A Simple Act of Kindness - Ribbon in my Journal

A Simple Act of Kindness

Phyllis Lifestyle 44 Comments

The other day a stranger complimented me out of the blue. It was delightfully unexpected and brought a smile to my face. I love moments like that, when someone says or does something that brightens another person’s day. We can all think of those moments of kindness we have experienced. Whether it’s an unexpected compliment, a hug, having the door held open for you, or even just a smile, there are many little joys that color our days.

You never know whose day could use a boost. There are so many people that we come into contact with each moment that we can show kindness to. I am trying to incorporate more of these simple acts into my life. It is so much fun to think of ways to do things for others!

Doing random acts of kindness is a wonderful thing to get kids and grandkids involved in as well. If you want inspiration for especially creative ways to show kindness, randomactsofkindness.org is a wonderful resource where you can read stories and learn how to make a difference. Let’s work together to spread simple acts of kindness to those who are around us.

Do you have a favorite simple act of kindness?

Comments 44

  1. When I moved to another state many years ago I purchased a book called
    “Simple Abundance”…..each day I read a page of encouragement and kept a journal listing 5 things that I was “thankful” for that happened to me that day….in doing so I learned to accept the “good” things that happened to me even if they were just simple acts of kindness, like someone opening a door for me; giving me a welcoming smile; any act of kindness from a stranger made my list. It helped me look for the “positive things” in the simple things we take for granted everyday…..I try even today to be “thankful” for the generous acts of strangers and return those simple acts to others in hopes it may make their day better.

  2. I love surprising others with acts of kindness. One time it was breakfast for a HS classmate of my son’s …I asked the waitress to keep it a secret.
    Giving a pass to others in line waiting to check out…or making hats for kids in need at a local hospital. I love the feeling of doing for others. Maybe that’s why through witnessing their mom and dad’s actions my adult sons hold the door open for others.

    Just this past week I gifted a friend I was meeting for tea your new book Taking Tea. She was so surprised as our gift to each other is always our time together. She shares my passion for tea and I could not think of a better way to celebrate our friendship. Thank you for such a wonderful publication!

  3. One morning I had all 3 of my kids in the car with me…all under 6 years old, one with a very rare genetic syndrome. I was in dire need of coffee so we went to a local coffee shop’s drive through. The line was long and patience was running thin. The kids were screaming and I couldn’t get out of the line. Our car was SO loud when we were ordering. When we pulled up to pay the cashier said it was taken care of. The woman ahead of us paid! She surely heard all the craziness and probably took one look at me and felt some sort of pity, or perhaps she was in my shoes at one point. That simple act made my entire day! I, in turn, paid for the young man behind me. I hope he paid it forward some way too 🙂

  4. Although this world is full of much beauty, it is also full of sadness and tragedy. I see stories when I read the news that break my heart and it makes me think, “Why are we so cruel to each other? There is enough heartache in life, why can’t we just be kind to each other and bless others when given the opportunity.?” There are so many wonderfully kind people in this world.:)

  5. For me, I have a firm rule to do a good deed before I go home. Most times it’s letting those with just a couple of items in front of me. I carry a bag of candy in my purse and the grocery store employees love getting a treat instead of demands. Often there is a mother with a screaming child (or two) so I ask if they can have candy and they forget why they are crying. One little boy was screaming and I asked why he was so upset. He said “My mother hates me !” We made a deal. You get the Tootsie Roll if you tell mom you are sorry. Also I am a couponer and all of the coupons left over go to the grocery store employees for everything from diapers to fast food coupons for lunch. It’s the little things every day that brighten someone’s day.

    1. Så koselig med slike lapper;) Er spent på boks-prosjektet. Jeg sliter også med å få kommentere med noen (alt bare forsvinner), men med andre går det bra. Lurer på om det kan ha noe med bokstavkoden for å få publisere kommentar å gjøre. Jeg har huket det bort på min blogg..

