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Finding Beauty in the Mundane: Seven Things Humans Do that I Find Beautiful

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

In the quest for a meaningful existence, we often overlook the simple traditions that bring joy to our everyday lives. While we may plan and anticipate the big moments we hope will bring us happiness such as landing our dream job or achieving academic success, it’s often the small acts of kindness and recognition from others that leave the most lasting impact. From acts of kindness to expressions of gratitude, these human traditions embody the best of us. Here are seven human traditions that remind us of the beauty of the mundane. 

Saying “Bless You” When Someone Sneezes

A sudden sneeze can catch anyone off guard, leaving us feeling vulnerable and exposed. But when someone offers a “bless you” in response, it’s like a warm blanket on a cold day. It’s a reminder that we’re not alone and that we’ve been heard and seen. Although the origins of this tradition are debatable, it’s heartwarming that we continue to acknowledge a sneeze with a simple phrase that has the power to connect strangers, initiate new relationships, or simply put a smile on someone’s face.

Holding the Door Open for Others

In a world where it is easy to feel lost in the crowd, a simple act of kindness can have a profound impact. Holding the door open for someone is one such act. It sends a powerful message: “I see you. I care about you. You matter.” This small gesture can make someone’s day, warming their heart and lifting their spirits. It can also start a chain reaction of kindness, inspiring others to pay it forward and spread warmth and positivity throughout their day. So the next time you find yourself holding the door open for someone, take a moment to appreciate the power of this simple act. And let it inspire you to look for other opportunities to spread kindness and joy in the world.

Sharing Food

There’s something truly magical about the act of sharing food with others. I still remember the time my mother cooked a big pot of Liberian okra soup with fufu and invited our family friends for dinner. We sat around our dining table passing plates of steaming soup and soft fufu, while laughter, conversations, and the sounds of spoons clinking against bowls filled the air. That’s the power of food — it has a way of bringing people together and creating a sense of community. From backyard barbecues to holiday feasts, food is the glue that binds us together. And it’s not just about the taste — it’s about the act of sharing, of saying “I want to nourish you, and I want to share this experience with you.” So, I encourage you to find ways to incorporate the act of sharing food into your own life. Maybe it’s hosting a potluck with friends or baking treats to share with coworkers. Whatever it is, I promise it will be a truly rewarding experience.


Did you know that physical touch is a basic human need? From holding hands to high-fives, human touch is essential for our emotional and physical well-being. But there’s something truly magical about the power of a hug. I still remember the time when I was feeling heartbroken after the loss of my beloved dog Bruno, and my mom gave me a long, warm embrace that made me feel like everything would be okay. At that moment, I felt connected to her on a deep, emotional level without a single word. Hugging is a way of saying “I’m here for you, and I care about you.” It’s a reminder that we’re all connected by our shared humanity. And the best part? Hugging is scientifically proven to be good for us! It releases oxytocin and other feel-good hormones that can lower our stress levels and improve our overall well-being. So, I encourage you to find ways to incorporate more hugs into your own life.

Telling Stories

The act of storytelling is a fundamental part of human communication and has been used for thousands of years to share knowledge, preserve culture, and entertain. Stories have the power to bring people together, break down barriers, and create a sense of empathy and understanding. When we hear someone else’s story, we have the opportunity to see the world through their eyes and gain a new perspective on life. We may find that we share similar experiences, emotions, and struggles, and this can create a sense of connection and community. It’s also important to remember that everyone has a story worth telling and that by sharing our own experiences, we can inspire, educate, and empower others. So, don’t be afraid to share your own story, and don’t forget to listen with an open heart to the stories of those around you.

Giving Compliments

Compliments have a powerful impact on our emotional well-being and the relationships we have with others. When we receive a sincere compliment, it can boost our self-esteem and make us feel more confident in ourselves. It also shows that someone else has taken the time to notice our efforts and successes, which can be especially meaningful in moments when we may be feeling undervalued or overlooked.

Moreover, giving compliments is a great way to spread positivity and lift others up. It’s a simple act of kindness that can have a significant impact on someone’s day, and it’s a way of recognizing and appreciating the people in our lives. Whether it’s complimenting a friend’s new hairstyle or telling a coworker how impressed we are with their work, taking a moment to give a compliment can make all the difference.

So, next time you notice something positive about someone, don’t be afraid to share it with them. A simple compliment can brighten someone’s day and create a ripple effect of positivity in the world.


Smiling is a universal expression of joy and positivity that transcends language and culture. It’s a simple yet powerful way to communicate happiness, appreciation, and openness. Whether it’s a wide grin or a small smile, the act of smiling can have a profound impact on our social interactions and relationships.

When we smile, we communicate our positive emotions to those around us, making us appear approachable and friendly. This, in turn, can help create a sense of connection and trust, breaking down barriers and promoting a sense of community.

Moreover, smiling is contagious. When we smile, we invite others to do the same, creating a ripple effect of positivity that can improve the mood and well-being of those around us. So the next time you feel the urge to smile, don’t hold back — it may be just what someone else needs to brighten their day.

In a world that can often feel divided and disconnected, it’s comforting to know that there are still small but powerful ways to bring us closer together. These traditions are a testament to our shared humanity and our innate desire for connection and kindness. So let’s continue to participate in these acts of compassion and spread their impact far and wide, one small gesture at a time.

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Konah Brownell

U Mass Amherst '23

Konah is a Political Science and Journalism major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She cares deeply about issues relating to race, gender, immigration, education, and the environment. Outside of Her Campus, Konah enjoys writing poetry and runs a poetry account on Instagram @sunflower.seed.s_