When I was younger, I didn’t think that I had special talents like other people did. I was just the skinny, quiet Asian girl with big glasses and braces. So, I thought, well, if I can’t be really great at something, at the very least, I can be known as “the nice girl”. So, I tried to be nice to my peers.
As I got older, and started to embrace my unique gifts, (everyone has these) I started to care less about being the nice girl. When I was busy with school, work, and babies, I subconsciously told myself that I don’t have time to be nice anymore.
About a year ago, I realized that I was wrong. The world is craving kindness! And you know what? Kindness doesn’t have to take too much time or effort. Here are some ideas on how to show kindness.
Open the door for pregnant ladies, new moms—or anyone, really.
When I was pregnant with my first child, two gentlemen walked ahead of me and opened the double doors on each side of me. I felt like a queen walking through those doors!
When I was a new mom, it was overwhelming to go shopping with my new baby and a stroller. It meant the world to me when someone helped me open the heavy doors in front of me.
Instead of sending a boring text message, send a voice “text” message.
I don’t know about you, but I am on screens so much that I start to hate my cell phone. Instead of sending another monotonous text, send a voice text. I bet your loved ones would love to hear your voice!
Send snail mail.
I have a bad habit of only opening my mail once per week or once every other week because I like to avoid unexpected bills and useless paper. Snail mail from a friend is usually a welcome surprise!
Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
If someone takes your place in line, don’t get all bent out of shape. Maybe she had a lot on her mind and wasn’t thinking when she stepped in front of you.
Smile and be friendly to strangers.
Strike up a conversation with someone and see how someone’s day is going. If you are practicing “social distancing”, you can still do this from a distance.
Say nothing negative for a day.
This is good for the mental health of you and the people that you live with.
Be curious about someone else’s views without voicing your own opinion.
There’s a lot of division in the world—it’s really concerning and heartbreaking! When you have the time, why not sit down with Uncle Fred and ask him why he believes the opposite of you when it comes to Issue X? If you genuinely care to learn, Uncle Fred will probably be happy to share with you, you might learn something, and the whole conversation might bring you closer together. Uncle Fred might even ask you to share your views with him. I struck up a conversation like this with my aunt a few years before she died. If I had not initiated this conversation, I might not have known her or respected her as much as I do now.
For more ideas, check out Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, The Kindness Challenge. What other ideas do you have? I need more!