Kindness – One Act at a Time

A guest blog article by Pooja Ballantine (instrument of change, student, world citizen)

I have noticed, the society we have created, it is so often not unified.

We stand in elevators, walk the sidewalks, and walk the streets without saying hi to one another. We live right next to people and we have no idea who they are. Our neighborhoods are not really communities anymore but rather just the places that we live in and we happen to live next to other people.

This isolation that we have created isn’t healthy but all too often we sit here and wait for someone else to do something.  What we find is that all of us end up sitting and waiting for someone else to do it so we’re all stuck. It only takes one person to get the ball rolling and that person is you.

In an entangled universe like the one we live in, every kind gesture you extend towards somebody else is a kind gesture you extend ultimately towards yourself. When you extend out towards another person it is that which you should extend out towards yourself.  I’m not saying that there isn’t harshness and cruelty and that compassion and kindness do not exist. But by demonstrating compassion, kindness, and love towards other people, change can happen.

And the very best way to do this is random acts of kindness! When done, I challenge you to pay attention to the way that this causes you to feel, to the way that this is going to change your perception of the world around you.  Random acts don’t have to be big… simple and honest will do the trick.

I even have some suggestions for you:

  1. Write Anonymous positive notes on scraps of paper and place them randomly on car windshield.
  2. Buy coffee for the person behind you.
  3. Donate things from your house to a charity or a library.
  4. Create and give care package to homeless shelters
  5. Visit people in an old age home.
  6. Throw a surprise party.
  7. Help someone with something that you know they’d have to do especially when you know it would take less time to do with more people pitching in.
  8. Hold the door open for someone.
  9. Let someone behind you go in line in front of you at the grocery store.
  10. Give someone a great compliment instead of keeping the thought to yourself.
  11. Buy flowers
  12. Volunteer to walk and play with the animals at the animal shelters
  13. Bake cookies for your neighbors. Even let someone in traffic go in front of you.

This list is not limited – be creative! You’ll see how much our society will change in just a short time, especially if many do this – maybe the whole of the world. Not only is the society being changed in good way, but so is our very nature.

Honestly, be the change you wish to see in the world. One person at a time.  One action at a time.

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141 thoughts on “Kindness – One Act at a Time

  1. This article is beyond true and unfortunately, many people have forgotten common courtesy in our society. This has led to a very detached society and it’s members feeling distant and hardhearted towards each other. I agree that simple, small acts of kindness could be a great start in turning our society around and making it how it once was. Although this may not work for everyone, seeing as there are always those who are too selfish to care, this could significantly help. After reading this article, I feel as though I have been reminded and I would like to try and start carrying-out just a few acts of kindness wherever I can.

    1. Katelyn you have a simple, but to the point answer,everyone just needs to be nice and reach out to help one another whether it is through selfless acts of community service or jusdt a casual hello to your neighbor.

    2. Yes! Common courtesy. It is very forgotten in today’s world and it is very sad. I do not hear as many “please” and “thank you’s” as I should. Not many people hold doors for each other anymore. There are not many compliments given to people you see at the store or walking down the street. I feel like people are very selfish today in society. A great deal of this can have to do with the media and what is portrayed in front of us. It is easy to only focus on yourself and forget about those around you. I am glad this article can remind people that there are others around us and we should treat them with respect and try to get to know each other.

  2. “Final Thoughts with Tomi” is a video blog hosted by a proud and stubborn conservative. While I do not identify as republican, and usually hate her videos, she posted one about cell phone use that I actually agreed with. You mentioned that our neighborhoods are not communities, and you’re right. Children have access to so many things in the comfort of their homes, there’s no need to go out and make friends. It’s ruining our ability to socialize. By putting our phones away and talking to the people around us, we gain insight on the things going on around us, we have meaningful conversation, and we learn things. We live in a generation too afraid to call to make doctor’s appointments or reservations at restaurants, too afraid to ask questions, and too afraid to look “stupid” and it will only get worse. Engaging in conversation and being nice to others in one huge step in the right direction.

    1. I agree with you, Sara, that this generation is becoming anti-social. I disagree, however, on where to put the responsibility of this. You put the blame on the children and young adults themselves, but I believe the people responsible are the parents and the media. Children are naturally curious, and they have a drive to explore the unknown. These days the parents will not let children out of their sight. They don’t let children go out in fear they’ll be kidnapped if the child goes farther than a block away from their house. That’s why children are inside more often. The media is partly to blame because they instill the fear on the parents. When you turn on the news the breaking stories are always about kidnappings, murders, thefts, etc. That then makes an impact on the parents.

      1. You bring up a really good point. My grandma watches the news a lot so I can’t ever leave the house without a “be careful”. It’s interesting when you look at statistics how safe Chicago is compared to other cities, but most people would be surprised to realize this.

    2. You touched on a huge component of the problem at hand: fear. Everyone’s afraid of expectations, real or fabricated. We’re terrified to open our mouths and communicate. Obviously, something has to change in this respect.

      1. Fear is a driving force that paralyzes people from preforming an act, unfortunately we have become a withdrawn and shy society that is afraid to reach out and engage in proper social behavior.

    3. What began as methods of convenience have become debilitating crutches for all of us. Communicating through a handshake, a quick hello, or making eye contact is no longer a natural response, but a fear held by many. This is sad and unfortunate.

  3. This article was super inspiring! As much as I hate to admit it, I am definitely guilty of passing by people/neighbors without even looking up at them or making eye contact. In fact, I often do this on purpose. But why? What’s the meaning of this? Are we all so self-absorbed and concerned with our own happenings in our lives that we cannot even offer a simply “hello, how are you?” to a passerby? This literally takes zero effort and can really change your day around, as well as theirs. A friendly exchange and acknowledgement never hurt anyone.

    I think the main reason why we tend do stray from contact with others is because of fear of social rejection coupled with the fact that many people have social anxiety, especially developed within the past 5 or so years (don’t quote me on that, it’s just a guess from what I’ve seen in my perspective).

    Oh man, I used to be TERRIFIED to make doctor’s appointments or do anything where I had to interact with someone on a somewhat professional level over the phone. Can’t we just text them? Yes, it’s much less personable but my god does it relieve the stress and anxiety of dealing with the public.

    Ironically speaking, I am actually in the hospitality and service industry but generally tend to work at bars that are super lax and kind of promote impersonal or casual attitudes and behaviors, as if to make the customer feel their a friend of ours and that we can joke with them. If I had to work in a fine dining establishment…forget it.

    However, you’re totally right. It only takes one act to start the chain, one domino to make all the others fall. And it’s relatively easy and pretty painless – a hi here, a simple gesture like holding the door for someone there, volunteering your spare time to help/instill enjoyment in others (which you could also benefit from this too from a sense of giving back to the community and satisfaction.

    You’re totally right; it’s not that hard and, in fact, it’s not hard at all, it’s just a matter of making it happen and paying it forward. “It only takes one brick to make that window drop.” – Sublime

    1. I completely agree with you Maureen about not saying hi to my neighbors. They are my neighbors; I should be able to say something to them. At the end of the day, our neighbors are always going to be there for us, no matter what. For example, if I’m cooking and run out of something, I should be comfortable enough to go ask my neighbors if they have what I need, instead of running to the grocery store. I think they world would be a better place if everyone talked to each other.

      1. I definitely agree with you, because if you aren’t comfortable talking to your own neighbors about something so simple then maybe that community isn’t for you and that you have to question is it a personal problem or is something wrong with the community in which you are living in.

  4. I think this blog post is spot on about how change can happen through a domino effect; one small act of kindness can encourage others to do the same. I think the beauty of this is that no matter how small the act of kindness is, it will still leave some sort of impact. Whether it be greeting someone on the street, or holding the door open for someone, it has the ability to make someones day better. These small acts of kindness don’t cost us anything and they don’t have to take up much time. One small gesture can mean the world to someone and I think that taking the time out of my day to make someone smile is totally worth it. I believe that the problem is that people are too caught up in their own lives and in their own problems to stop and think about what others may be going through. A part of it has to do with selfishness but another part of it has to do with the fact that we live in such a fast paced world where you have to “cut the throats” of others in order to get ahead. But I feel as if everyone just took a few minutes out of their day to really, truly empathize with other human being, social change could definitely be possible.