  6. My husband and I were having lunch at our favorite spot. Our also favorite waitress was taking our order when she remarked she had not seen us in quite a while. My husband asked me if I cared to share why and so I revealed I’d been having chemo for many months and a recent stem cell transplant resulting in the loss of all my hair. I had not been in public with my head scarf so was quite uncomfortable and still dealing with the trauma of total hair loss. Apparently a woman and her two young children in a booth nearby heard the conversation. When our bill came our waitress said it had been taken care of by the woman and her children. I was brought to tears. It truly was the ultimate act of kindness and so much appreciated.

    1. Good luck on your recovery. I am a 27 year grateful survivor. When I had chemo I hated going out in a wig. Living in FL, it was so hot and perspiration used to trickle out the sides.
      Chemo is like child birth and forgotten once it’s over.

  7. These lovely letters reminded me when we were at the grocery store recently and we had quite a lot of groceries when a lady came behind us with just a few things in her hand and I told her to go ahead of us but she said no so the checker checked our groceries while the woman waited and waited so when our checker was done I told her to add what the lady had to our bill and she thanked us. As we were heading towards the door she came up to us and gave us a credit card for the coffee shop which is in the store.

  8. What a lovely compilation.
    In a time when civility seems lost, small kindnesses both given and received help me to remember that there is hope…

  9. My sweet young neighbor, Steve, father of two young children came over on Mother`s Day and gave me 2 huge beautiful roses from his garden. He wished me Happy Mother`s Day to my complete surprise! I was so happy and so taken back by such a gesture from a fine young father! It made my entire day!

  10. I always let a number of people go ahead of me at the checkout line. I always want to thank a policeman for his service and a military person also. A while back I was in our delicatessen to purchase some milk. I saw the latest People magazine and put it with my milk. The bill came to $10.50. I only had a ten dollar bill. There was a policeman getting his lunch,when he heard me say to my sister, I will put the magazine back, he reached in his pocket and put up to quarters on the counter. I tried to say it is alright because the deli man said I could pay the change next time I am in the store. The policeman said no,you need our magazine. I was so grateful, I kept thanking him an told him to be careful and safe.

  11. Please and Thank You are the 3 most powerful words on the universe. We would all be on Much Better Place if We All used them more often.

  12. I was in the checkout lane in the grocery store with a full cart. A man behind me only had a couple of items, so I told him he could go ahead of me. He was so surprised and thanked me a couple of times. When I prepared to pay for my groceries, the cashier said that the gentlemen had paid $10.00 towards my bill!! Understandably, I was the one surprised by his kindness 🙂

  13. I received an early lesson in kindness from my mother when I was about 11 years old. We were visiting New York and had gone out to Coney Island for the day. When we ordered the obligatory hot dogs and had gobbled them down, my mother made a point of going back to tell the hot dog vender that they were “the best she had ever tasted” and that now she understood why Coney Island hot dogs had become so famous. A few steps away, I asked her why she had told the man that … they were
    ok, I said, but not the best we had ever had. Mama just smiled and said that some people have to do the same job day after day after day and rarely get any praise, so it is really important to acknowledge their efforts when we can. A compliment might be the best thing that happens to that person all day. She was so right.

  14. I love seeking out the manager of a restaurant if we have had a great experience with a waiter or waitress to tell them how that person made our meal so special. I always have specific example to share of how the person went above and beyond. I think it honors the person who has served well and the mgr is always thrilled to hear about the employee and also happy to hear they are being told great news and not hearing a customer complaining.

