4 Ways You Can Make An Impact on a Stranger's Life was written by Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson, co-founders of the Kind Campaign.
We are all on a journey. Every day, we are surrounded by other humans. Strangers. Hundreds of lives, hundreds of beating hearts, hundreds of stories. People starting new jobs, feeling insecure, bringing home a new baby, finding out their mother just passed away, falling in love, making ends meet-- we're all just trying to figure life out. We're in this together.
Here are some quick and easy tips on how you can bridge the gap. Ways in which YOU can help foster human connection simply by being kind!
1. Look for the Little Things.
If you keep your head up and your eyes peeled for moments to reach out to others or to lend a helping hand, you’ll find that the opportunities are endless. When it comes to making an impact on a stranger’s life, it doesn’t require a grand gesture. It can be something as simple as letting a car cut in front of you while in gridlock traffic or holding the door for someone as you're leaving the doctor’s office. Simple, kind gestures have the ability to change someone’s day, and ultimately their life. Your act of kindness might be the only kind human interaction they have all day and that moment that you create could be the one thing they needed to feel empowered! Your kind gesture will also have a positive effect on your own life as well. Being kind feels good!
If we thought about that as we came across strangers throughout the day, we’d be a lot more understanding and compassionate.
2. Pay It Forward.
An intentional act of kindness has the potential of having a huge ripple effect. When a stranger does something kind, it can inspire the recipient of that action to then pay it forward. Here are some easy ways you can take action and spread kindness across your community:
1. Pay for a person’s coffee in line behind you.
2. Add extra money to the parking meter before you leave.
3. Take a few minutes to put all the shopping carts back in the parking lot at the grocery store.
4. Look into local nonprofits and volunteer.
5. Leave an encouraging, anonymous note on a strangers car window.
6. Choose a stranger at a restaurant and pick up their bill. Tell the waiter to let them know that this was a random act of kindness and to pay it forward!
7. Leave flowers on a strangers doorstep with an encouraging note or quote, and inform them to pay it forward!
3. Put Yourself In Other's Shoes.
Everyone has a story. You have no idea what someone is walking out into the world with every morning, and what they go home to at the end of their day. Every single person you encounter has gone through something traumatic. Maybe they are right now. Maybe the person who cut you off just woke up and had their life completely changed. You just have no idea what someone is going through unless you sit down and have a conversation with them. If we thought about that as we came across strangers throughout the day, we’d be a lot more understanding and compassionate.
4. Smile and say Hello!
It’s amazing the impact that a simple smile and "Hello!" at a passerby can have, not only on that person’s day, but on yours as well. Smiling releases endorphins and serotonin, so you're not only lifting someone else’s spirits, but it’s actually impacting your own chemical make-up in a positive way! Now a days, we are so glued to our phones. When you sit at the car wash waiting for your car, everyones faces are down, looking at their phones. When you're in a waiting room, no one says hi. We need to be more intentional about putting our phones down and our heads up. Instead of looking down at your phone the moment you walk into an elevator, look at the person you are sharing the ride with, smile and say hello! That tiny change in habit can have such a huge impact on both of your lives!