    1. I agree with your recognition of selfishness as a part of this multifaceted problem. My generation in particular hardly ever hear the word “no” and are rarely obligated to anyone but themselves. That common connection with fellow human beings is lost on some people, but It’s practically in our genetic makeup to come together and help each other. A lot of us choose to ignore it.

  5. I 100% agree with this article and I also try to do nice things to people as much as I can. I work retail and I usually open the store and to every person that walks into the store I make the effort to welcome them and tell them good morning. It is very enjoyable seeing the smiles that appear on peoples’ faces just because I told them good morning. I also try to give customers at our store compliments, that too makes a difference in a persons’ mood that day. This kind of goes with the Pay it Forward movement which happened to me at the Starbucks drive through. The person in front of me paid for my coffee! I thought it was the nicest thing and I had no idea who the person was, so I did the same thing to the person behind me. Being nice to people really will get you the farthest in life, and I totally believe that. It isn’t hard to do one small gesture of kindness during the day, it should be made a goal, to do one act of kindness a day. I know I try to do it. I like the suggestion of letting someone go in front of you in traffic, because I don’t know how many times how happy I would get when someone lets me in their lane. I always give them a little wave when they do. I love this article, it has a great message behind it that a lot of people should start living by, because it really isn’t a difficult thing to do.

    1. I am thankful for people in retail like you. Every time I walk into a store there is always someone who says hi or good morning. It makes me realize there are some people who still talk to people they don’t know. It definitely improves my mood and makes me want to continue passing on the kindness. Or the pay it forward, I too have had that happen to me and I continue it by paying for the individual behind me. Just imagine how it would be if everyone just interacted with at least one other stranger every day.

      1. Thank you! I agree when ever someone does something nice to me, it always makes me feel in a way better mood and it makes me want to pass it along. I bet that if everyone interacted with a stranger every day the world would be a much happier place. Even though it is definitely a hard thing to achieve because we will all still have our bad days, but even if we do end up having a bad day that doesn’t mean we can take it out on other people. And we especially don’t want to take out our frustrations on the people that truly care about us.

    2. Your comment proves the point that it takes very little real effort to just do something nice for a fellow human being. I work in customer service and lightening the mood is a part of my job as well, especially when it comes to unhappy customers. People really just want consideration and acknowledgement most of the time. It’s an easy thing for anyone to handle.

      1. Yes I totally agree and sometimes it does suck working retail because you always get that one customer during the day that just woke up on the wrong side of the bed but the only thing that puts them in a better mood is just understanding their problems. Sometimes you do have to just suck it up and be nice to mean people but that also shows that you’re the better person in that situation. Working retail is very difficult in this holiday season, you get a whole range of people and their many different moods. But when you get extremely nice people working retail is very rewarding. Plus you learn new people skills.

    3. I work in retail too, in a hardware store as a cashier. Making small talk and laughing with them during a transaction could be the highlight of their day as they’re usually working hard throughout the day. Some work for picky customers, so helping start their day with a laugh seems nice. When the customers compliment on it, it makes me happy. Im sure all those customers appreciate you being nice and welcoming them in the store, not every puts that kind of effort in retail.

    4. It’s always nice to see that people working in retail jobs making an effort to make customers feel their best. Not only does it show that they care and acknowledge you as a person, but it also influences me to buy more at the store. This is because I want to contribute to help out that business and as a result help out that person who was kind to me. Along with that, it makes me feel at home. At my job, I try to do the same thing because I know it makes the customers feel at home. So, thank you for spreading kindness because every effort helps create a greater spread of compassion in our society.

      1. Alex, I agree with you on the customer service issue. I work in retail and find that acknowledging the customer, assisting with their needs, being friendly and positive makes them comfortable and you continue to see them return to the store time and time again.

      2. I totally agree with you because there is this little hotdog stand that I know of that serves great food but because the manager is always nice and greets me and asks me how my day is, they are the reason why I keep going back because they know how it feels to be on the other side and they are just trying to brighten peoples day up with food and a little conversation.

    5. I agree with you Veronica. I think if we start doing one small thing, others will notice and hopefully they’ll do the same thing. I used to work in retail as well and when I quit, I’ll go out and some of the employees are very rude. I understand that they are having a bad day or they just don’t want to be at work, but that doesn’t mean you have to take it out on the customer. The Paying it Forward movement happened to/with my friends and they payed it forward.

  6. This article describes exactly how it is wherever you go. Today everyone is walking around with their head down looking at their phone. We don’t take the time to look up and enjoy what’s around us. That includes other people, we have no idea how many people we could interact with in a single day because we are too busy staying quite. I think that we are stuck in this cycle of not saying anything so no one else says anything either. I will admit that I have been in that situation before. Like the example in the elevator, I won’t say anything because no one else is saying anything. How do we expect anything to happen if the others are thinking the exact same thing as me? Who is going to break the cycle and say something? Who is going to start the conversation and drive everyone to be social again? I know how it feels when there is one person who says hi and your whole day changes, and I would enjoy doing so. From now on I will be the one to say hello or good morning to a stranger and brighten their day.

    1. You’re right, it all starts with us taking the initiative. We can’t wait around for someone else to make the friendly comment or gesture. Social change starts within us. From there we can only hope for a domino effect.

    2. I agree with this, it takes an initiative to get something going. And my mom is the queen at talking to people. She will literally talk to anyone in the stores, at the mall, getting gas, etc. I used to be so annoyed by this when I was little but now I tend to join in. You meet some very interesting people and it is actually really cool. And then you make a new friend in the process. It just takes a simple “hi”, how are you?” This reminds me about when we talked about how none of us really know our neighbors and that is because no one takes an initiative to talk to anyone anymore, it really is kind of sad.

      1. I couldn’t agree with you more, I too used to get annoyed with my parents when we were out in public and they would start talking to random strangers. Now that I am older I usually join in and can have a conversation with everyone. I never realized the importance it holds. Aside from making someone’s day, it shows people that it’s okay to socialize with people you don’t know. It shows that it’s how the world works, without it we would never communicate and nothing would ever get done. I almost look forward to finding someone friendly who enjoys a little chat with an individual they don’t know.

  7. In today’s society people are less social for multiple reasons. We are distracted by many things such as video games, cellphone usage, and internet access. As described by Robert Putnam’s in his book titled “Bowling Alone” he shows how we have become disconnected from family, friends, neighbors and how we can possibly reconnect. This is extremely accurate because as mentioned in this article “Kindness – One Act at a Time” the author reminds us that “we stand in elevators, walk the sidewalks, and walk the streets without saying hi to one another”. If we want social change, we need to follow the random act suggestions listed in this article. I believe it is important to take initiation if we want to help contribute in making a difference in our community. We as individuals need to be role models and leaders to provide a platform that others can follow. Leading by example will show others the importance of taking initiation. Ultimately, our positive actions will allow for social change to occur but we need to conquer this one person at a time.

  8. Communication seems to be a dying “art-form” these days. People are more comfortable behind a phone or computer; they feel safe. We should understand that getting out of ourselves and helping other people is ultimately helping ourselves. You can’t keep the joy and contentment you are lucky enough to gain if you don’t give it away. We’re too introverted.

    1. That is unfortunately the way society if going and I honestly do not like it. Whenever we get into an awkward situation we just hide behind the screens of our phones. I know I catch myself doing this, especially walking to class. I will play on my phone just so I don’t have to acknowledge anyone. And then when I have my headphones in, it means I really don’t want to talk to anyone. My boyfriend and I made this little rule when we are together and that is NO PHONES! When we’re together we want to spend time with each other and not a cell phone. He used to bug me about it and I would bug him about being on his phone too much so we decided that if it is important you can use your phone but if not no phones allowed when we are together. It wastes so much time when we could be enjoying each others company.

