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The Kindness List

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The Kindness list (Please add your ideas to the list and pass it on)

By Douglas Vermeeren

The best way to feel good about yourself is to do something for someone else that either can’t repay or will never know who did it for them.mKindness is great first impression. Our world needs lots of things – but the thing it’s lacking the most right now is kindness. If we could get more of this one thing a lot fo the troubles would be solved automatically. Big solutions to big problems are always found by starting with the little things. Some people may think I am naive and simplistic, but little things are the best way to change big things. In fact, it really is the only way it can ever happen.

Research has confirmed that kindness creates feelings of happiness and joy in the kind person. If you want to feel better about yourself it starts with looking beyond yourself. 

Often most people miss moments to be kind because they often look for big obvious events where help is needed. Kindness is more of a habit than an event. But like all habits they often require some training and support to make them permanent. 

Kindness actually is a matter of consistency in small acts rather than large ones. Focus on what you can do, not what you could do. And don’t overthink it. Kindness doesn’t come from the head but rather from the heart.

But I do recognize that being kind is not always easy. Especially when someone hurts your feelings (intentionally or unintentionally), and sometimes kindness is required at inconvenient moments. Kindness does require a commitment to yourself and others. 

What is your kindness standard? As with everything in life we rise to the standards we set for ourselves. If we set it as a priority to be kind we will be very pleased with the results and side effects. If we decide that kindness is a waste of time, slows us down, that others are not worth the time and effort we will soon see that the universe responds to us in similar ways.

My personal experience has been that even when I am feeling frustrated, depressed, hurt or weak the moment I choose to be kind (regardless of my situation)( things begin to change and good things begin to return. There is a saying I often share with my students, “The fastest way to feel good about yourself is to do something for others that they can’t repay.” I would add to that  idea that if you can do it anonymously that feelings is even grander.

Here is the list that I’ve assembled from observing others, my own experience and the experience of my students that will help you to develop greater kindness. Naturally as you go through this list you will discover some of these things will help in your family. Some are more public and others are for complete strangers. 

Some of the kindness ideas on this list are ideal for family members, your spouse or close friends. Trust me, many of these are actually from my own experience. But you’ll also find that many of the ones you would do for a family member or close friend can also be shared with others and will draw them into a closer relationship or friendship with you. Use your judgements as to how appropriate some of these items may be.

Sone of the ideas that follow are specific things the you can do or some things you can think about. Either way as you bring these concepts of kinds more fully into your life you will begin to see the rewards of kindness more clearly and you will soon agree that when you are kind you feel better, better things start happening to you, arriving for you and opening up to you. Kindness has a specific and special power of its own.

I encourage you to consider them all. I also encourage you to pick some of these things and try them today:

Do the dishes without being asked

Treat everyone as a special person

Just strive to become a better person

Go get the baby and let your wife sleep

Believe the best in people 

Take out the trash without being asked

Say something kind to a stranger

Compliment a friend on their wardrobe

Help someone move (bonus points if they have a piano.)

