Giving Tuesday: 80 Contagious Acts of Random Kindness

The spirit of Giving Tuesday is a noble pendulum swing from the frenzy of Black Friday shopping, and affords us another chance to be the change we wish to see in the world

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The spirit of Giving Tuesday is a noble pendulum swing from the frenzy of Black Friday shopping, and affords us another chance to be the change we wish to see in the world; an opportunity to embrace the true reason for the season.

 This Holiday season, we can collectively be kind for the sake of one another. We can be kind whenever possible, knowing that it's always possible. 

 To start where we are is to defy complacency with action - no matter how small - because one thoughtful gesture can make someone else’s day.

1.  Say "good morning" to a person standing next to you in the elevator.

2.  Pay the toll for the driver behind you.

3.  Take a minute to direct someone who is lost, even if you're rushing.

4.  Write a letter to a child who could use some extra attention. Kids love getting mail.

5.   Offer to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor, especially in extreme weather. 

6.   Give a homeless person your doggie bag.

7.   Say "I love you" - out loud - to someone you love.

8.   Put a coin in an expired meter.

9.   Help a mother carry her baby stroller up the stairs, or hold a door open for her. 

10. Each time you get a new item of clothing, give away something old.

11. Take someone's shift as the car-pool parent.

12. Bring your assistant or co-worker coffee, just because.

13. Out of the blue, send flowers to a friend.

14. Say "please" and "thank you"- and really mean it.

15. When you're on a crowded train or bus, offer your seat to an elderly, disabled or pregnant person.

16. Let a fellow driver merge into your lane.

17. Offer to baby-sit for a single mom.

18. Put your shopping cart back in its place.

19. Call or write to a teacher who changed your life.

20. Bring a box of doughnuts to share at the office.

21. Forgive someone a debt - and never bring it up again.

22. Listen actively with all your senses. 

23. Simply say "I'm sorry" when you're wrong.

24. Throw away your trash - and someone else's - after a movie, picnic or visit to a park.

25. Encourage someone who seems despondent - even a stranger.

26. Volunteer to take care of a friend's dog while he is vacationing.

27. Help a friend pack for a move.

28. Ask someone "How are you really doing?" - and then really listen to their response.

29. Offer change when the person in front of you at the register comes up short.

30. Leave a generous tip for a pleasant waiter.

31. Pass along a great book you've just finished reading.

32. Compliment a stranger - don’t think it. Say it.

33. “Want me to pick something up for you?” If you know someone who is overwhelmed - perhaps with a new baby or family health issues - give them a call when you’re headed to the store.

34. Pick up an extra coffee, tea or hot cocoa for your mail carrier or the crossing guard at your child’s school.

35. Shoot your loved one a text message that shares something that you appreciate about them.

36. When you get great service tell the person who helped you. Tell a manager. Go to their corporate website and submit an email, or write a positive online review of a business that has helped you. It makes a difference.

37. Give someone the benefit of the doubt.

38. Learn the names of your office security guard, the person manning the front desk at your gym and other people you see every day. Greet them by name. Everyone is important.

39. Follow up with people. Check in with someone who is going through a difficult time. Even if they don’t want to talk, they will appreciate knowing you’re in their corner.

40. Invite someone to dinner - especially at the holidays, when it’s difficult for some people to be alone.

41. Make a helpful introduction.

42. Call your parents. Just do it.

43. Hold the elevator.

44. Photograph tourists. If you notice a couple or family trying to take a selfie, offer to take it for them.

45. Introduce yourself to your neighbors.

46. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you’ve made.

47. Use a reusable water bottle or cup as an act of kindness for the environment.

48. Let someone take your parking spot.

49. Don’t honk at other cars or people on the road.

50. Sit with someone who is eating alone.

51. Recommend your favorite restaurant to a tourist.

52. Let someone go in front of you at the cashier.

53. Praise a child to their parents while the child is present.

54. Encourage someone who is working hard at the gym.

55. Bring homemade food, like lasagna or casserole, to a new or single mom.

56. Email your boss, mentor or professor and let them know how much you love learning from them.

57. Say “good morning” and “thank you” to public service workers, like bus drivers, police officers, mail carriers and firefighters.

58. Help someone carry their groceries to their car.

59. Donate books to a library or bookstore.

60. Offer your seat on a plane so that a family or couple can sit together.

61. Offer to pick up your friends’ kids at school.

62. Hug someone you love like you mean it.

63. Put your phone away.

64. Don’t interrupt when someone else is speaking.

65. Smile at someone on the street, just because.

66. Talk to the shy person who is sitting alone at the party.

67. Leave your newspaper or magazine you were reading behind for someone else to read at the coffee shop, the doctor’s office or on a plane.

68. Give away stuff for free on Craig’s List.

69. Be the person who puts a tip in the tip jar at the coffee shop - fewer people tip than you would think.

70. Leave some extra quarters in the laundry room.

71. Write your partner or friend a list of things you love about them.

72. Remind yourself that everyone is fighting their own battles.

73. Send dessert to another table.

74. Purchase some extra dog or cat food and drop it off at an animal shelter.

75. Empathize.

76. Keep a spare umbrella at work, and let someone borrow it on their way home if there is a sudden downpour.

77. Make two lunches and give one away.

78. Say yes at the store when the cashier asks if you would like to donate $1 to whichever cause.

79. Be kind to the customer service rep on the phone – it’s not their fault.

80. When you hear that negative, discouraging voice in your head, remember to leave yourself alone! You deserve kindness, too.