      1. I completely understand and can relate to this as well. I too will walk through the halls with my eyes glued to my phone screen. This is so I don’t have to acknowledge everyone I pass or have an awkward stare down with someone. My family has one rule that is similar to yours. At dinner time there are no phones to be out while we eat. If your phone goes off you ignore it, unless it’s an emergency. It is so we can all talk and enjoy each other’s company without any distractions. We all do our own thing during the day so the one time that is guaranteed family time is dinner. We focus on each other instead of other things, like our phones.

    2. I recently watched a video on Facebook where they are opening restaurants where an individual can come in and sit in front of curtain. They can order their food and eat alone. They don’t have to worry about socializing with anyone else. I understand everyone needs there alone time but it’s always nice to have someone to talk too, even if it’s for a few minutes. I agree, we are lacking communication because we have other means of ways. If we’re out and we see someone we know, we’re not going to say hi, we are going to pull out our phone and surf the web just because we don’t want to communicate.

  9. I completely agree with everything this article is saying 100%. We avoid eye contact with strangers when walking down the street and some people do not even try to get to know their next-door neighbors. Doing a kind gesture as little as smiling at someone or holding the door open for them makes you feel good and the other person as well. For example, the other day at work a girl complimented my nails and it made me feel good. We should all say nice things to each other, even if we do not know each other, just to be kind or make them smile; it will make you and the other person feel good. Also, I have paid for someone’s coffee in a drive-thru line at Starbucks before because the person in front of me paid for mine and so on. Little things like that can go a long way in making you feel good about yourself and it could be as easy as smiling back at someone who smiled at you.

  10. The Sociological Imagination written by C. Wright Mills, states that people often are stuck in their own troubles and do not see them in the bigger picture. While social media connects us in ways it also disconnects us. We do not always look up, or around and see how our actions are affecting those around us. Who has not been in line at a store and heard an entire conversation from the person in front of you on their phone? Random acts of kindness do not need to be big gestures; sometimes it is just paying attention to what is around us. How about hold the door for others, look up when you’re walking so you do not bang into someone else, little common curtsies that have been lost could go a long way to connect us again.

  11. I think people nowadays are generally too focused on themselves and materialistic things to extend that arm and express that kindness. My mother, for example, is a businesswoman who thinks her time and money could be invested and more profitable elsewhere. Other than doing simple things that are generally considered manners, like holding the door, she wouldn’t go out the way to do something nice for a total stranger. I think there’s a lot of people out there who believe in that, which is why I feel like our society now has been so cold. Unfortunately, I’m also sorry to admit that I’ve been part of the problem because of this influence by my family. I tend to keep to myself and shy away from interacting with strangers. However, in light of the holiday spirit, I’ll be making more effort in becoming a part of the solution.

    1. That’s good. My advice would to be just start small. Start by saying “hey how are you?” Or something on the lines of that. I also like how you mentioned about holding the door. It has gotten so bad to the point where people won’t hold the door open for people which may come off as someone being rude. And that person could be even the nicest person in the world. As a result, leaves a negative perspective on that person’s identity.

  12. I believe I am a kind person, most people are. I can still do more, though. I just watched Slumdog millionaire and it helped me realize that I am very lucky that people around me and myself are respected. I need to help people each and every day. Not only do I need to, but everyone should. It will make the world better, happier. Just saying a nice compliment to someone can make their day. People don’t realize the affect they have on people. I agree, the list can go on and on you can never stop being kind to people. Do something kind today and don’t think of it as a chore, but just something you will now do every day.

    1. I agree with you, I’ve seen Slumdog Millionaire too and it is a very eye opening movie. When we come together and help each other, even if it is just a small gesture like holding a door open for someone not far behind you, it just makes you feel like a better person and that is how you gain respect for yourself and from others. Doing others good helps you better yourself, sometimes without you realizing it.

      1. I agree with you, and I feel like this can apply to people who are struggling in life, because if someone holds the door open for them or simply does something nice for them, then they will feel like they aren’t alone and that people do notice them, not saying that people don’t but in their eyes, they see the whole world as if they are the only one on it.

  13. I think it’s great that people want to go out and make the world a better place, but you gotta be careful how you do it. Those cookies that you brought to your neighbor whom you know nothing about could kill them — you don’t know if they have allergies to any of the ingredients you used.
    An observation: I’ve been homeless and I’ve had my share of handouts. The gesture is nice but it does nothing to eliminate the problem of homelessness, in actuality it perpetuates the situation.
    Kindness is a good mindset to adopt if you aim to make changes in society, but mindfulness is also a must-have quality.

    1. I agree with your statement about mindfulness and how it should also be taken into consideration. In contrast to the article, I personally much prefer to be left alone in my day to day activities, and to be quite frank, I find sudden bouts of unnecessary interaction disconcerting. If you’re being genuinely helpful to a person who clearly needs help, that’s one circumstance, but as far as your day to day life, and trying to make the best of an already busy schedule, I often find myself wishing some people would make less of an effort, as many of these interactions come off as awkward and forced, which really can’t be fun for anybody involved.

  14. Just holding the door for someone can give them something to be happy about. Not everyone thinks to do something nice for others because people are very self-absorbed nowadays. Sometimes you have to go out of your way to be kind to someone, but it is worth it. It makes me feel good to do something nice for someone else, even if they don’t acknowledge it. You can’t force others to be nice people, but being nice to them can help.

    1. I agree with you Connor McGinnis I feel like people nowadays only care about themselves, but where is caring about yourself going to get you in life. Sometimes when I hold the door for people they don’t even say thank you. I also agree that doing things for people makes me feel good. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t even do anything nice for people because some people don’t appreciate it.

      1. maiaoutlar,
        I hold the door for people that don’t say thank you all the time. The key is not to let it get to you. You should be glad when people do respond positively, but don’t let the negativity of those around you keep you from doing good deeds. And remember, you don’t just have to hold the door. If there are any other kind things you can think of doing, go ahead and try them. The worst thing that could happen is someone ignores your efforts. At least you know that you did the right thing.

      2. Connor McGinnis I agree that I don’t have to hold the door for people. I also agree that holding the door isn’t the only thing I can do for people but I feel like that’s the only thing I’m going to remember to do. It’s like I was being trained to hold the door for people. What are other things you do for people?

      3. maiaoutlar,
        Sorry I missed your question there. You asked for more examples of ways that I, or anyone lese, help people. I volunteer at my local church to help set up beds and tables for the homeless. It’s called PADS, and you can probably find one at a church near you. Just call or email the church, and they should be more than happy to provide you with the necessary information. You could donate to a collection, charity, or a place like Goodwill. People could always use the items they resell, and people from all different walks of life shop there. Hope this helps.

      4. I agree that only caring about yourself won’t get you anywhere. People need to work together and that is how we grow stronger. I know that it sometimes seems that people don’t appreciate what you do for them. Some don’t ,but some do. I guess you should help people out because you never know the effect it has on them or the people around them.

      5. Absenthail, I agree that you should help people even though you don’t really know the effect. I still feel like if people aren’t going to appreciate what I do then I’m just going to stop doing it. I also agree that people need to work together. If people worked together better things would happen in the world.

      6. Connor, I agree I do respond positively when people say thank you. I want people to know that they are thankful. When I do the right thing I don’t expect to me thanked. I do like knowing that people see do my deeds. I agree again that I don’t have to hold the door for someone. I just think that people should help each other out because it’s the right thing to do.

    2. I do agree with you, Connor. Being nice to someone can even lighten my day up. When I see them smile and become happy, just because I held a door open for them. I believe that joy and kindness should be spread around. Many people are self-absorbed nowadays. They think about them selfs and not many others. This should change, but how? People are brought up this way or maybe that is their personality. What should we do to make the world kinder?

      1. Absenthail,
        I would say to do whatever you can. Nothing is too small, and it probably won’t go unnoticed. If a family member who normally takes care of a chore is busy at the time, do it for them. They will be happy not having to do it, and will probably set the tone for the next interaction you have with them. Start small, then go big. Help at your local homeless shelter, or volunteer your time to someone who needs it. If you get other people involved in doing the same thing, hopefully lasting change will ensue. For all we know, you could create some company that helps the less fortunate.

