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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, February 29, 2024
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An act of kindness can start a ripple effect — so go ahead and make someone’s day.

Thirty acts of kindness that you should start implementing now

The beginning of the school year is often accompanied by caffeine-induced crankiness or homework-overload headaches. It can feel like there’s no time to slow down and it’s every person for themselves. 

The only issue with this is that when we are trying to exist in this survival mode, we forget that everyone else is right alongside us, trying to do the same.

I work at a coffee shop, and every once in a while someone comes in and offers to pay for the stranger in line behind them. There is nothing quite like witnessing a stranger’s smile when their cup of coffee becomes a gift rather than a purchase. 

There’s so much beauty in the fact that these small acts of kindness can change the trajectory of someone’s day.

This is why I gathered a list of simple acts of kindness that you can do to start living more thoughtfully and graciously. 

  1. Donate last year’s clothes.
  2. Buy some candy or your friend’s favorite coffee order if they’re having a rough day.
  3. Write thank-you notes to your professors/advisors/TAs
  4. Make a sandwich or buy a coffee for someone less fortunate.
  5. Tip generously.
  6. Send a positive text message to three people right now.
  7. Hold the door for someone.
  8. Send someone flowers for no particular reason.
  9. Compliment someone about something other than appearance.
  10. Tell your friends and family why you love them.
  11. Ask people how they are, and listen.
  12. Say thank you more.
  13. Pick up litter. (Mother Earth can use some acts of kindness too!)
  14. Volunteer or donate to a non-profit that you are passionate about.
  15. Tell the manager at a restaurant how good your waiter/waitress was.
  16. Donate old books.
  17. Make your roommate’s bed as a nice surprise for when they get home.
  18. Write a positive comment or endorse someone on LinkedIn.
  19. Try to make every person in a group conversation feel included.
  20. Treat yourself to a nice dinner (can’t forget about self-kindness!)
  21. Make a de-stress goodie bag for your friends during finals.
  22. Learn the names of security guards, janitorial staff, library clerks and people you regularly see but don’t know personally.
  23. Purchase extra dog or cat food and bring it to a shelter.
  24. Write thank-you notes to your local police department, fire department, mailmen, librarians and others working important community jobs.
  25. Run an errand for a family member or friend who is busy.
  26. Put your phone away when you’re with company.
  27. Email a former teacher who had an impact on your life.
  28. Say “good morning” to the person standing next to you in the elevator.
  29. Put a coin in an expired meter.
  30. Deliver cookies to a friend.

Small acts of kindness may seem insignificant in the moment, but the chain reaction that you can set off by making someone smile is immeasurable. So, go put some positive energy out in the world and it will find its way back to you.

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