Recently I was challenged by The Human Preservation Company and Pseudio (see their super cute video here) to commit a random act of kindness, and as a kindness enthusiast, I gladly accepted the challenge. However, after some thought, I really struggled in thinking of the perfect thing to do. While trying to get to sleep (no less) I was wracking my brain trying to think of a grand gesture or something that I hadn’t done before. But then it dawned on me…
Acts of kindness don’t need to be grand gestures at all; in fact, they can be the small things and little decisions we decide to do each day.
To respond to this challenge, and to help you along as well I decided to round up 10 simple ways to spread kindness. Now none of these break the bank, or really require a tremendous amount of time or effort, but they can make a huge difference in someone else’s day.
If you’re not familiar with these Be Human tee’s, The Human Preservation Co is a local company here in Halifax that takes a portion of their proceeds and creates a fund to commit random acts of kindness. Inspired by the story of Matthew Jackson who tragically lost his life after performing an act of kindness, and as a result, the Human Preservation Co hopes to instill a legacy of good for #matthewslegacy.
“The Human Preservation Co. was created to celebrate those who believe in good. Our affect on the world can be profound even with the smallest gestures. This isn’t about saving the whales or reversing global warming, but just being a good human to others”.
Having learned more about the Be Human t-shirts, and the Human Preservation team it’s become clear the that these t-shirts not only generate money for random acts of kindness but are almost like a contract or a pledge in and of themselves. Because while wearing one you really can’t be a jerk (or at the very least you feel obligated to be kind in some way). It’s kind of inspiring because the shirts are almost like a little extra incentive for the day to be a little bit kinder, or a little bit more considerate, and let’s be honest we can all use a little more of that no?
10 SIMPLE WAYS TO SPREAD KINDNESS
1. MAKE TIME FOR THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE
Whether it’s a cup of coffee with a friend, or a phone call to a relative make sure you give them your undivided attention. That means no cell phones, no laptops, no likes, and “just one second”. You turn those puppies off and tune into the person in front of you. We know that one of the best ways to get through something is to talk it out, so be a good friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, daughter or son, and listen. It might not seem like a grand gesture, but to other person sitting across the table, or on the other side of the phone it could be everything.
We know that one of the best ways to get through something difficult is to talk it out, so please be a good friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, daughter or son, and just listen. It might not seem like a grand gesture, but to other person sitting across the table, or on the other side of the phone it could be everything.
With the wonderful world of social media, we’ve become a bit lazy in our relationships, and we think that because we know what someone has had for breakfast we know what’s going on in their lives. But the truth is we don’t. Which is why we need to ask, and then we need to listen. No drive-by friendships, or relationships okay? Let’s be better humans.
It surprises me how much we hold onto things we’re no longer using anymore. I get that you might have had your first date with your husband in that dress, or maybe you kissed your first crush, but realistically are you going to wear it again? Could it have a happier home with someone else who might actually use it? Most likely.
How about taking a photo of it, and logging it away in the memory banks, and moving on instead. We create so much waste with our clothing, and I really don’t think we realize the environmental impact it takes on the planet to manufacture it.
So let’s all be human, and be a little more aware, and let go of what we’re not using anymore and be mindful of what we are choosing to take in our lives.
Just as a heads up Shelter’s (especially the men’s shelters) are always looking for clothing donations in particular socks (just please make sure they are clean and in good condition). Read more about my #FEEDITFORWARD Campaign with Maple Leaf Foods here.
3. PAY IT FORWARD
One of my FAVORITE acts of kindness is to pay for people’s food while going through the drive-thru. It’s one of those acts that is completely random, and one that the person can’t protest because you are long gone before they realize. I swear it’s the best feeling in the world and one that I do as much as I can.
While I know you dearest blog reader can’t always afford to pay for the person’s food behind you in the drive-thru (I mean A&W sure knows how to hook up a girl thank you btw) you can certainly pay it forward in smalls ways like even just getting someone a cup of coffee! or a little treat! Or even just holding the door open for someone when they have their hands full, or letting a car pull out into busy traffic. The idea is just to provide assistance in any way that helps to make that person’s life easier even for a moment.
I worked with the sweetest woman at the hospital (actually miss her so much), but she (yes I’m talking to you Shirley) told me that every day she does one good deed for someone else. And I’ve honestly taken that tid bit of wisdom with me, and I really try to practice it at much as I can.
You might notice that this suggestion doesn’t have a photo, and that’s because I teamed up with a local video blogger Dave Culligan for this one! We grabbed some of my gift cards and hit the Terrace at the Halifax Shopping Centre to film a short little video of our random acts of kindness. You won’t want to miss it so stay tuned.
The one thing none of us can get more of: is time, and how you choose to spend it really says a lot about you. Volunteering can take many forms, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be a habitual thing either.