      2. I agree, I help out my mom with chores. Even when she doesn’t say thank you I know she happy about it. When she has to do less and is happier I’m happier. I do agree with you in that I should start small and go big. I should have my friends and I help out at a homeless shelter. I am fortunate enough to have some money. I can eat every day and have shelter. Some people aren’t as fortunate and I want to help. Connor what will you do to help people? what type of company would you make?

  15. I definitely agree with this article. The small things that people do like open the door for me or give me a compliment makes my day even if I was having a bad day. I am though a little shy when it comes to giving out compliments just because I’m afraid of what they will say or how they will take it. Another reason why it can be so hard to be kind is that people sometimes often just don’t care. I opened the door once for someone and they didn’t even say thank you. That really made me not want to be kind anymore and somewhat made me mad. It is worth a shot to try and be nice because we need more random acts of kindness in our world today.

    1. I agree, little things can make my day better even if I’m having a bad one. I too worry sometimes about how people may take a compliment so I usually just say little things that are said to me. I realize that when I hold the door open for some people they never say thank you. This is why I always make sure I say it when someone does the same for me. I know it makes them feel better and myself as well. Although there are those people that won’t say it I think that by doing it over and over everyone will eventually say something and hopefully start doing this for others.

  16. In today’s society we keep to ourselves much more than we used to. For example, I was in an airport waiting for my flight, my dad an I were talking about how many people you see with their face down buried in their cell phones. My dad told me less than 20 years ago the airport was typically very loud because of all the conversations going on throughout the building, now it is very quiet and just the thought of talking to a stranger seems absurd. The advancement of technology and how involved it is in our lives is what makes people not make these kind acts anymore, all of out attention is directed towards a phone screen and not what is going on around us.

    1. I agree with you 100% we spend so much time on our phones and social media we barely talk to strangers. We think that with smart phones and social media a buzz that it would bring people closer together and not feel so much like strangers but it has done the complete opposite. There are less people walking up and striking off a conversation and instead just keeping to them selves.

      1. I feel that if people left their little bubbles for even a little bit then they could see just how precious life is and that you shouldn’t waste it by being on your phone all the time but by going up to random people and sitting down with them and possibly having a conversation with them and maybe even figuring out their life story and how they got to that point. I don’t know I guess I feel like some people are so self centered that they don’t even see what is around them and that you should just stop for a bit and admire life and stop being so careless.

    2. People hide behind their phones, it is unfortunate that the art of conversation is becoming a thing of the past.

  17. I remember when I was little in my neighborhood everyone use to say hi to each other, didn’t matter what we looked like what our skin color was. Now I feel like the roles have reversed no one says hi to anyone anymore and me being African American some people where I live act like they are scared of me or scared o talk to me. I think them being scared of me is kind of judging a book by it’s cover because you don’t know me , you don’t know how I’m going to act or what I do so why judge me or be scared of me. I feel like no one in my neighborhood knows anyone anymore , I feel like all of the people my family use to know has moved away. Not talking to anyone in your neighborhood is actually sad because what happens if something actually happens and you need their help?

  18. In today’s society people are becoming less and less social. Social media has brought reconnecting to lots of people but yet we spend so much time on Facebook, Twitter, etc that we forget that there are people right across the street. I agree that people have become so antisocial over the years and seeing this on a daily basis. It’s important to respect one another and our ideas and beliefs, and this I feel like also gets in the way of people socializing with one another based on either gender or how they’re dressed or religious beliefs. So many people are buried in there cell phones and not actually talking to one another in today’s society.

    1. I agree how social media has made us anti-social in real life, with us constantly on our phones, and headphones blasting music make us look unapproachable. If we manage to keep our phone down, and headphones out for a good moment, we might make a bunch of new friends or at least a conversation with someone who’s interested in the same things as you, if not the same things then about different things. When you converse you get to hear all these stories about people who’ve experienced a lot in life, and that could be used positively towards your own life as well.

      1. I also agree. Alisah, that is a great point. It is exactly why I stay off of social media. People are losing many skills due to a lack of having to use them. But, social skills are the most needed of all if one hopes to function as an independent individual in society. Now it is more important than ever that we interact with other people face to face.

  19. This article is a great way to motivate a change in the world. If everybody takes even just a small step towards a positive change, it could really create a positive impact on the world. This could also be a perfect example of Mills. One person doing small things to make somebody’s day would be the micro. The macro would be the world as a whole, doing things just to make another person’s day. Taking a step forward together is something that this country really needs.

  20. This article was truly inspirational. With all the violence and hate that we see in our society today, random kindness will go a long way. A small act of kindness from everyone will lead to society establishing a new and improved environment for future generations. Humans crave to be a part of a community, but don’t act on it. This article motivates people, that something so simple can really change our world.

  21. This world is becoming selfish day-by-day, they don’t talk to each other unless given a reason, they don’t help one another without expecting to get something in return. This articles comes as great motivation that many need, to perform a simple act of kindness. We live in a busy world, everybody needs to just take a moment a appreciate the people and things around you. Some may be surprised to see the other person smile, coming to this immediate conclusion that they’re doing it for a reason. You would notice that making someone’s day would instantly make you feel better as well. So go ahead and try it, smile and say hello to a stranger without a reason, if you work in retail give an appropriate amount of discount that the store allows you to a customer who’s polite, and you will definitely be happy and won’t regret performing these little acts of kindness.

  22. We are all naturally born selfish creatures. We are born to find ways to survive that would benefit us, as an individual, more importantly than anything else. However, when an individual takes the courage to step out of their comfort zone in showing care and compassion through simple, kind gestures, it causes a ripple effect in the eyes of others. When others see someone give back to the less unfortunate, it makes them also want to give back to the less fortunate, but their thoughts and wants remain frozen in time with no sense of progress being done. Everyone is all about words and not actions, but it would definitely be a different world if everyone tried to do at least one act of kindness to another individual without expecting anything in return. Perhaps negative stereotypes wouldn’t accumulate to such hate or perhaps the world could be just a tad bit less violent.

  23. This article is honestly so motivating! It is true, our world is becoming a cruel place, kindness is something so scarce and hard to find. I feel like now a days everyone is always in a rush to do things and never is in a good mood. We all individually can take part in changing this by doing little things as simple as complimenting one another or even holding the door open for the person behind you. We as humans often don’t take time to be thankful for the simple yet most meaningful things in life. Working in customer service I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. I can be in the best mood by the time i arrive to work and be in the worst by the time i leave, why? Because customers can change it based on the way they talk to me and treat me. We must understand that just because we are having a bad day, doesn’t mean it’s anyone else’s fault. A simple act of kindness can go a long way.

  24. This article needs to be mandatory for every school to read to their students, no matter the age. Kindness is something our world is losing a little bit more each day. Everyone is so consumed with their phones, sometimes I feel like they forget they are not the only ones in a restaurant. Working in a restaurant you can see all different types of people. Some will ask you how you are and how your day is, others will be so wrapped up in their cell phone they do not even make eye contact with you. I love holding the door open for the elderly especially when they have difficulties walking the smile that they give when they realize you went out of your way to help them it melts my heart. If everyone would just take a step back from their technology and actually see the world, I feel they would be able to contribute acts of kindness without even realizing it.

    1. Yes I agree 100%. Making it mandatory for students to read this article or an article similar would be so beneficial. School should teach some social skills along with academic material. This would be helpful to kids who don’t get the social skills from their parents or guardians. Kindness is such an easy thing to do, but yet it’s so often not done.

    2. Kids, especially young kids, are very impressionable. If the schools in our society were to encourage kindness, then kids would learn at a young age that being kind to the people around them benefits everyone. From there, when those kids grow up, they then can spread the lessons they learned as kids to their kids resulting in a better world for future generations to come. So, I completely agree that this article should be shown off in schools and, if we can go a step further, in the macro levels of our society in things like the media and government. Doing this would embed kindness into our society, thus making it into a social norm as you said.

  25. I agree that our community is not really a community anymore. What happened to knowing your neighbors, and saying hi to people you don’t know. I know my neighbors names but I actually don’t really know anything about them. I think that if we could all just do one thing nice, every once in a while we could help improve our community. Community is something that affects everyone even if it is not perfect our community will improve and make people better.

