37 Ways to Start a Kindness Revolution

With all the nastiness we see around us in the news, it is more important than ever to ensure that being awful to others is not the new norm. It seems like being meanspirited and nasty has become commonplace thanks to reality television stars publicly degrading others and politicians who seem to lack even basic human decency. Being awful may be common, but we shouldn’t accept it as normal or even acceptable.

Almost a decade ago, I started a Kindness Revolution on Care2 and heard from people around the world about ways they were trying to be kinder human beings. Let’s revive the Kindness Revolution with simple but effective ways to be a kinder, gentler, more loving people to other people and to the planet.

Teenage boy is delivering some groceries to an elderly woman. He is handing her a shopping bag at her front door.

Here are some possibilities to get you started but I’d love to hear from you to learn how you are trying to be a kinder person. Or, if you know someone or some people who are doing amazing things to help make the world a kinder place, please share your stories. Thank you!

Hold the door for someone.

Don’t expect others to clean up your messes.

Carry a package for someone.

Say “please” when you’re asking someone for help or to do something for you.

Say “thank you” when someone has done something nice for you.

Listen when someone speaks. It sounds basic but most people don’t listen when others are talking; instead, they are planning what they will say next.

Let someone in line in front of you when you see that they are struggling or in a hurry.

Say “excuse me” when interjecting.

Take responsibility when you’ve been a jerk to someone.

Say “I’m sorry” when you’ve done something wrong or not so nice.

Don’t judge someone or jump to conclusions about them. Some of the nicest people may not look the way you think they’d look.

Don’t act superior to others. Many people think that they are better than others simply because they have a bigger house or bank account, drive a fancier car, or some other meaningless criteria.

Pay for someone’s meal in a restaurant. Years ago, my husband and I had fallen on hard times. We didn’t have the money to go for dinner but we desperately needed the time out from our difficulties. When we went to pay the bill, a kind older gentleman who we had chatted with had already paid the tab. We never forgot his kind gesture.

Pay for someone’s coffee in the lineup behind you at your local café or drive-through.

Leave kindness notes for people. I saw that someone wrote messages like “you matter,” “keep going,\” and other such words of encouragement on a bridge where people often tried to commit suicide.

Reach out to someone who lives on their own or an elderly person. Just knowing you thought about him or her may be enough to brighten their day.

Go visit some people at a nursing home.

Give random gifts to people even when there is no occasion.

Plug the meter next to yours, or one that is close to expiration, with some coins.

Don’t call people names. I’m linked to a wide variety of people so I often see things I wouldn’t see in my closest social circle, like people calling others “lib-tard,” “idiot,” or other such condescending and thoughtless names. Just don’t do it.

Praise someone who has done a good job.

Volunteer at a homeless shelter.

Volunteer at a food bank.

Volunteer at a women’s shelter.

Show compassion for someone’s difficulty rather than the common rudeness disguised as “just being honest” or “it’s their lesson to learn” or some other heartless, compassion-less response.

Organize a food drive for your local food bank.

Organize a clothing drive for a local charity.

Give up a bus seat or comfortable café seat for an elderly person or someone who is clearly suffering or in pain.

Go talk to the person at a party that doesn’t seem to know anyone.

Leave love notes in your partner’s or kids’ lunches.

Send an email or letter letting someone know you’re thinking about them.

Check in with someone who has suffered a tragedy in their lives.

Don’t judge people who may have invisible disabilities. There are many forms of disability, not all of which are obvious.

Smile at people around you.

Wave at your neighbors when you’re out in your neighborhood.

Stop supporting mean-spiritedness—if you see it on television, stop watching the show. If you see it in others around you, speak up.

Rather than just complain about injustices, take action. Start a Care2 petition or by signing one you believe in. Or write letters or march to take a stand. We can be part of the problem or part of the solution. Let’s choose the latter.

While it’s not one of the 37 ideas above, I’d love it if you would help spread the Kindness Revolution by sharing this story on social media. Let’s show the world that kindness always trumps cruelty.

 

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, preserving, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, & Cooking. Follow her work.

 

87 comments

Diane E
Diane E1 days ago

Thanks. when you start the day with a smile it brightens someone else's day too. Then they smile. It's a chain reaction!

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Joemar K
Joemar Karvelis5 days ago

Thanks

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Naomi Dreyer
Naomi D7 days ago

Thanks. I will try.

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Naomi Dreyer
Naomi D7 days ago

And we are examples for the children.

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danii p
danii p9 days ago

tyfs

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danii p
danii p9 days ago

tyfs

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danii p
danii p10 days ago

Thank you

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danii p
danii p10 days ago

Thank you

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danii p
danii p10 days ago

Thank you

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill11 days ago

thanks

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