We’ve all seen the random acts of kindness or pay it forward acts that people are either giving or receiving in recent years. It is frequently posted on social media by the receiver for all to see and we all like to read them because they make us feel good about that world and the people in it!
Most of the time the random acts of kindness and paying it forward have to do with buying someone something.
– Someone pays for the person’s order behind them in a drive through line.
– Someone buys a present for a homeless person.
– Someone slides their credit card in a grocery line to pay for the groceries for the person in front of them or behind them.
While these things are awesome and make the receiver feel wonderful, not everyone has the money to participate in this type of giving.
Kindness without money
Not having the money to buy someone’s drive thru order doesn’t mean you don’t have the heart towards kindness!
It just means that at this time, you can’t express your kindness using money.
Below are some ideas for you if you are at a loss as to how to show your kindness in non-monetary ways.
The first few are some you might not have thought about as acts of kindness, but they really can make someone’s day… especially if they have had a bad day.
- Smile at a stranger. This may seem silly, but look around when you are out in public. Make eye contact with other human beings. We are all so consumed by the screens in front of us that we sometimes forget to look up and have a human interaction with those in the same room with us.
- Make conversation. Again, let’s have some human interaction! There are some lonely people in the world. Don’t think that just because they are in the same line as you that means they have friends or family. You may be the only person they talk to that day.
- Smile and make conversation even if they don’t look like you. Just to take the first two a bit further… smiling or making conversation with someone that isn’t like you is wonderful. Maybe they have dirty clothes. Maybe they have one arm. Maybe their skin color is different than yours. None of that matters. They have the same beating heart and same desire for human interaction.
- Open the door for someone. When you are walking in to a building and someone is close behind you, wait for them and hold the door open for them. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, nor does it matter if they are a man or woman. This is about kindness, not chivalry. (That being said, if you are a woman living in the South and you hold a door open for a man, he is likely to take the door and offer for you to go first. Go ahead and go in front of him. Now, you both were able to show kindness.)
- Offer your seat. Do you ride public transportation? If you do, you can easily offer up your seat to someone!
- Compliment a mother. There are times when you are at the grocery store, park, or anywhere in public, really, and you see a mom with kids. Compliment her somehow. Not on her shirt or purse. Compliment the job well done she is doing. Sometimes it might be difficult to find something to say if you don’t agree with her parenting or kids’ behavior. That might be when it is most important. A simple, “Parenting is hard stuff, right?!” That can really lift her spirits.
Now, all of those things are things that can be done with little effort throughout your day.
There are more things you can do to show kindness that take a bit more time if you have it to give.
Sometimes our time is the most precious thing we can give
Some ways we can give of our time:
- Go to a new mom’s house and offer to watch the kids while she takes a shower. If you are a mother, you get how valuable that time is!
- Rake leaves for your neighbor. Or mow his lawn. If you have a riding lawn mower and you just mowed your lawn, it wouldn’t take much longer to just keep going and help out your neighbor.
- Offer to watch a friend’s kids while she and her husband go on a date.
- Sit with them. Some people just want interaction with others.
Get creative! Think of what you can do that could help others, remembering money is not required to make someone smile.
Do you have any other ideas on things you can do to spread love and kindness without spending money?
I know there are more… I want to hear from you. Please share your ideas below as a comment.