  26. With all the violence in the world today, I entirely completely agree that every little bit of kindness that you can apply to others makes a world of difference. Many people in today’s society ( both the micro and macro levels), do not even talk with each other anymore. I myself have found that I am more inclined to talk to people after experiencing an act of kindness from them. Your right when you say that the act of kindness does not need to be big. A simple compliment can engage me into a conversation. It also inclines me to return the kindness back and give them a compliment. Violence can be stopped if we simply continue expanding our kindness towards everyone and anyone.

    1. I agree with comment 100%. A lot of people are more focused on their cellphones and what’s happening on social media than anything else. I know a few people that still believe in common courtesy and go out of their way to hold a door open or say hello to someone. When did it start to disappear? Why suddenly is it uncommon to hear about good deeds being done? The world is already filled with so much hatred, we don’t make it better with being unkind to people.

  27. I LOOOVE THIS ARTICLE! I love this article because it’s just states almost everything that I talk about. When I walk down the street sometimes or even when I’m at work, I’ll say “hey! How’s it going?” you know? I do that because I just cannot stand sometimes how “by ourselves” we are and do not communicate. I believe that if you are apart of a community, you should do the best you can to get to know one another. At least have a bond to where you guys can say “how are you?” to one another. I mean, your family is a community, and you should have a relationship with your family. Like stated in the article, I all just starts with you.

    1. I completely agree with your statement! I work at my local Jewel, and I always make an effort to ask how customers and my fellow co-workers are doing. Its because I view them as an extended family to me since we work almost every day with each other. There are some people who work there, however, who do not do the same thing and choose to remain silent. Whenever someone does ask “how I’m doing”, it does fill me with happiness since it shows me that they care. I think if we all made an effort to ask how people are doing, then we would create a stronger community at work.So, I appreciate and thank you for your efforts to help build a better society through your kindness. It definitely is impact-full to those around you.

  28. I feel like technology is the problem now a days with stopping people from doing kind acts of kindness. Or if they do, they have to post it on social media to show other people and that’s not what it should be about getting likes or retweets. You should just do it to be a good person. When I go to Mexico every summer people are so kind every time strangers are saying hi, opening the door for you, or when eating at a restaurant the simple saying of “ have a good meal” when leaving the door. People in Mexico are way more alert of their surrounds and the people around them and I feel like that is key.

    1. I disagree with the technology aspect. I’m a computer science major, have probably spent half of my life now behind a computer screen, yet I’ve personally always show respect and politeness to others unless given a direct reason not to. Technology and social media are an extension of the mouth. You can be just as rude and bitter in-person as you can be online, and vice versa, you can show respect and kindness online just the same as you can in-person.

  29. Some older generations like to point to “millennials” and say that we’re disrespectful and that we only care about phones or technology or whatever. However, I work at a retirement community and, while some of the residents are very kind, some others, especially their spouses, are very rude and demanding. When I go out to places like restaurants with my friends, we’re always super nice to our waiters and anyone else working there. Even if they make a mistake, we’re understanding because it happens to all of us. Other times if I’m out with my parents, I sometimes find myself being more nice and courteous to staff than they are (not saying they’re intentionally rude). If our generation can start following this example and start showing this kind of respect, especially to strangers, we can not only prove to older generations that we’re actually the most respectful age group, but we can also help make the world a better place and pass these manners on to future generations.

    1. I agree with you. Older generations will agree that we are very disrespectful. Back then not every person had a cellular device or a tablet. Kids starting at a young age are getting these devices so why would they want to communicate with others? They can do everything on their devices. The summers used to be about hanging out with your friends or going to the neighbor’s house to play with the kids. I think every person should be taught to be kind and go say hi or even do something nice for someone else.

    2. Definitely agree with this. Ironically, the older I’ve become, the more I’ve come to laugh at the older generations consistently talking to and about us as being the ones responsible for all of the world’s faults, it’s quite pathetic in my opinion. I’ve met both incredibly kind as well as incredibly bitter people of just about every age group, so I don’t really think that we’re more kind per say than older generations, but I do believe that we at least attempt to show respect to our elders in general. But ironically, it seems more and more that we don’t receive the same in the end from the older folks, who often tend to just scoff at us as being “young and stupid” and move on.

  30. I really liked this article because it brought in a fresh perspective of why its good to be nice to people. While I don’t usually do acts of kindness for strangers, I usually make a habit of doing something courteous for someone in my group of friends. I try to let them know how important they are to me and it usually finds its way around back to me somehow. So thanks for this refreshing post, you changed my outlook on the day.

    1. Good start. Maybe one day from all those courteous acts towards your friends, you’ll be able to move on to perform acts of kindness towards complete strangers. You won’t regret it, it’s just an amazing feeling you get to have helped someone out without a reason, without expecting anything in return. I wish you luck.

  31. My neighborhood or the block I grew up on is very close. We do things together, cook outs, parties, sporting events and just hang out outside on nice days, kids and adults alike. We, as a family, also spent a lot of time with friend’s families from sports and activities. Reading this article makes me think how rare this might be. I cannot imagine not knowing your neighbors or at least acknowledging them when you see them. I think people for whatever reason have forgotten about common courtesies and being social. Just like shaking hands when you meet someone new, say hello to your neighbor!!

    1. That’s an amazing way to always stay in touch and updated with your neighborhood, and you are absolutely lucky to have neighbors who enjoy it, T. With where this generation is headed, it is extremely rare to have a neighborhood like that. Only if more neighborhoods start actively participating in social activities rather than keeping to themselves, it would be great as you guys could also help each other out in times of need.

    2. This is definitely something that I share as well, we’re friends with all of our neighbors and I’m quite thankful for that, because I’ve heard many horror stories of other people having neighbors that they can’t stand or don’t get along with. I think it just comes down to respect really. Especially if you are going to be literally living next to each other, I see no reason to go about having a bad relationship with a neighbor, because it would ultimately end up being like having a bad relationship with a family member. In either case, it’s just needless stress and bitterness in the end.

  32. I completely agree with Pooja about how the world is changing. People are not being nice to each other. Maybe, it has to do with the color of your skin. Growing up, no matter what skin color you were, I feel like everyone used to be so polite to each other. It’s the small things that will another person smile. I’ve had a few friends that tell me that the person in front of them at Starbucks drive-thru had paid for their order. So when my friends pulled up at the drive-thru, they ended up paying for the person’s order behind them. Paying it forward will really make someone’s day better.

    1. I agree also that the world is changing and so is the way that people treat each other. Maybe it does have to do with the color of your skin, that could play a big part in it, but the year is 2016 and I think we should be over that problem by now. It is sad that this is now actually becoming a bigger problem again and hopefully it gets better in 2017. And I also agree that little things like paying it forward in a Starbucks drive-thru line are awesome little things that could make you and the other person feel really good

    2. MiMiK, I agree that everyone isn’t nice anymore. I think that they can have anyone do anything for them and not say any words of kindness. I also agree no matter what you look like you should be nice. I think that if they are nice t you, you should be nice to them. Even if they aren’t nice or don’t even say anything to you the least you can do is start the act of change.

    3. For many people, the small things are definitely what mean the most. I’ve lost count of how many times in the past I’ve done the most simple of gestures and been genuinely thanked for them by others, it’s honestly quite surprising how much people appreciate an act that you would otherwise not think twice about. Like much of this topic in general, I think it simply comes down to respect, and we go about giving it to others.

  33. Many people would likely agree that our society has come to a point that kindness is often mistaken as flirtation, because so many expect to either not be treated at all/treated poorly, or be absolutely coddled in affection. Simple acts of chivalry and politeness, which in past generations were expected out of everyone, are now seen as hallmarks of a “good boy” or “good girl” due to their rarity among the masses. I personally cannot say if there is any one reason as to why we as people seem to have become extraordinarily bitter and cold overall, but if nothing else, it can definitely be said that most people nowadays seem to follow the “shoot first, ask question later” mentality when it comes to interacting with others, with little regard for what their words and actions end up doing to another person. It’s quite shameful in the end.

