As Oscar Wilde once said, “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention”. So true.
If there was ever a time when people needed some kindness spreading, then that time is now.
The fact is, doing something nice, generous, helpful, considerate or selfless makes a difference. People remember it for a long time. The size of the out-take, far outweighs the effort of the input.
Here are some simple gestures you could implement today to make a big, positive, memorable change for others...
Write a thank you note
If someone helped you at work today, or backed you up, or relieved some pressure from you, send them an email saying thank you. Even if they sit right next to you - that will be even more meaningful to the recipient.
If someone sent you a birthday card, a Christmas card or a bunch of flowers, or they leant you their lawnmower or took your dog for a walk because you were working late, write a thank you card and post it to them. Receiving things in the post (excluding bills) is uncommon these days - that means your thank you note, stands out even more.
Give a charitable gift
There are millions of people worse off than you. Firstly, be grateful for what you have and then look for a charitable cause that you have a feeling for. It might not be for people, maybe it’s for other mammals, or animals, or birds or saving planet Earth.
If you already contribute to a charity, pick a second one that really lets you engage and see the difference your contribution makes.
Buy a colleague a coffee
If it’s not a regular occurrence buying a coffee for a colleague at work, watch their face light up when you do. Find out their choice of hot beverage and next time you have a meeting with them, present them with a complimentary drink. Or, if it’s just your work mate at the next desk, do the same tomorrow morning.
Probably, the easiest one of all. When someone smiles at you, it just makes you feel good. It’s an automatic response
to smile back and for a fleeting moment you make someone, including yourself, feel better. Imagine tomorrow, smiling at 3 people you might not have smiled at before. Without really trying, you’ve improved. 3 people’s lives. Go on, try it.
Start a secret Santa or birthday card tradition for your office
If your office or department don’t have a Secret Santa at Christmas, suggest it. Maximum investment $10, and you pick a colleague’s name from a hat. The gift giving ceremony is guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Similarly for birthdays. Instigate the habit of getting a card signed by the department on each person’s birthday. It’s the cost of a card in return for giving someone a very special day.
Surprise treats, bagels, doughnuts, ice cream
There’s an abundance of goodwill gestures for the office. Let’s face it, we all spend a lot of waking hours in the workplace.
For no reason whatsoever, buy your team - or if the department isn’t too big - the wider team, a box of bagels, or doughnuts or ice-cream. Or whatever you know the team likes, or fits your budget. When you’re asked, why you did it, or what’s the occasion, it’ll feel good saying, “I just wanted to”.