Maybe you volunteer your time to a friend to take them out shopping because they are starting a new job after finishing university and need help to make that transition from sweat pants to trousers. OR maybe you volunteer at shelter and serve meals on a holiday like Christmas (strongly encourage this one). Maybe you dog sit for a friend or neighbor for a couple days while they go visit with their sick relative (I really miss you Jimmy Choo and our strolls around the block xoxo). Whatever skill you have share it around once in a while trust me it feels good.
5. LET GO OF EXPECTIONS
When you stop expecting and start giving you’ll be surprised what comes back to you. No one can read your mind, so unless you’re upfront about your needs or wants no one is going to know how you feel. Consider putting out what you’d like to receive instead, or being who you want other people to be. And stop expecting to get it back because resentment is not kindness, and if all you want is accolades you’re in the wrong department, my friend. Give it, and let it go.
6. SHARE SOMETHING
I am FOREVER giving away book recommendations, but do I actually give away my copy? Not always. Like Jerry Seinfeld says, it’s kind of silly to hold onto our books the way we do. It’s like they hang up in our houses like trophies collecting dust, because let’s face it we’re probably not going to read them again. Why not share them?
If you like it, pass it on. If you have anything you think will help someone else like a book, a product, a contact, an osteopath recommendation, pass it on.
7. STOP JUDGING OTHERS
A habit we all should break is thinking we know something about someone when you most certainly do not. One of the things I really try and catch myself on is judging others from a distance whether it’s their outfit, lifestyle choice, or otherwise.
A lot of times this is something that’s completely inside our own heads, and maybe never sees the light of day, but it’s energy you don’t want to put out. Instead of judging someone else because they are different how about celebrate them for their brave choice or their individuality?
How boring would the world be if we were all the same? Like Bob Dylan’s gramma said “everyone has their own story”, and who are we to judge it? Life can suck! Like major suck, so we really should assume that everyone is trying their best. If someone is rude to you in some way, or rubs you the wrong way just let it go, and if you have the opportunity to nice them to death DO IT. Maybe you can help break the cycle, and turn their day around: you never know.
8. PAY A COMPLIMENT
With things like computers and phone screens to hide behind it’s really easy to be mean because there’s no accountability, and you also can’t see the hurt in the person’s eyes on the other side. Instead of throwing shade every which way how about paying a compliment every once in a while?
If you like someone’s shirt, tell them. If someone has insanely flawless hair (like Candice above – she literally slept on that hair and it was just as perfect the next day if not maybe two), tell them. If you think someone did a great job at work, tell them. Instead of constantly pinning yourself up against everyone else, and making EVERYTHING about you and your ego try acknowledging someone else. Trust me once you start you probably won’t be able to stop.
Instead of constantly pinning yourself up against everyone else, and making EVERYTHING about you and your ego try acknowledging someone else. Trust me once you start you probably won’t be able to stop. Wait a minute, are compliments kinda like Pringles?
9. STOP EXCLUDING
We’ve all experienced it, I mean high school is pretty much the worst for clicks, and people grouping off. One of my favorite favorite things to do is get people together whether it’s an event, a potluck, a birthday whatever. I mean I did organize the East Coast Fashion Bloggers Event, as well as the Blogger Closet Sale. Ask anyone in the group I am forever trying to coax them into doing something together.
The sad things is, I’ve had people mention it to me on numerous occasions that they were surprised to get an invite, but honestly, I take the more the merrier approach always. I love getting people together in the same room, and I love sharing and learning from other people’s experiences. Let’s try and have an open mind for what the shoe feels like on the other foot, shall we? And let’s open up our tribe. #allthenewfriends
It may sound silly, but a smile can really go a long way. When you see someone on the street, or you encounter people throughout your day be sure to show them some kindness and understanding simply by giving them a smile.
Many homeless people will mention that the worst part about living on the street is actually that they feel invisible, and remember Bob Dylan’s gramma’s advice we can’t judge their reasoning for being on the streets we don’t know the whole story.
But one the best ways to help anyone feel included is to give a smile, or better yet a hello. It’s as simple as that!
A friend of mine mentioned to me recently that recently single he can go days without any kind of human contact. And I have to say that I never really thought about it before, but guys kind of have it rough in the whole hugging department. I mean I totally take it for granted because I hug everyone all the time, and sometimes when I’ve just met the person, but there’s a bit of a double standard that makes men a little less likely to jump in for a hug.
When you can give a hug, and if you can’t or don’t feel like it’s appropriate to do so, give a smile. It’s one of the best ways to make someone feel human. I mean I love me some social media, but I also love me some hugs!
Now you have 10 ways to get you started, so grab yourself a Be Human t-shirt, and spread some kindness already. Use the hashtag #behumanmeans so we can share the love around. T-shirts are available in store at Pseudio locations all over Atlantic Canada, and online here → The Human Preservation Co.
VIRTUAL HUGS FOR EVERYONE (unless you’re not into that then we in which case we can high five)
This post was sponsored by Be human, however, all opinions expressed are my own.