  34. It is my assessment that the lack of kindness in today’s society has been conditioned by fear more than anything. I agree with the message of this article, and I like the way the author talked about how we have created our own isolation by waiting for others to extend a hand first. To me, it stems from a fear to put ourselves out in the world. All too often we see how someone’s opinion, thought, or even their post on social media is met with criticism or aversion. And all of us have known the feeling of extending ourselves, our personalities, and our hearts to someone else and having it be taken advantage of, rejected, or beaten down. This develops a sense of shyness, of hesitation to look to the person sitting next to you and say, “Hi my name is.” Remember when we were kids, how easy it was to make a friend or start a conversation with a stranger. It was innocent, it was purely to either get to know someone or share yourself with someone else. But as we get older, and as we get hurt for being open to others, we begin to but up walls to protect ourselves. And the walls become bigger behind a cell phone or social media outlet. It’s much easier to create and extend yourself online than it is in the real world; you have more control over how others perceive you, and over who particularly can perceive you. To me this has fostered the development of a self-centered society. It is just a hypothesis based on observation and experience, so feel free to disagree, but I see the inflated egos, cold nature, and unwillingness of vulnerability of individuals as a result of protecting themselves from getting hurt. And what we’re left with, as the author suggests, is a society in which everyone is waiting for the other to make the first move. Nobody wants to blink first. So we become stuck. Stuck in ourselves, our situations, our status in society, because of an unwillingness to break out and show others exactly the kind of treatment that we want to receive ourselves. If nobody moves, no progression can take place. The author is correct, the responsibility to change first begins with the person looking at you in the mirror.

    1. Today I was blessed to see kindness at the post office. People sharing their cell phones, helping others carry packages, even offering rides. It was nice to see kindness winning. No fear. No worry. Just people co-existing.

      1. That’s wonderful, it’s always inspiring to see people who are uninhibited and unafraid to socialize and reach out and as you said co-exist with others around them. I don’t typically see too much of that out here in the suburbs, in fact I personally can only recall a handful full of times where I’ve witnessed something like you are describing. When I lived in Chicago however I saw situations like this a great deal more, people were always more likely to strike up a conversation with me on the L or on the bus, or even waiting in line at a coffee shop or the theaters. It’s interesting to me to see the differences in how people interact with each other between a suburban and urban setting.

  35. I agree that our communities are not the same as they were. I know a few people on my block but even them I do not know very well. I just say hi to them whenever I see them. There are not activities that bring a neighborhood together anymore, like a block party. In my neighborhood, we have not had any events that we all do together in over a decade. It is sad that many of these communities are not as close as they once were.

    1. I’m in the same situation in my neighborhood. Since moving, I’ve only barely gotten to know a few people on my block. I can’t even name my neighbor right across the street for goodness sake! Your completely right when you say that it’s sad to see that in today’s communities. It’s especially sad when I look at back at my parents’ neighborhoods when they were growing up. They have told me stories of how the entire community would come together to hold barbecues or Christmas parties because everyone knew each other. This is why it’s all the more important to extend a hand of friend of kindness out to everyone. I think if more people were able to go out and make an effort to know their neighbors by doing kind acts for them (take them out to dinner, give them gifts during the holidays, etc.), then we can rebuild community connections.

    2. Yes! I remember when I was younger, the entire neighborhood would gather around during the summer and have a barbecue or just relax outside with one another. Nowadays it’s harder to even get a smile from most people around your neighborhood. The atmosphere is just not the same. Social interaction is important in my opinion and people are more antisocial than ever.

  36. I love this article and totally agree that small little acts of kindness can drastically change one’s day. I already try to do at least one small kind act for somebody every chance I get as I know how they make me feel great about myself. As somebody who used to suffer from depression, small acts of kindness from strangers were some of my happiest moments and really brightened my mood. Simply flashing a smile to a passerby can suffice. It also makes me feel great when I do these small acts of kindness. I believe that people should do these things because we are all the same species and are all on this planet together.

  37. It’s sad that in today society you could preform a kind act and people might look at you funny. Say you wanna buy the girl behind you a hot coffee and you do do it, you might come off as being “thirsty” or something of that nature. In today’s society, it’s almost like we don’t care in one another, we care for ourselves. We as a society should focus on being more social instead of trying to be so quiet and isolated.

    1. I completely agree with this comment. As soon as you do something nice for someone it comes off creepy or weird. I just feel like most people aren’t used to having something nice done for the by a stranger. I think more people should be open minded when it comes to kindness. It’s rarer to see and eventually it might disappear altogether.

  38. It warms my heart to see such kind acts being spread. Everyone must treat people the way they wish to be treated and that is the plain truth. It is sad to know that some people do not even take time out of their day to have a small chat with their neighbors. I used to live in a neighborhood where none of my neighbors ever decided to introduce themselves to us as soon as we moved in. My neighbors were complete strangers to me and it should not be that way at all. If you have an opportunity to make a kind act, then take that opportunity. You can make someone’s day and make yours a little better, as well.

  39. I agree with your recognition of selfishness as a part of this multifaceted problem. My generation in particular hardly ever hear the word “no” and are rarely obligated to anyone but themselves. That common connection with fellow human beings is lost on some people, but it’s practically in our genetic makeup to come together and help each other. A lot of us choose to ignore it.

    1. I think that we can all agree upon the fact that the world isn’t exactly filled with the kindest people. From my personal experience working at Jewel-Osco, I can honestly say that random acts of kindness do give me a happy and well-being feeling in my stomach. A grocery store may not be your ideal place to witness random acts of kindness due to the fact that everybody is rushing around trying to get what they need for dinner at the last possible minute, but, one day I witnessed something that made my job as a boring old cashier worth the while. I was scanning orders and the man purchasing groceries at the time had whispered to me halfway through the payment and said “Do me a favor distract the customer behind me so I can pay for their groceries”. That is exactly what I did. You would not believe how big of a smile I saw on the customer’s face. I too was touched emotionally and it gave me a warm and happy feeling that inspired me to be more helpful to others. Yes , reading an article such as this one does motivate you a ton to get out there and offer acts of kindness to people, but witnessing the act is a whole different story.

  40. I love your article; it is right on target. I have been living in my house now for four and a half years, and I have only got to know three families from my neighborhood. We had the honor to get to know one family that lives across the street, we visited them about two times, and they did the same. Another family I met in the backyard once, and we exchanged some talk about kids and life but never had the chance to visit each other. The third family we met on the street once when we all had an electrical blackout. The rest of the neighbors, I have no idea how many family members they have or what they do for a living. The lady who lives adjacent from me never tried to say hello, I tried taking to her several times, but she only gave me a wave from a distance and refused to come close, I even invited her once to a party that I had at my house, but she also didn’t come. I don’t know if I should have tried harder. I have a very busy lifestyle, and barely have time for neighbors. But I will take your advice seriously and make sure to initiate something to get to know my neighbors better. Thank you for your nice words and kindness.

  41. I couldn’t agree more on this post. I must say that I am guilty for some of those things. I could pass my neighbors or someone down the street and not say hello to them. This article can start a really big change in your community. Just by doing small acts of kindness all over town might inspire someone to pass it along and then it becomes something you do without thinking every day. Saying hello or holding the door open for someone is just as easy as tying your shoes. You never know how someone’s day is going and that one hello can make someone smile for a lifetime.

  42. This post got me pondering over my show of kindness to those around me; at work, home; church, street and community gatherings. It is so sad that most people are found guilty of some of this little or no show of kindness towards another. People believe that only those who they know or have relationship with should be shown love and kindness. However, this wrong because everyone around us deserve some form of kindness and this act can save a life. I was going by one day, and the hello I said to someone changed her entire day. She finally told me that she had not felt loved ever but that single hello made her feel special. Kindness is an individual thing, we should start it from ourselves and not waiting for the society to do it for us. This post and some of the ways one can show kindness has reinforced me to do more about showing kindness.

    1. I agree with you! We never know what a person might be going through in their personal life so we should at least do something little which makes them feel special and makes you feel good about yourself too. I love how you made her day just by saying hello.

