Random Acts of Kindness and Why They're Important: What I Learned

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Week (October 7th-October 13th), I decided to do various random acts of kindness each day and observe what happened. Here is what I learned from each act.

 

1. Appreciate your surroundings, not many people do anymore.

 

In a world where we are all constantly feeling pressured to stay connected to what is happening around us, we hardly ever stop and smell the flowers. As one of my random acts of kindness, I decided that I was going to smile at every person I walked by, enthusiastically say hi, and ask how people’s day went if they responded to my hello. What I noticed is that most people I walked by did not even realize I was smiling at them, and the people that did seemed almost surprised and overjoyed at my enthusiastic encounter with them. A warm greeting and a smile do not take long. You could even make someone’s day by having this simple interaction.

 

2. Even though it seems straightforward, always tell people that you are appreciative of their actions, they surprisingly don’t get it very often.

 

As another one of my acts of kindness, one night at dinner, I told the nice lady swiping me in how appreciative of her I was. I also made sure to be extra nice, smiley, and enthusiastic. As I reached towards my phone case to get out my ID, she smiled at me and said, “go eat”. I’m not saying that you should only be nice in order to get something in return, but her reaction showed me that she probably does not get the thanks she deserves very often.

 

3. Get out of your comfort zone.

 

My friend and I decided to go over and sit with a kid sitting alone at dinner. He may have wanted to be alone, but we ended up actually having a really great conversation. If I had stayed in my comfort zone, I would have missed out on this interaction completely. It shouldn’t have to take an act of kindness to motivate you to do this, you could actually end up meeting really great people!  

4. Give thanks, always.

 

Again, it shouldn’t have had to take an act of kindness for me to call my parents and thank them, but they have done so much for me, and I wouldn’t be here without them. Whether it be a parent, friend, or teacher, always remember to give thanks!!

 

Doing simple acts of kindness can reap benefits that you wouldn’t even imagine! It doesn’t take very long or much effort, so get out of your comfort zone and do them! I promise you’ll feel amazing afterwards!