectious. It helps people just to be around you.
Barbara Buck is a Foundational Reconnective Healing Practitioner, writer, and teacher. For more information about her, please visit her website at www.barbarabuck.org