Monday, January 20, 2014

3 Ways To Show Kindness Without Spending a Dime

I would like to think that we all have the desire to give a ton of money to charity... once we get actual jobs and have money to spare.  And anyone who has ever been at the beneficiary end of a random act of kindness, such as the person in front of us buying our cup of coffee (even though it cost $5), fantasizes about one day paying it forward.  The truth is that when you're a broke b*tch spending money is more of a sacrifice then we can afford.  So we move forward and put most of our good intentions away for the time being.  

I am a strong believer in the idea of being the kindness and positive change I would like to see in the world.  Even though I dont have a lot of extra money right now (hello single motherhood), I am always thinking of ways to put out positivity into day.  Here are my favorite three:

1) When you go out, if your server isn’t rude or terrible, make a point to speak with the manager about how wonderful they were to you.  Pick one related incident to acknowledge and then move on.  The unexpected praise will impress the manager, and make the server look great.  In turn the server will be more inspired to be even better, and then everybody wins.  And it only took 2 minutes of your time!

2) Complement a complete stranger (or a brief acquaintance).  This could be your grocery checker, food delivery person, someone on the street, or a woman at the table next to you at lunch.  Pay them a small compliment.  It may seem insignificant to you, but it will boost their self-confidence and have them walking a little taller.  The lack of self-confidence in the world is the cause for hate and anger, so spreading little compliments can have more good effects then any tiny moment of awkwardness. 

Just a few nights ago, I was delivering a pizza to this family, and their nine year old little girl said, "Wow, you're so pretty! I like your hair!" Yeah she was a child, but oh my gosh my heart melted.  What a sweet thing to say to someone! I told her thank-you, and that her kindness was beautiful.  Yes Im aware I sound like a freaking hippy, but whatever.

3) Smile.  Seriously, just smiling at someone you pass by, have a brief interaction with, or even if its someone you know, smiling a genuine smile will spread warm feelings within them and help make this world a better place.

Kindness is contagious.  All we need to do is plant the seeds, and be the beginning of a chain of kind gestures.  These things may seem small and thus insignificant, but they are more powerful then you think.  You never know what the person on the other side of the counter, or walking toward you on the street is going through, and a small gesture can mean the world. 

XOXO, Cristen

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