    1. Hallöchen ^^Ich schreib dann einfach mal was ^^Mir gefällt dein Block wirklich gut und ich hab natürlich auch wieder für dich abttigsmme.Viel Glück noch ;D

    2. Irene – I was never one of those girls who was the Belle of the Ball when I was young. In fact, I think I didn't really come into my own until my mid-50s. I think I looked really great at about 57. At almost 61, I STILL think I am much more attractive than when I was younger…

    3. If you are loving because it feels good to everyone, is there an issue? Unattached to the outcome means that you love without strings – you give it, and the person can do with it what they will. If you choose to stay in a relationship which is wholly onesided, I would still question the reason, in spite of children and a whole family life.Love given as a duty is not love. Being a doormat is not love. Stayin with a long term partner who is unable to love you back makes me question fears, needs, hopes, self belief. Perhaps this post will shed some light on it –

    4. Pues, por lo visto, este Nobel es de mentiritas cuando en esta misma semana se aprobó el mayor presupuesto militar del que haya habido registro en EU. Claro que al lado de las metidas de pata de Bush, este hombre parece una santa paloma aunque eso de premiar no por lo que se ha hecho, sino por lo que se supone que va a hacer me deja muy pero muy intranquila. Un fiasco!

    5. Yup, flexibility is a key virtue in all of this. I imagine these ups and downs can create havoc in the parents’ systems as well. Zoe looks like a Buddha-ess with her full cheeks and sweet smile. Did she have to have a spinal tap today or are those treatments over?? Love, Mara

    6. Thanks, James. My first musical staged in a theatre . . . Jesus Christ Superstar. Since then, I’ve watched the occasional theatrical production . . . CATS and La Cage Aux Foilles. I’m also fond of watching movie musicals ~ The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Rent, Chicago, etc. It’s good for the heart to hear those notes soar.

  15. Thank you for the gentle reminder! Last Saturday I was the recipient of several kindnesses that were unexpected. A sales person shared a wonderful coat with me that she thought was beautiful, it was and outside my budget! As I was leaving, a man held the door for me. Later, I connected with a friend & went to the Street of Dreams in very hot weather and it continued. People loved my dress and said that both my friend and I were dressed really well dressed and they liked it! The houses were fun too! Such a nice change from all the negative things we hear. Now it’s my turn to pass it on!

    1. EXACTLY. If they believe half of what they are spouting, they should be pulling their regular products from the shelf.It’s part of why I don’t purchase “green” versions of regular products made by Clorox, Tide, etc. It’s still money going in the pocket of companies that are actively harming our environment and our bodies.Johnson’s is one of the sponsors here, no? Maybe that should be made clear in the article.

  16. We recently had some work done in our home. One of the workers found out my husband was a WWII buff & was especially fond of aircraft from that war. The worker gave my husband a calendar featuring historic aircraft that he just happened to have with him. This was such a thoughtful gesture. I had the opportunity to fill out a survey concerning the work & made note of this worker’s kindness.

  17. One of my favorite compliments to give is to the produce workers in any large grocery store or market. They work so hard to keep a variety of displays fresh and attractively arranged and fruits and vegetables show age so soon. When the displays are especially nice or something way out of season looks fresh picked, I find a worker, even if I have to go to the back of the store and peek in the swinging door, to say how appealing it is. Stores make little profit on produce and it is good to compliment a manager too. Once while buying fresh corn I pulled back the shucks of one ear of Silver Queen and the moist, tender, baby green, cross hatched layer closest to the kernels was so beautiful it made my eyes fill with tears of thankfulness. It is so easy to share our appreciation of beauty and order in a world where ugliness and chaos abound.

  18. I’m a Weight Watcher of many years. I also take long walks five days a week. I love my walks as that’s the time I talk to my Lord and Maker and problems just seems to go away. When ever I meet someone on my path I speak and compliment them in some way if possible. One day one of the ladies at Weight Watchers held her hand up to say some very nice things about me. She sees me walking from her kitchen window as I walk along and pick up trash and greet others. It made my day. You never know when you are being watched and who will be changed by your actions.

  19. I trained our two children, now 30 and 20, to always approach a person in uniform: policeman, fireman, or military, to look them in the eye, shake their hand, and say, “Thank you for your service.” My children were always responded to in a wonderfully positive manner. If we are in Starbucks or Chic-Fil-A, we give them a $5.00 gift card with those words on the cardholder.

