This is the second post in the Challenge series. Here’s the first one. The rules are 1) I will only challenge you to do something if I think it will make you happier, and 2) I will never challenge you to do something illegal (so don’t interpret it that way). So here is the challenge: I challenge you to commit a random act of kindness for a random stranger every day this week.
Kindness is underrated. I mean REALLY underrated. Don’t believe me? Google it. Take a moment to reflect on any recent acts of kindness in your life. Weren’t they awesome? Maybe someone watched your kids, bought you lunch, watered your plants, or just told you that you looked nice. Small acts of kindness can really affect us in a big way. Receiving compliments (especially if you don’t receive them often), finding out someone bought your coffee for you, or other small things can really be a big boost to an otherwise bad day.
Somehow we are also more likely to believe a compliment is sincere if it comes from a stranger. Think about it. Imagine a close friend tells you that you look nice. Now imagine that a random stranger off the street (or in the office, or wherever) tells you that you look nice. Both are really great, but to me it seems that if a stranger takes time out of their day to compliment you, you must have really made an impression.
Now I’ve been talking about how receiving compliments and acts of kindness makes us feel good, but the challenge is to give them. The funny thing is, there have been several studies that suggest being kind to others makes us happy. So not only do you get to improve a random stranger’s day, but you get a free side-dish of happiness for your generous effort. Sound good to you? Me too.
So now that we’ve agreed that you will give out some kindness this week here are a few quick ideas to get you started from Oprah and Today News. Have fun coming with new ways to be kind, and even if you forget one day, just get back on track the next day. If you want some good quotes about kindness you can find them here. And just in case you think this challenge is not for you, just remember the following:
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia
It’s free and easy to be kind. Why not ramp it up this week?
Are you taking up the challenge? Share some of your random acts of kindness with us!