Random Acts of Kindness


What’s the Most Heart-Warming Help You’ve Ever Received from a Stranger Abroad?
Did you know that November 13th is World Kindness Day. Oh, you didn’t?  Well, now you do, so you have no choice but to join the party. How does one “celebrate” kindness, you ask? How can you make a difference when you didn’t know Kindness Day was even a thing? And you are, frankly, pretty busy sitting on your really comfy couch)? 
To help you get your kindness on, here are 7 ways to save the world without getting off that couch. 

1. Take Care Of Yourself
First off, you can’t save the world if you don’t take care of yourself. We thought it would be a good suggestion for you to go take a bubble bath and enjoy time to yourself, but that would require you moving, so bubbles are out. Here’s what you can do instead:
Go to futureme.org and write yourself a letter. Seriously, write a letter to your future self. Pick a date in the future… a week from now, a month from now, even ten years from now and write an encouraging note to yourself. The site will send you your letter on the date you specify.
Congratulate yourself on losing weight or finishing that homework assignment. Tell yourself that everything is going to be ok. Remind yourself that you are awesome and you make this world a better place just by being you. Maybe even give yourself a cool new nickname? Now you’re getting the hang of it, Sparky.

2. Write Someone A Letter of Gratitude
This can seem like a difficult task since no one “writes letters” anymore. Let’s make it really easy for you. Skip the pen and paper. Take the sentence below, fill in the blanks, then post it on a friend’s social media feed. Easy peasy!
“I’m so glad you’re my ________. Every time I think about you, I feel ________. You probably don’t know this, but I’ve always admired ___________ about you. I wanted to take the time to tell you, because ___________. Just know you have a fan out there in this crazy world and I appreciate you so much!

3. Donate Some Dough
Hop on your favorite charity website and donate some money. Don’t have a favorite? Think about organizations that benefit the world (check out charitynavigator.org to find legitimate organizations that truly need your help).
When you’re done, check out freerice.com where you can play fun quiz games where each correct answer you give, they donate 10 grains of rice. It’s a unique way to help feed people you’ve never even met! 

4. Order Flowers For Someone
Get yourself on the internet. Wait, you’re probably already there if you’re sitting on your couch reading this blog post. In that case, think of someone who totally deserves flowers right now, preferably someone who rarely receives them. Got it? Now, do a search for a local florist in their area. Find the prettiest, brightest, happiest bouquet (that fits your budget) and send it to them! Bam. You’re a hero.

5. Send A Positive Text
Hopefully you won’t have to move yourself too much by getting off the sofa to get your phone. We apologize if we’ve disturbed your comfy couch cocoon.
This one is about as quick and easy as it gets. Pick one person (or your entire contacts list!) and send them an uplifting text message. Here are a few examples:
“Mom, you are the mommest mom ever.” (translation: you’re amazing and I love you.)
“Jeff, I know you’ve been having a rough couple of days–here’s hoping today is really good… or at least not as bad as yesterday.”
“Ms. Johnson, thanks for helping me through that math homework. I finally feel like I ‘get it’ thanks to you. #teachersrock”

6. Recycle
No list claiming to save the world would be complete without mentioning recycling. We all know it matters. When you’re done with that soda can sitting next to you, make sure you put it in the recycle bin. Also, just a note–if you have been eating peanut butter with a spoon and you finally finished it, DO NOT leave it in the sink with hot soapy water. Hot soapy peanut butter smells terrible. Trust me.
You could step up your efforts and make your couch even more comfortable with a little crafty project. How about recycling that old sweater in your closet? You know the one…where you spilled some hot sauce on the sleeve when you were at that taco joint down the street? Check out this tutorial to make that sweater into a sweater pillow! Magic!

7. Plant A Garden
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. This one will require you to get out of your marshmallow seat and get dirty but you couldn’t be more wrong! I’m not actually suggesting you lift a finger (yet!). Actually…I take that back. You will have to lift your fingers: Search for organic, sustainably-farmed seeds. Pick your favorites (mmm…. parsnips) and order a few packets of seeds. If you don’t have space for an outdoor garden, get a few herbs and grow a mini herb garden in a window sill. Hint: fresh mint is super easy to grow and makes for the best mojitos. Gardening is good for the soul. Eating what we grow is good for the belly. Understanding and appreciating where our food comes from is good for the world.

So there you have it … seven very easy kindness ideas that you can do from the comfort of your couch to celebrate World Kindness Day.
These ideas aren’t anything earth shattering- they won’t make the evening news. No, they really won’t even save the world Superhero-style, but they will make a huge difference. You will make a difference in the lives of the people you reach out to. Who knows, you could make all the difference to someone who really needs a kind act just now. Your kindness will inspire them to pass it on and be kind to others. That business can easily start a chain reaction of kindness which would indeed save the world, not Superhero-style, but You-style.

To honour this “global celebration dedicated to paying-it-forward” in the name of cultural connectivity, respect, appreciation and solidarity – the staff at AFAR reflected on the most generous help ever received from a stranger abroad. Since now is more than ever a time to seek diverse perspectives and be kind and open-minded toward all people, no matter how dissimilar, they hope that their stories will remind us that there is still plenty of humility out there, and that in the end, it’s our differences that make this world a vibrant place.

Here’s one story … “Two girlfriends and I arrived late one night at the Brussels airport from Ireland. This was in the days before the Euro—there wasn’t an ATM available at the airport and we only had Irish Pounds. We thought we were going to have to spend the night in the airport when an Irish man offered to share a taxi with us into the city. He paid for the cab, dropped us off at our hotel, and wished us a good trip. The next night we walked into a random restaurant, and the man was sitting there by himself having dinner. We all sat to eat together, and we were able to repay him for his generosity the night before.”
Jordan Robbins, Corporate and Donor Relations Development Office of Learning AFAR

Let’s hear your story before next November 13, so that we can share and be inspired! 

Acknowledgement: 7 WAYS TO SAVE THE WORLD by Brooke Jones, November 1, 2016

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