    2. I think the best way to show people that common courtesy is still around is to make it known yourself. YOU be the one to hold the door open for someone or YOU be the one to say hello first. It’s like the dominio effect, once it starts you can’t stop it. One person is all it takes to get the ball rolling. Any small thing can make a person’s day for a lifetime. You don’t know who its effecting. It shouldn’t feel like a chore, we should simply just do.

  43. I absolutely agree with this piece of writing! There’s already so much negativity in the world and the least we can do is to be kind to everyone around us. I would like to share an experience of my own and not because I want to brag or I feel proud, I want to share it because there a person can be inspired to do the same. This incident happened last year as I was leaving campus to go home. As I walking past the library, this lady stopped me and asked me if I can go to her house with her and bring her computer back to the campus because she needed to install something. At first, I hesitated a little but then I agreed and we walked towards my car. Then we went to her house and I helped her get the computer and dropped her back to the campus. The whole time she kept saying to me “you’re an angel that God has sent” because she was just so grateful. I, myself felt really happy and grateful that I got the chance to help a person in need.

  44. The decrease in community socialization is causing isolation and increased dependence on electronic devices, which is terribly unfortunate. I agree with the author everyone should step up and engage others by saying hello, hold the door for someone and lose your spot in line, help out someone out in the grocery store parking lot instead of fighting for the closest spot, Everyone can make a difference, someone just has to take the lead. By bringing your family, friends and neighbors together through organizing a block party or neighborhood BBQ, you can develop life long friendships and a stronger community. If everyone picks their heads up and starts a conversation, the next generation will know how to communicate and have fun without electronics.

    1. I agree with you that there is a lot more dependence on electronic devices especially social medias. People see an act of kindness only to those who are friends to them, and not those around them. I love to meet new people, engage in social gatherings and get to hangout in events as you described; block party, BBQ etc. Making people smile is key to what we are here for on earth; everyone needs someone else in life. A little kindness as far as just smiling is important because a life can be won from suicidal thoughts.

  45. Yes! The idea of random acts of kindness is a really a big thing right now and I love it. I do think that sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives and even stress that we forget that there are hundreds of people near us that are worth making connection with even if it’s short living. We are all in this together and it’s very important to remember that no one is alone. I don’t think we should get upset and blame others about the separation and lack of genuine connection but instead take our own initiative like stated in the article. Little things go a long way. Being kind to ourselves can seriously change our perspective as well and sometimes I think that’s what has to happen before someone feels the comfort of freely spreading love to others.

  46. I feel super identified with this article, since I am the type of person who likes to do kind and charitable acts. I like to feel that I help people with the same things, and I feel good about myself being friendly with people, personally I am a friendly person and this is a quality because I like talking to the elderly, almost always that I am in The super market gives priority to them, I always let them pay their things before I do. Another charitable act is to donate to charity, sometimes the clothes I have I do not like or maybe I feel it is better to donate it, usually I will to Goodwill.

  47. This article is so true, people can get so wound up in all the things going on in their own life that they don’t stop to think about the people around them. But I also know the feeling of receiving an act of kindness, man can it change your day around. I went to a fast food restaurant recently and there was a woman there to greet you and grab your tray, it was new at this place. Goodness, I was having a really crumby day and she made me smile just by her simple acts of kindness. I made sure to tell her this and give her a hug before I left and it made me feel great to leave a smile on her face too. It’s honestly the little things in life that can impact others, I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten to make a positive impact on someone’s day in my own work place. Not going to lie work isn’t always the greatest, I work in retail, but there are those days that can be so rewarding. So, no matter where you are or what you are doing if you take the time to stop and think about someone else you can make a difference in that person’s day.

    1. I love your comment so much, I resonate so much with your work example. It’s so easy to complain about having to spend hours at work, get bored, or flustered from being too busy but once you stop and realize that it’s the perfect opportunity to make it about other people rather than yourself, it can truly make work seem so much more purposeful for those who don’t care for it. Everyday and every moment is an opportunity to be kind to others and bring that little bit of contagious positive energy instead of being greedy with our energy which can easily turn into stress and negativity real quick.

  48. I agree with this 110% my mother helps people that needs a job or someone that needs money and I would get mad at her because all that money could be saved for my future, for college. Instead, it was given to people that is only taking advantage of my mother. Yet, she doesn’t stop doing what she’s doing until one day she told me, “Even if people take advantage of your help, you are still helping and making someone’s life better. Selfishness will only make you hate everyone.” Ever since then, I’ve followed the golden rule to do unto others as you would do unto you. Good deeds can change your life and someone’s.

  49. This blog post was so nice and refreshing to read. I always try to be kind to strangers and smile at people walking by. It’s so important to be kind to people, it can truly make or break their day! I think a lot of it has to do with the strains on peoples lives. With the things that are happening today in the world, it may be a huge stressor for some people. I think the best thing to start out with is simply smiling at strangers when you’re walking on the street, at the mall, where ever. I believe in Karma, the theory that whatever you put out into the world you will get back in return. That’s why I always try to be kind to others even strangers.

  50. I agree that we spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for other people to take the initiative. I think this is largely in part due to our consumerist culture; we only ever give when we are given things, everything is transactional. A lot of people do not see value in random acts of kindness because there is no immediate guaranteed payoff or return. It’s one thing to say we need to change, but few people actually go and do things selflessly for others; I’m glad you included a list of suggestions in your post because it shows that you have given thought to the problem beyond defining it.

  51. I Know every time I go to work not only do I go out of my way to help customers, but I also try to make the best of every moment I’m there. I’m always getting compliments and questions, like how can you be so positive? It’s simple really, why if I already know I’m going to hate the task I have to do, not try to have fun with it and make someone else’s day.

    1. Quite interesting thought I, just wanted to highlight with the example that if you greet with simply waving hand to any of the people in neighborhood just for the sake of hi or hello this can be act of kindness and I am sure you have been through this so many time but such small acts of kindness also helps you to motivate and stronger.

  52. The same goes for people that I meet. I always try to do the best I can to make someone’s day better, I have a lot of customers that I meet that seem to be having a bad day, I always try to compliment them, or if I get people that I know come in often I make a comment to let them know that I remember them so they feel important. Normally I get a smile out of any of these two responses. I also really try to make sure everyone I work with is doing ok. I want my work environment to be like a family, so if I see that someone’s having a bad day, or they might have something on their mind I let them know that I’m there to talk to if they need it. Or I’ll try and get their mind off of whatever it is by taking time out of work to grab lunch.

    1. Yes. We hear how much of a pain it is to work in customer service sometimes because of the way that the customers can get hostile or high maintenance. Instead of jumping to conclusions, taking some time to instead think kind thoughts and act with love instead of annoyance and “toleration” of the other. This doesn’t even have to be done at work but in all aspects of life. In my opinion, instead of being hard on employees to get their work done so efficiently and speedy, we should work on both customers and employees to communicate with understanding and empathy, not fear and force. Successful environments aren’t always where the genius, work-a-holics, serious people are but where the kind, fun-loving, and accepting people are.

  53. I love this article it makes me feel like maybe one day we can all live in peace. Like the value of humanity isn’t lost, and instead of watching each other fall we can help those who have fallen on hard times get back on their feet. The author isn’t asking for people to donate money but instead to do small acts of kindness, which i believe can impact a persons’ life in a very big way. Small acts of kindness are like the chain mails people receive. They keep going and going from person to person they only fail if the person who received the chain mail doesn’t pass it along, which is exactly what happens with kindness as well.

    1. I love your metaphor of the chain mail! Today, people tend to not appreciate the small things in life. The other day, I was walking into a Wendy’s and this older man, 60s-70s years old, was walking behind me. I held the door open for him. He looked at me and told me that was the of the nicest things someone has done for him in a while. Hearing that comment made me feel as if I did that man a service. After that, he asked me if I wanted a coffee and I agreed to it. We sat down and this man told his whole life story about being an immigrant in the united states. It was a touching story. A lot of the things he told resonated with I needed to hear with the situations I was going through at the time. But yea, a simple act of kindness can lead to something greater.

