top 10 ways to show kindness (that hardly take any time at all)


I'm of the firm belief that being kind to others helps you live longer, look younger, appear sexier and remain dandruff-free.  And so, for your bookmarking (or pinteresting) pleasure, my top 10 ways to show kindness today (that won't take you out of your way):

10.  Coffee, coffee, coffee.  When you get up to make yourself a cuppa, make one for a coworker, partner, friend.  Or pay for the coffee of the person behind you at Starbucks (or coffeehouse of choice). Easy-peasy.

9.  Send an unexpected note.  Open up your email right now, and type the following:

You're in my thoughts.  I hope you're well.

Then simply sign your first name.  In the "To" line, put the email address of the first person who comes to mind.  Click "Send."

8.  Start a Hope Revolution.  Take the nearest scrap of paper or PostIt Note, and write something kind on it.  Then leave it somewhere unexpected -- under a windshield wiper, in a public bathroom, under a stack of bank deposit slips.  Get inspired by Krystyn's gallery.

7.  Buy flowers.  On your next grocery run, grab a bunch of inexpensive flowers (carnations are usually cheap, and they'll totally do the trick).  Spontaneously give them to someone -- the guy at check-out, the receptionist at work, leave them anonymously at your neighbour's front door.  Make their day.

6.  Rush to open the door for someone.  Just because.

5.  Talk to the manager.  When you receive good service, ask to speak to the manager, and let her know about your awesome experience.  You'll make the person's day (and the manager's too -- imagine how many complaints they probably deal with!).

4.  Let someone go ahead of you in line.  Just because.

3.  Pay someone younger than you a compliment.  Watch them glow.

2.  Call your mom. Or dad.  Or someone who's just like a mother or father to you.  They'll love it.

1.  Smile.  Look directly into someone's eyes, and just smile.  Bonus points if it's a total stranger.

(Incidentally:  if you haven't joined gratitude.2012 yet, now would be a great time to start:  I've just revamped the newsletter, and it's sleeker and awesome-er and chock-full of great photography tips.  The best part, of course, is that it helps a great organization.  You can sign up at any time; however, if you sign up now, you'll get in just in time to receive the March newsletter.  So think about it -- I'd love for you to join us.)

Image:  Photograph of my next-door neighbour's gimongous rose, shot with my Nikon D300, 60mm micro lens.  aperture 3.2, shutter speed 1/250, ISO 200

Song:  With my own two hands by Ben Harper