The Summer Of Love: 10 Small Acts Of Kindess

(Photography by Kaylee Hinrichs)

There are dozens of ways to express kindness towards those you share the Earth with. Most acts of kindness are rather small and simple, but can have huge repercussions. From saying hello to saving energy, here are 10 things you can do to help your Earth, your community, and your fellow human beings.

1. Open A Door
This is a completely acceptable & kind thing to do for someone. Whether they are carrying nothing, or holding seven over-filled grocery bags and five screaming children, opening a door for someone is just a nice thing to do. It's the small things.

2. Say "Hello!"
I read a study years ago which focused on how people re-acted to having someone greet them in the morning. Apparently, saying "hello" to someone is not just nice, it's an acknowledgement of their existence. When you go out of you way to say "hello" or "good morning", you're letting that person know that you are aware of them and that has immense positive & uplifting effects on the psyche of a human.

3. Pick Up Trash
Yes, it's gross. No, you weren't the one who dropped that specific piece of trash. Get over it. We all share this planet, let's do our best to keep it clean and healthy. Enough said.

4. Donate
Find a local charity (not the big name organizations you see on the television, but a real charity that you can visit and see), and donate something to them. Donate your old clothing, donate your old furniture, donate food, donate blood, donate your time, become an organ donor. Give with all your heart, and the universe will thank you. It's just plain karma.

5. Plant A Tree
This one is my personal favorite. Any opportunity you get, please plant a tree.
The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now. -Chinese Proverb

6. You're Beautiful
A few years ago, I did a few anonymous projects. I would write up a bunch of notes with statements such as, "You are beautiful", "You are lovely", "You are amazing", and leave them inside books, on walls, on tables, everywhere.
Doing a project like this is easy. Write an encouraging note (on a napkin, post-it note, toliet paper, marker on a wall, anything!) and leave it someone public, yet not where it will be considered trash. (Inside of a book is a great way to start.)

7. Love Animals
Okay, I understand that not everyone is open-minded towards vegetarianism. And that's okay. But, I do think that everyone can agree that animals should not be tested on for any of our products. The Vegetarian Site has a list of companies which test on animals. Obviously, this list is huge. I know I have some items in my home which fall into the "Tested on Animals" category. But, I'm going to do my best to stop buying & using all products from companies who test on animals, one step at a time. Will you?

8. Un-Plug
Did you know that electrical devices that are plugged into an outlet are always sucking energy out of the wall? If you un-plug devices that you rarely use, you can conserve energy and save money on your bill. What could be better? (To save more energy and money, you can also use Daylight Light-Bulbs or LED Lights (much healthier, brighter, and longer lasting.)

9. Buy Handmade & Support Small Businesses
Often times anything you buy, can be purchased hand-made by an artist. There are hundreds of websites nowadays which are selling platforms for hand-made goods. Artists and craftspeople create loads of amazing, high-quality, handmade goods. Soaps, dog treats, wallets, curtains, home decor, rugs, pretty much anything! You can also turn to small businesses to help you. A lot of small businesses offer services for a better quality and price than larger companies. There are also myriads of e-books, online classes, & freelancers who can services many of your needs as well. My point is: Buying handmade & support small businesses is good for everyone. (Except giant corporations.)

10. The Golden Rule
Treat others the way you want to be treated. I don't think that there is a better mantra to live by, honestly. I can't think of a single human being who enjoys being ridiculed, abused, teased, or having emotional and mental pain. If we could all treat each other the way we like to be treated, we could make the world a much nicer place. For everyone.

I challenge you to do one small act of kindness today. Right here, right now, pick one kind thing you can do for someone. Whether you greet a stranger, decide to plant a tree, or purchase something you need from a small business instead of a corporation, the impact of that action can bring positive, long-lasting effects.

If all else fails, just treat other people with respect and kindness, and the world will give back to you. (True story.)

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