    Our children need to understand how these men and women serve us by putting their lives on the line each and every day. In light of recent events, I’ve tried to do this even more and add, “Please stay safe out there.”

  20. As someone who worked as a retail manager for many years I am perhaps a bit more critical of customer service skills in others, but also more understanding as I know how dealing with “difficult” customers can be. Whenever someone shows great customer service skills I try to make an effort to find their manager and let them know what a great employee they have.

  21. All of the above comments blessed me as I read them. Isn’t it amazing how the simple in life is so profound. Thank you, Phyllis, for the nice reminder.

  22. You are so right! Because of our political times it is even more important. By accident I discovered what home a gentleman that works in our neighborhood grocery lives. His garden is charming. I often drive by his home to get a fresh eyeful. One day I shared with him that I enjoyed his garden. His face lit up and said I made his day. So who got the most out of that conversation. I think it was me. Thanks for the reminder!

  23. It is nice when others pay a sincere compliment…just yesterday the check-out lady in Michaels complimented the blue and white Mother of pearl ring I was wearing. It makes me feel good inside when I can give a compliment to others. I also like to yield my place in line to someone who seems to be in a bigger hurry than I am. Just telling a complete stranger they look nice (especially senior citizens!) is almost warmly received. If everyone would perform at least one random act of kindness daily the world would be a better place. You never know how long the recipient may remember it and be inspired to pass it along.

  24. It takes so little effort to be kind. Compliments, a smile, a simple greeting, reaching something on a high shelf at the grocery store for someone…..whatever it may be. Personally, I can’t pass a baby without stopping to chat with the mommy and gush over the child or children. They are so full of life and joy. These simple efforts let people know that there are still nice people in the world, perhaps giving others hope, even for that moment. It is so worth it to give of oneself in these small but valuable ways. “Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers (and sisters)”…

  25. I was in a beauty salon getting my hair done, to the right of me was an attractive lady getting a very short, but sleek haircut… She wore it very well… I was watching the hair stylist work on her but I also noticed that this lady was a real class act… Her whole persona was just what I admire in a woman…

    As she was leaving I tapped her arm to tell her how much I liked her short cut and told her she wore it well…. She leaned over to tell me that she was a cancer patient and she had no choice but to wear it this way, and I told her well honey this cut happens to be very attractive on you… She thanked me so much and I wished her well and that she have a clean bill of health in the near future.

  26. I recently complimented an elderly lady’s perfume scent. I followed her all the way down escalator after escalator in a department store to tell her. A first she was taken aback but then she told me she was flattered that I noticed and we struck up a conversation that went on for awhile. She said that she had been worried she may have put on too much of the perfume but I assured her it was just the right amount. We parted ways but then some time later we ran into each other again and she said she was looking for me to tell me what the bottle of perfume looked like just in case there was some confusion should I be looking for it.I thought that was so lovely of her. I felt I had made a friend that day, if only for a those few moments.

  27. Having been that mom with the spent child, I can say without a doubt that any and all kindness shown to a mother in such a situation is indeed a delightful blessing during a difficult time. Thank you for realizing not all fussing children are naughty.

  28. I love Taste of France’s idea. It’s so amazing how these simple kindnesses can change someone’s day, isn’t it? A simple smile, a compliment, they can all make me have a wonderful day.

    One of my favorite ways to share a simple kindness, other than simple courtesies, are to leave a really, really large tip to a waiter or waitress after a meal out. I hope that this makes their day ( or evening) – often the wait staff around here are young college students who always need extra money. A huge tip makes them so happy!

  29. Smile at moms of kids who are having meltdowns. It’s so hard to deal with little ones who are too tired. You can usually tell when a kid is just spent out, and things don’t always work out smoothly to help parents get them home to nap in time. So I smile.

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