August 25-31 has been officially named Be Kind to Humankind Week so I've decided to make a list of nine kind of unusual (and some more usual) ways to reach out and be kind to your fellow humans.
Randomly offer to help someone with a task. Rake their yard. Hoist their kayak onto their car. If you see someone bogged down with grocery sacks, offer to lighten their load. Chances are they’ll wave you off with a “no, but thanks you,” but no doubt the unexpected offer of help will be remembered.
Say thank you.
Crazy isn’t it? Two simple words can have a way of making someone’s day. I recently heard a story about someone who manned a drive-thru window, she said the amount of people who acknowledged her presence was minimal. As long as they got what they wanted, they didn’t even say a word or look her in the eye. A drive-thru window may seem like such a brief exchange, but it can still have an impact.
Be open to conversation.
We all have busy schedules, things to do, and places to be. We stand in line at the bank, the grocery store, medicare. Each line is an opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know. Think about it, every time you walk past a homeless person is also an chance to converse with someone who’s had a very different journey.
Give the benefit of the doubt.
If you live in an area that is prone to road rage, flipping people off, and flat out confrontation, this one might be difficult. Maybe they are going through something and maybe their not. Giving the benefit of the doubt can be a way to be kind to yourself, too, since it lets YOU off the hook from stressing about it.
Make extra soup.
And share some with your neighbor. I have a neighbor that was kind enough to help when we needed someone to look after our cats. She didn’t have to come over but she saw a window to help and she did. Since then, every time I make chicken noodle soup, I bring over a large bowl... And then she leaves me homemade cookies (and cake. and pie. and slices…. I think I’m making out in the deal here.) The point is we continue to help each other and that’s so awesome.
Yep. Not much to it. A smile can go a long way.
Tell people you love them.
Even the difficult people. We all have reasons to not speak to someone who use to be close but has since drifted away. Maybe someone in our lives has changed so drastically we can’t stand to be around them. Whatever the case, if you love them, say it. It might be cliche to go on about how life is short and blah blah, but you have no idea when speaking lovey words might no longer be an option.
Get them a massage.
One of my favorite ways to be kind to humankind is massage. Surprised? Nah, didn’t think so. I could list for days the benefits of a great massage, but no one has time for that. Giving a gift certificate for massage is really sending two messages: 1. I care about you. And 2. You should care for yourself. And who doesn’t love massage? (Ok, some people might not, so get them a gift certificate for a foot rub instead.)
Get you a massage
You count. Be kind to yourself. ‘Nuff said.
Be Kind to Humankind Week doesn’t have to be all big and flashy, unless you want it to be. If big and flashy is your thing - have at it. There are so many ways to be kind; volunteer, join community organizations, and, if you’ve got them - act on those big ideas!