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Random Acts of Kindness Week February 14 through 20


Valentine’s Day is for lovers, and it gets all the hype during the month of February.

However, the week of February 14 through 20 is known as Random Acts of Kindness Week. For seven days, you’ll have an excuse to do nice things for others -- not just your lover, but anyone, even strangers.

A plethora of scientific studies suggest that paying a kindness to someone else will make you feel better too, whether the gesture is big or small. Here are some suggestions to inspire you:

1. Surprise your spouse by ordering lunch and having it delivered to their place of employment. You could do this for anyone that you know well enough to order what they like without asking them.

2. When ordering your morning coffee and/or breakfast sandwich, pay for the next person in line. If they try to refuse, just tell them to pay it forward.

3. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Walk dogs, pet cats, play with them, feed them, and help clean up after them.

4. Volunteer at a nursing home. Sadly, many residents don’t get regular visitors and would love to have someone to play cards with, or to read to them.

5. When you are standing in the checkout line at the supermarket, and you see someone with only one or two items, let them go ahead of you.

6. Offer to mow the lawn for an injured or disabled neighbor. If they already have lawn service, maybe they could use a little help with some simple household chores.

7. If you are cooking a meal, and you know you will have plenty of food to spare, bring a plate to a friend who doesn’t like to cook or simply doesn’t have time to.

8. Buy a homeless person a meal or even a gift card for the local supermarket.

9. Smile at everyone you make eye contact with. Sometimes that’s all it takes to brighten someone’s day.

10. Give away belongings you don’t need or don’t use, such as clothing, kitchen gadgets, tools, furniture, or anything that’s just taking up space or collecting dust. There are people out there who need the items you don’t have a use for.

These are but a handful of ideas. There are innumerable ways of incorporating kind gestures into daily life. Donate money to a charity; if you don’t have extra money, volunteer your time.

If you have no spare time, let someone merge in front of you in traffic or give away that department store gift card you know you are probably not going to use anyway. You also can help your neighbor carry her groceries up the stairs or make lunch for your co-workers.

Seize every opportunity to perform a kind gesture, do anything you can to help someone or make them feel special and appreciated. Kindness is contagious; it has a way of spreading. It doesn’t hurt to remember to be kind -- always.

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