“Well, I hear that a lot. People want to change the world. Don’t know how to begin. You want to know how to change the world, son? One act of random kindness at a time.”
I adore that scene from the movie, Evan Almighty, where God laughs at Evan when he said building an ark isn’t part of his plans. Evan wants to make a difference for the better for his family and his community, but he was too self-focused. He thought the way to change the world was to follow his own carefully-laid plans.
The opposite is true. To make a difference for the better, to change the world, we need to look outside of ourselves. The movie calls is one Act of Random Kindness or ARK.
This is also referred to as one random act of kindness. Either way, the idea is the same. Do unplanned good things for other people. As we go about our day, if we look outside of ourselves, we can find ways to change the world through one small act of random kindness at a time. These don’t have to be big gestures. A bowl of water for a thirsty dog isn’t a big gesture. Throwing one starfish back into the ocean isn’t a big gesture. But they make a difference, and these little differences add up to make the world a better place.
Here are some small acts of random kindness we can do:
- Smile at someone.
- Say hello.
- Ask “How are you?” and genuinely listen.
- Use a person’s name (especially workers with nametags).
- Thank your server.
- Tip your barista.
- Hold a door open.
- Put a grocery cart in the designated collection area.
- Give away your coupons to someone else in the store.
- Allow someone to go in front of you in a line.
- Bring your teacher a cup of coffee.
- Give your neighbors fruits from your tree or extra food you may have cooked.
- Pay for a stranger’s meal.
- Give someone flowers.
- Thank a first responder for his/her service.
- Compliment a stranger.
- Encourage a mom toting around her kids.
- Give a child a quarter.
- Give up your seat for the elderly or a pregnant woman.
- Share your umbrella.