“Each small act of kindness reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of the good echo….”
– Dean Koontz
Kindness is an important virtue for minimalists to cultivate, not only because being kind is the right thing to do, but because studies show that it makes us happier and healthier.
Plus, kindness is contagious, so when we’re friendly, generous and considerate, we’re influencing others to be kind as well.
“What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded . . . sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.”
– George Saunders
Kindness might involve sharing your money and possessions or volunteering a few hours a week at a nonprofit, but there are many ways to make the world a better place by taking a few minutes (or even seconds) to make someone else’s day a little brighter.
- Smile at everyone you see.
- Sincerely compliment at least one person a day.
- Hold doors open for people.
- Help someone who’s not so mobile (or tall) reach an item on the top shelf.
- Say please and thank you.
- Really listen. Give people your full attention when they talk.
- Compliment someone to their boss (or for a child, their parent).
- Give up your seat on the train or bus.
- See someone who appears lost or confused? Ask if they need help.
- Say “I love you” to those you love. Say it often.
- Pick up an item someone drops and hand it to them.
- Say hello to those you pass when you’re out for a walk.
- Apologize when you’ve done something wrong – or someone else thinks you have.
- Work on becoming less judgmental of yourself and others.
- Let someone go ahead of you in the checkout line.
- Send thank you cards.
- Know someone who’s lonely? Sick? Sad? Stay in touch.
- Pick up litter as you walk.
- Write love notes for your significant other and kids.