  54. This article is nothing short of gold. I love the idea of universal and unwavering kindness. Small acts are my favorite because they come out of humility. In my opinion it takes a big leap of humility to help someone other than yourself. Acts of kindness like that really are in the purest form because it can be shown that it isn’t presented on a big stage for everyone to see, but behind the scenes where only a limited amount of people can be aware of that act of kindness.

  55. I currently live in Bolingbrook and I don’t know my next door neighbors. Back when I lived in the city, everyone knew everyone on the block. You would be able to say a simple “hello” to the neighbor and they would respond back. Giving another human being acknowledgement is not only a kind thing to do, it is a respectful thing to do. We are so focused on our work, school, and social lives that we forget to be courteous to another living person. I truly believe its in the simple things one does that can leave a large mark in one’s day.

  56. I believe that the roots of unkindness come from competition. Competition prevails almost everywhere. That’s because from a very early age people learn to compete with one another; they compete with their siblings, they compete with their classmates, they compete with their friends. Our worldview has separated us from one another, bringing us so much suffering, and that sense of separation inevitably leads us to behave in unkind ways, which separates us even more. Being unkind to others, we urge them to be unkind toward us, and they then in turn urge us to be unkinder than before. I understand not all people will wake up one day and suddenly start loving each other, but I firmly believe that each one of us can from this very moment start behaving in a kinder way, and this can make a tremendous impact on the world.

    1. This is such an interesting viewpoint. There’s no doubt that the education system and even team sports teach us to be competitive at such a young age. We try to be better than everyone else and that’s when the idea of not being good enough comes up as well which causes more chaos. Of course we are all good enough even if we aren’t treated well. I think the human race has a lot of healing to do from all the unkind actions from others and unkind thoughts that come from within ourselves. I believe that the illusion of the need to be at war with ourselves and with others will evaporate and we will instead be on each other’s side instead of working against one another.

      1. While you do have an optimistic point of view, and one that would be extremely delightful, I believe that finding this end point of chaos and hatred is unrealistic. In being a human, this will always exist. As far as your comment on sports and competitiveness, I believe we should teach our children to compartmentalize, and not treat two things the same. This means that sports and the real world are two completely different entities, and should be treated as so. As soon as we find the fine line, only then can we become closer to your ultimate goal.

    2. Competition may play a role in people’s behaviors these days, but we need to teach our kids that competition and being a good human are two different things. Of course it’s good to be competitive, because you want to strive to be the best at what you do, but in doing so, unkindly behavior is not necessary. People often think since you are competitive, that you have a mean streak. In reality, we should use competition to raise each other up and make everyone around us better. I believe that cruelty is not a mainstay of competition, and as soon as we can separate the two, we will be better off as a whole. We need to teach our kids when there is a time and place for something, and when it comes to being a good person, being competitive should be one of the last things on their minds.

  57. Lindsay, I love the comment you first made, how we are all in this together. It’s so easy to think about ourselves and get caught up I the moment. A lot of times we don’t even realize people around us are struggling too. My Dad always has this saying if our family does something out of the ordinary “a family that (fill in the blank) together stays together”. People who show kindness to each other stay together, someone’s just got to be the first to act.

  58. This article highlights the small acts which a person fails to think over in there busy schedule. i like this article because it makes me feel that there are people who are really concerned about the people around and society. it has an easy step to follow and it will continue from person to person.

    1. While schedules and personal agendas may get in the way, I do feel like this is a minimal excuse in acting like a kind human being. Of course, we live in a society where so much is expected of us on a business level, it is easy to understand why people are hyperfocused on that task, but this should not derail them in committing an endless amount of kind acts on a daily basis. Agendas and human interaction should not always be one in the same, and people should strive to act on the best interest of society as a whole, not just themselves.

  59. One of the reasons I feel we don’t know when someone else is struggling is because society has deemed struggles and worries as weakness, so we tend to hide it from each other. Society plays such a big role in the stress that we all carry because society wants us to cover up our feelings, and act like everything is perfect. When people ask how are you they don’t actually want to know, they want the regular comment of “I’m doing well”. One of the days I was working register I had something weighing on my shoulders, a customer asked me how I was doing because she could tell something was off, she actually meant it. It made me feel so good that there are people out there who actually care, that a total stranger would stop to care how I was doing. It truly is the little things in life that can have a positive effect on someone.

    1. Exactly! We want to prove to others that we’re doing okay and we’re perfectly happy with ourselves and our lives when actually there is a lot of weight on our shoulders. It’s really silly too because it’s quite obvious that we live in a society built on stress and anxiety at this point in time and yet we still feel the need to just put up a front and act as if it sometimes doesn’t exist in ourselves and others. The past two weeks I wasn’t feeling good at random times. I’d get really bad stomach aches, headaches, an intense feeling of exhaustion, and sometimes chest pain. Just yesterday, there was a girl at my work feeling almost the same way so we talked and we both concluded that it’s stress and honestly just that one conversation really made me feel a whole lot better because we were both willing to talk about it and now we both know we aren’t alone. I would say being honest and vulnerable is even a random act of kindness..being your authentic self instead of wearing a mask at all times. That’s one of the nicest things anyone can do!

  60. It is really sad how we have to remind each other to be kind. Whatever happened to manners? I love watching old movies with the old way of life. Everyone walked and talked so proper. Everyone was respectful especially to his or her elders. They held doors, said hi and hello, said please and thank you. It was just so natural for them to do those things. It’s sad how we need to say “one act at a time” why not all the time? I believe the kids now a days are so influenced by everything and everyone around them. They do not know what is right and wrong. I blame the parents. They let their kids go on the Internet too much and it is where their kids learn the culture. We need to spend more time with the younger generations to teach them what life could be about. It’s seems like today, instead of bringing others up, they are just constantly bringing others down. We need to show respect more and others will do the same. We need to correct others when their actions are wrong. Sometimes people don’t speak up and believe what they are doing is okay. Sure it can start from one act of kindness every time, but one isn’t enough. It has to be an attitude change with everyone, not just being kind for one day only.

    1. While I do agree with you that it starts from the parenting and the foundation that is laid for a child, I disagree with your stance on “the old days”. The times back then may seem sweet and dandy, but may I remind you that that was also a time where the color of your skin determined where you could go to the bathroom and women could not even vote. This puts things into perspective, and while manners and good duty are very important, it shows us how much we should really compare to different eras when talking about social justices.

  61. This passage definitely brings light to some of the issues we face in today’s society. As a whole, we need to do a better job of communicating with each other and sharing our thoughts, whether we agree with someone or not, and to have a purpose in doing so. I strongly believe a lot of these simple acts are hiding within millions of individuals in our world today, but the fear of communication (or lack thereof) is stopping them from doing so. This is something that can be worked on and improved easily in my opinion, and I feel that starts with great parenting and a good foundation. When we teach our kids to reach out to people and to do things in the best interest of society as a whole rather to just themselves, only then will we see real progress. It starts from the top and trickles down, and this applies to many facets of life, not just being a good human being.

  62. I totally agree with this, on a different note, for someone who works in the food/ customer service industry, I deal with a lot of rude and snobby customers and because of this experience i have learned to be much more kind to those around me because the thing is, you do not know what other people are going through and what is going on in their heads, so in reality if they seem like that are rude then it might just mean that they are having a tough day and want to just relax. and so I do my best to lend a helpful hand for people who need it or sometimes for people who don’t need it, because I have been in their shoes before and a helping hand is sometimes all you need.

  63. The first section of this article really struck me. It is totally true that we live and go through life very closely next to people, but do not even know them. I know my neighbors by face, but I do not know anything about who they are. I know my classmates by face, but do not know who they are. And it is up to me to learn about those who I am close in distance to. I should go up to them and start conversation instead of waiting for them to come up to me. As a society, we should stop assuming that people will come up to us first… and instead we should make the first move. Sometimes I am scared to approach people, but why should I be? I sometimes expect the worst of people, which is common in today’s day and age because of all the bad images of people in the news and media. However, we can be friendly with each other if we choose to be. I really enjoy the acts of kindness list that is shared in this article. Sometimes, it is hard to come up with ways to approach people or to reach out to people, and this list surely does help. After reading this article, I want to reach out to those around me and extend a kind hand out to them!

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