in: Intentional Living

7 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Do Good Today

At some point, we’ve all experienced how lovely it can be when we receive an unexpected gesture of kindness. Here are some wonderful ways to do good today.

The world is full of problems. We can do our part to try to make a difference, but change takes time. It’s easy to feel frustrated. So, maybe we can’t change the world overnight, but we can change our little piece of the world right now.

August 25th through 31st is “Be Kind to Humankind Week.” We instinctively know how to be kind, but it’s worth a reminder. We can make this day just a little bit better for ourselves and for anyone who comes into contact with us. We can do it without spending a penny or a lot of time. It’s all so ridiculously easy and it comes back in abundance.

Join me in celebrating “Be Kind to Humankind Week,” by reading and committing to these simple ways to do good.

1. Acknowledge and engage with fellow humans.

We live in a fast-paced world full of distractions. It’s not uncommon to go for a walk or run errands without ever making eye contact with another person. How sad. And how easily changed. Smile at the cashier. Give a friendly wave to the mail carrier. Look the waitstaff in the eye.

Maybe it’ll come back to you, maybe it won’t, but it’s worth the effort. Personally, I feel good when I can exchange pleasantries with people I meet along the way, even if it’s only a passing nod of acknowledgement. Maybe the people I smile at pass it on.

2. Lend a helping hand.

It only takes a few seconds to make life easier for someone else. Holding the door for someone pushing a stroller, returning a shopping cart that’s too close to a car, or letting someone who looks like they’re struggling ahead of you in line are all gestures that take little effort, but can make a big difference. It feels good, too. But we don’t notice people who need help when our attention is on our cell phones.

3. When it’s people vs. technology, choose people.

I’m not against technology. Not by a long shot. I use it in my work to stay informed and to keep in touch from afar. But when I’m with people, I prefer to put the technology on the back burner and I like it when others do the same. It’s almost impossible to appreciate the moment or the people in it while you’re tweeting and liking and pinning or otherwise answering the call of the gadgets.

Rather than working on posting pictures of life as it’s happening, how about enjoying the moment as it unfolds and connectingreally connecting—with the people who are sharing it with you? How sweet it is.

4. Give a compliment, or graciously accept one.

Compliment someone on the job they’re doing. Offer a few words of encouragement; even better, tell their manager. Whether you do it in person or over social media, it’s sure to make someone’s day. And when someone offers a compliment, the gracious thing to do is to accept it, not to tell them they’re wrong to give it.

5. Bring back the common courtesies.

I know, I know. It’s old fashioned and probably not cool, but I like the common courtesies.

I recently witnessed a display of bad behavior that left a sour taste in my mouth for days. A man entered the gym with his daughter, who looked to be about five or six years old. He breezed by the receptionist, who asked about his daughter’s age. She explained that children that young must be registered. The man lost it. Called her a bitch. Loudly, repeatedly, publicly and completely uncalled for. What a better example for that man’s child if he’d dealt with it politely. And how much better would that receptionist’s day have been. Even though I wasn’t party to it, it made me feel bad, too.

Please and thank you, and excuse me. Passing behind someone rather than in front of them. As Seinfeld’s George Costanza said, “We’re living in a society!”

A recent study showed that rudeness can be contagious. I like to think that the niceties are contagious, too.

5. Become an organ donor.

It only takes a few minutes to register to become an organ donor, something that could someday make the difference between life and death for a complete stranger. You’ll never know the eventual outcome, but it’ll make you feel good today. When you feel good, you’re more likely to do good.

6. Neaten up your personal space and donate your clutter.

Sometimes, improving the world doesn’t involve anyone else. Maybe your yard could use a little sprucing up, or your home could use a little decluttering. As a bonus, you can donate the things you no longer use. Someone, somewhere can probably benefit from your discarded items. An uncluttered, comfortable living space can make you feel less stressed, so you’re in a better mood to go out into the word and spread good vibes.

Have a great day.


Written by Ann Pietrangelo

This article was originally published with Care2; republished with the kindest permission. 

[image: via shutterstock]

About the Author:


With over 25 million members, Care2 is the largest online community empowering people to take action on important causes and inspiring people to lead healthier, more sustainable lives. Visit today! Follow us onFacebook and Twitter.


Join our Mindful Movement!


Sign up today, and we'll share bi-weekly Mindful Moments, full of helpful tips, tactics, and content to improve your life!


"Without a doubt, the most engaging written piece on mindfulness!"

- a Mindful Moment Subscriber


(We'll never sell or share your information, either.)

You have Successfully Subscribed!