A few weeks ago, I was working from one of my favorite coffee shops, Heritage General Store. If you haven’t been, you need to go! It’s also a bike shop, is so bright and sunny and is always filled with neighbors and creatives getting work done. They also have a little side patio that’s perfect for those sunny days or on the weekends!
I was busy, typing away at a post and looked up and saw a girl trying to get her stroller through the door and onto the sidewalk without spilling her coffee. Knowing how frustrating getting a stroller out the door is, I jumped up and held the door. She thanked me and I went about my day.
Later, I checked my Instagram DMs and had a message from the girl I’d held the door open for. She wrote me the sweetest note saying how she’d had a really rough morning with her weeks old baby and that simple act of kindness had made her day so much better.
I don’t tell you this to brag or show you how nice of a person I am, believe me, I have plenty of faults. There’s plenty of times where I’ve watched someone struggle and thought, I should help, but don’t. This interaction was a good reminder for me too. I totally identified with her situation and that exact type of morning and remember how thankful I was for the simplest of things on days like that. It took me no more than 15 seconds to get up and open the door, but you never know what kind of impact your small act of kindness can do for someone else.
And, not that you should do it for this reason, but helping out others has a funny way of making you feel pretty good too!
1. Hold the Door for Someone
Since this little act of kindness is what sparked the idea for today’s post, it’s my first simple act of kindness! Just think about how many doors you open every single day! It’s easy to hold it for the next person. When you see someone struggling to get out the door, take those 10-15 seconds to get up and help them out. It’s super simple, but so helpful!
2. Smile at a Stranger Walking By
Maybe this is this Texas girl in me, but smiling and say hi to strangers walking down the street was commonplace for me growing up. I don’t do it all the time, but I still do it pretty often, especially when we’re walking through our neighborhood. I’m always passing other moms pushing strollers or people walking their dogs. It’s easy and heck, smiling just makes you feel good!
3. Ask Someone About Their Day
This one will require a little bit more time and effort than some of the others, but I think it’s a great kind act. One that I really need to get into the habit of doing with friends and family. It forces you to slow down a bit and really converse, without your phone in your hands.
But, “how was your day?” has become such a generic question, hasn’t it? When someone asks me this, I typically respond with, “good” or “bad”, but each day really has so many more layers to it than good or bad. Instead of asking how was your day, try asking someone to tell you about their day. That’s more of a conversation starter. When they start telling you, be sure to put your phone down, make eye contact and really listen! As humans, connecting with others is so powerful for our well-being and with so much technology in our lives it can be hard to stop and really connect face to face.
4. Leave a Generous Tip
This could end of being a financial burden, so I don’t suggest you go above and beyond every single time you need to tip. But, if the service is impeccable or the server is especially great, why not? An extra couple of dollars won’t wreck your budget and can mean so much to them!
5. Give a Stranger a Compliment
Every time I do this, the recipient’s reaction is so great. A compliment from a stranger is unexpected and totally unwarranted, so it feels a little more special in my opinion. It doesn’t have to be a grand compliment either! I’ve told waiters that I love their names, grocery checkout girls that I love their haircut and even told someone they had beautiful eyes, which may or may not have sounded a little creepy, but her eyes were the coolest color I’d ever seen!
What’s the kindest thing a stranger has done for you? What other ways do you like to spread kindness day to day?!