Acts of kindness don’t have to be massive things; they can be small, effortless deeds that truly make life a little brighter for those around you.
Johannesburg, South Africa – We started paying attention to the small acts of kindness we experience every day and writing them down. Often, we go through life with our heads down just trying to get through the grind of each day. We fail to notice how we are surrounded by kindness.
By actively paying attention, we realised that there is so much kindness out there, we just kept missing it.
Here at Good Things Guy, we share the big grand gestures all the time but we thought by pointing out the little one, you can see how you receive small doses of kindness each day and how you can spread it.
In a society that is riddled with crime, corruption and grave poverty, spreading the small kindnesses will really uplift thousands of people, and it only takes a few changes in our behaviour.
These are some of the small acts of kindness we spotted when paying attention and you can use them too.
Pick up a piece of litter
While walking my dog the other day, a woman nearby was picking up litter as her dog ran laps around her. I couldn’t help but smile at her small effort to make a difference. Immediately, I started to do the same. The woman’s act of kindness inspired me to do the same and so her kindness spread. For all I know, someone could have seen me picking up litter and then done so too.
Hold the door open for someone else
At the movies over the weekend, I needed to use the ladies. A woman was coming out the door as I walked up, we did that awkward dance trying to let the other through first. Eventually, she stepped back, held the door open and let me pass. We exchanged smiles and told each other to enjoy the movie.
I smiled at her kindness. While nobody gave me the opportunity to hold the door open, I always remember to do so when the chance comes up.
Let someone in front of you on the highway
We are all in a hurry to get somewhere at some point. During the traffic chaos at Ed Sheeran over the weekend, we needed to switch lanes to get to our designated parking spot. A lovely gentleman and his family let us in front of them. A few moments later, another car realised they needed our lane, and so, we let them in.
The same thing happened while leaving the concert. The common courtesy spread like wildfire, and soon everyone who was stuck trying to get out of the parking lot was spreading kindness by yielding to their fellow concert-goers.
Help someone with their trolley
Being an Uber user, I often wait at the entrance of the shops after grocery shopping with my trolley until my driver arrives. Usually, I load my shopping into the boot and then take the trolley back to the spot where it should live. Last week, while doing this a delivery man who was collecting takeaways for someone offered to take my trolley back for me.
I looked up at him and smiled brightly, thanking him and telling him his offer was extremely kind. I explained the kindness to my Uber driver, and he too smiled and said how the delivery man is a good man.
Gift someone a compliment
I have a grass woven handbag that continually gets compliments. It isn’t anything fancy, and I found it in a bag of second-hand clothing that my friend was getting rid of. Every time someone compliments it and asks where I got it, I get the chance to have a conversation with a stranger.
We both always leave with a smile. I make an effort to compliment every person I cross paths with. It boosts not only my mood but also that of the person who receives the compliment. My favourite is to point out if a person has a lovely shade of lipstick or nice shoes. They are simple things, but you are guaranteed to see a smile cross their face, which is the best!
These are just 5 of the many small acts of kindness noticed over five days. Others included cashiers and Uber drivers asking how the day has gone, being waved at by little children and waving back, having people smile at you as you pass by and smiling back. The list goes on and on.
What kind of small acts of kindness do you love giving out? And which are your favourite to receive?