If you’re anything like most people, then you are constantly mumbling things to yourself like, “People these days are just rude. What happened to the good days when everyone was polite?” Sound familiar? Of course it does. For those of you that wish you could change the world, Random Act of Kindness Day, on February 17, is just for you. Here are a few tips on how to get the job done.
History of National Random Acts of Kindness Day
One can never go wrong with kindness, and there can never be too much of it. The idea behind National Random Acts of Kindness Day is to cultivate feelings of kindness and brighten up someone’s day. Every small act of kindness is significant. It may seem like it doesn’t accomplish much but, just like the domino effect, one act of kindness can lead to more positive outcomes. Don’t hold back from uplifting others with compliments and compassion on this day.
Random Acts of Kindness Day was initiated in 1995 in Denver, Colorado by a nonprofit organization called The Random Acts Of Kindness Foundation. The event spread to New Zealand nine years later, in 2004, and the observance of the holiday became more and more widespread.
Random Acts of Kindness Day may not have been around for a very long time, but kindness has existed throughout human history. There are great examples of prominent figures in history who have made an impact through their selfless acts of kindness — Princess Diana, the Dalai Lama, and Mother Teresa, to name a few. Various studies have also proved that kindness is undoubtedly an inherent part of nature, with feelings of care developing in humans while they’re still babies.
National Random Acts of Kindness Day timeline
Princess Diana shakes the hand of a man with AIDS, changing and challenging the belief that the disease is transmittable by touch.
Random Acts of Kindness Day is created in Denver, Colorado.
Random Acts of Kindness Day spreads to New Zealand.
Caitlin Boyle begins sticking sticky notes with positive messages in public places to encourage self-love.
National Random Acts of Kindness Day FAQs
How do you celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day?
“Parent Cue” lists these suggestions:
- “Compliment at least 5 people.
- Let the person in line behind you go ahead of you.
- Leave happy notes around town.
- Babysit for a single mom for free.
- Sit next to someone who is sitting alone at lunch.
- Help an elderly neighbor take out the trash or mow their lawn.”
What are some examples of random acts of kindness?
Natural Beach Living provides the following great ideas of random acts of kindness to do today:
- Donate your old clothes to the Salvation Army.
- Help a senior with their groceries.
- Shovel a neighbor’s driveway when it snows.
- Walk a neighbor’s dog.
- Babysit for free.
- Plant a tree.
- Do a favor without asking for anything in return.
- Take someone new in your neighborhood on a tour of the city.
Who started the random acts of kindness?
Many sources credit Anne Herbert with this honor, as she wrote the words, “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” on a placemat at a restaurant in Sausalito, California in 1982.
National Random Acts of Kindness Day Activities
Compliment a stranger
The best things in life are free and complimenting someone will cost you absolutely nothing. If you find yourself in an elevator with someone or if you cross paths with someone on the street, say something special to them. It could be as simple as “You look nice today.” That’s it… (Pro Tip #274: avoid complimenting someone when they're with their spouse, though. It could get weird pretty fast.)
Treat a homeless person to lunch
Paying it forward is something we strongly believe in and what better way to do that than by sharing a meal with someone? We’re not saying that you have to buy a filet mignon steak or a five-course meal for someone. But how bad would it hurt your pockets to grab a $5 foot-long for a person in need?
Anonymously donate to a charity
There are thousands of charities and nonprofit organizations out there that can do with some financial help and, lucky for us, most of them make it really easy for us to donate online anonymously. You don't have to donate tons of money — even a few dollars can make a difference.
5 Random Quotes Of Kindness That'll Restore Your Faith In Humanity
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
Barbara De Angelis
“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.”
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
“A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.”
Why We Love National Random Acts of Kindness Day
Treat people the way you want to be treated
It’s safe to say that you’ve heard this saying before, assuming that you haven’t lived under a rock for the last 2,000 years. Our mothers used this saying time after time, and most likely yours did too. So, take this day to exercise its meaning by treating people kindly. You’ll feel great about it — guaranteed.
It can make someone’s day (obviously)
Let’s be honest… Life is tough, bills suck and we’re all going through our own struggles. Today is your time to make a difference in someone’s day by giving just a little more effort. The smallest things can mean the most to someone at the right time.
You can’t go wrong with kindness
If we all start practicing kindness recklessly without holding back, our lives will definitely become easier. Often, the simplest solution to the most complex of problems is tenderness and kindness.
National Random Acts of Kindness Day dates