With work, kids, household chores and the laundry list of other things on our to-do lists these days, sometimes taking time to be kind to others sounds like just one more thing to add to the list. But kindness doesn’t have to take much time at all. Try making these quick kindnesses part of your routine.
• Say “good morning” to someone: By acknowledging someone’s presence, even if you don’t know them, you’re showing them that they are important enough to say hello to.
• Let someone go in front of you in line: Even if you’re in a hurry, take a moment to slow down and be courteous of everyone around you. If you’re standing in line at the store or a restaurant waiting to pay, offer to let the person behind you go ahead. It will only add a few minutes to your wait.
• Give someone a hug: Hugs communicate many things. A hug can express that you care about the other person. It can comfort someone experiencing a loss. It can also be a nice way to say “hello” to a friend.
• Bring in your neighbor’s trash cans: An empty garbage or recycling container is light enough it can be tossed around by the wind, roll across the street or even block someone’s driveway. Next trash day, take a few extra moments to pull your neighbor’s trash and recycling containers in for them.
• Ask if you can help: Many times people have a hard time asking for help. They feel like they are inconveniencing the other person. The next time you see someone who looks down, frustrated or over-burdened, simply offer to help. Sometimes just knowing that there are others willing to lend a hand is enough to lighten the load.
There are many ways to be kind without spending much time. For more ideas or inspiration, check out The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.