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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Six Random Acts of Kindness That Are Totally Free

In a world where there is so much sorrow, there is a definite need for sunshine. Our little family accepted a challenge to share kindness everywhere we went. It became almost like a game. It all started about a month ago when we went to Walmart. My daughter noticed that almost everyone looked stressed, tired, and... kinda grumpy. She Said, "We should see how many people will smile back if we smile at them first!" Then my son added that there needed to be a winner, everyone agreed. The first person to get 20 people to smile at them would get to choose dessert.

We continued shopping and my kids smiled, made eye contact with people, gave genuine, heartfelt compliments, and waved at babies and kids. We got over a hundred people to smile back at us that day and, BONUS (!) we went to Wendy's for Frosties afterward. It was a super fun experiment that 1) made my shopping experience a lot more enjoyable and 2) made my children think of other people and how their actions affected their feelings. In the end, everyone was a winner.

Every time I think of that experience at Walmart, I think of this quote:

And I absolutely think it is true. The world would be a lot more lovely place if we would all lose ourselves in the caring of those around us. So today I am extending my daughters challenge to you. I challenge you to see how many people you can make smile. Your acts of service may be the thing that brightens someone's outlook on life and could even be a chain reaction of goodness. One smile, one kind word is all it takes.

In case your not sure where to start, I have a list of six simple random acts of kindness that are effective and won't cost you a single cent. 

1.  Smile. Simply smiling at someone can brighten your mood as well as theirs. Eye contact is pretty important, too. Smiles are always free and very effective.

2. Allow someone to go ahead of you at checkout We all know how it feels to be stuck behind a long line of people when you are trying to get out of the grocery store. It's a lovely feeling when someone offers you their spot. It is a small and simple gesture that goes a long way and is often very appreciated. 

3. Give a stranger a compliment This is actually one of my most favorite things to do. If I see someone wearing a cute outfit or if I think their hair is especially pretty I will make an effort to tell them so. Everyone likes unsolicited compliments. I love seeing faces light up when they receive a true, heartfelt compliment. Give it a try. 

4. Read to a child/sibling/or at a care center Reading is a great way to serve others. It will only cost you your time. Helping foster a love of learning is a wonderfully rewarding way to show love and kindness. You could even contact your local library and see if they will allow you to volunteer your time reading.

5. Volunteer at a soup kitchen There is always a need for volunteers. It's a great way to meet and connect with new people and hear about their lives. 

6. Return a cart for someone in a store parking lot I remember being a new mom with my tiny baby. It was cold outside and he was crying. I was trying to hurry to load the groceries in the car while consoling him when a kind woman came up to me and helped me not only put the groceries in my car but then took the cart back inside for me. To her, it was probably no big deal, but on that day it meant the world to me. 

There are so many opportunities for service and kindness all around you. I would love to hear yours! 

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