Sometime it means putting your stuff second

Call up a parent or sibling to say hello

Send a thank you note

Notice someones new hairdoo, shoes or outfit

Arrange a surprise birthday party

Arrange a surprise recognition party

Do more than expected

Express gratitude for something little

Volunteer for the special olympics

Go meet your neighbours 

Tend one off your sick children at night

Adopt a pet

Teach ESL

Send books and supplies to third world schools

Coach a local youth team

Give people second chances

Volunteer on the crisis lines

Run for the cure

Be more forgiving

Establish a foundation 

Be a mentor

Send gifts to an orphanage

Donate to charities

For your next birthday ask others to donate to charities

Share old books with shelters


Fold laundry without being asked

Smile often

Bring flowers for someone at a senior center

Share one of your talents

Do a service project

Always keep your promises 

Don’t unrealistic expectations on other people

Look for positive things in others and situations 

Clean up trash in the park

Deliver a dinner to someone who is sick

Babysit for a mom needing a break

Stop at lemonade stands

Donate to worthy causes

Include those who are normally excluded

Let someone know they’ve done a good job

Help people solve problems without expectation

Don’t try to change people love them for who they already are

Listen to a child

Think before you speak when emotional

Go the extra mile

Don’t compare or compete when someone shares their success


Complete chores without being asked

Help someone move

Buy coffee for the person behind you

Let someone in front of you in line

Say thank you

Express appreciation

Recognize someone for their kindness

Encourage someone

Spend time with your spouse doing something he/she likes

Invite someone for lunch

Coach a kids sports team

Volunteer at the food bank

Don’t judge a person by their past

Stop and help someone fix a flat

Speak kind words to everyone

Celebrate success (even if its your competition)

Be loyal

Be interested in other people

Say I love you more often

Cheer for everyone

Extend a helping hand

Believe the best about people

Help a child fix their bike

Don’t prejudge

Don’t get upset when interrupted 

Look for what you have in common with people rather than what divides you

Treat everyone as important

Mow the neighbours lawn

Give people space if they request it

Press gratitude often and be specific

Accept blame first instead of blaming someone else

Respond kindly even when you re tired


Avoid comparisons with other people

Be the first to say I’m sorry

Breath when you are angry and bite your tongue

Be on the hunt for all things good wherever they appear

Have a cheerful countenance

Bake cookies for the neighbour

Shovel the snow from a neighbours walk

Ask how can I help?

Arrange for a romantic getaway for your spouse or significant other

Open doors for people

Do not give kids clothes for their birthdays 

Validate people who disagree with you

Ask for donations on your birthday in place of presents

Bring flowers

Don’t stereotype people without getting to know them

Be present – 

Don’t act like a know-it-all

Avoid Complaining

Don’t just go through the motions

Spend time with someone who has lost a loved one

Put yourself second when someone asks for help

Learn more patience

Hide surprises in the house

Show interest in your partners day and activities

Help cook or serve at a homeless shelter

Gather clothing to donate to a local shelter

Visit senior citizen in a nursing home

Donate non-perishables to the food bank

When some asks for help let Yes be your first answer

Give more than you get

Let your spouse have the remote

Support new learners as they gain experience 

Look for opportunities to serve 

Give people your undivided attention when they are talking to you

Hide post-it noes with special messages where your loved ones will find them

Stand up for someone who is not present

Greet someone at the airport 

Focus on good points

Be friendly wherever you go

Never use sarcasm, put-downs or insulting humour

Tell people you are glad they are in your life

Publicly celebrate victories (even those of your competitors)

Believe in your relationships 

Be excited when someone gets home

Help with expectation

Never criticize

Focus on the relationship not the accomplishment

Express appreciation even when the effort isn’t perfect

Never walk away while someone is talking to you

Join a mastermind 

Be kind to yourself

Trust more

Speak softly

Be a better friend

Don’t create undue financial stress on your family or friends

Don’t delay when you give a commitment to help

Set goals with others in your organization

Support others with their dreams

Forgive mistakes in others

When you disagree seek out a win-win

If you don’t like something fix it

Don’t do things for credit, do things because they are right

Turn off the tv when guests come over

If something needs to be thrown out do it

Choose to see the best in people

Compliment others often

Write people a handwritten note of appreciation

Tell people how importune they are

Help kids with their homework

If something is broken fix it

Be teachable

Keep your things clean

Catch people at their best

Do challenging work more often than your turn

Speak kindly of your in-laws 

Spend time with your kids doing something they like

Be happy with yourself

Tell people why they make you happy

Don’t tell mean jokes

Remember birthdays 

Send greeting and thank you cards often

Be fun to be with

Kindness grows with conscious practice

If you use it put it back

Look for ways to nurture friendships

Do things without being asked

If you borrow something return it promptly and in better condition

If you’re going to be late call

Always go the extra mile

Run an errand

Don’t make fun of other people

Unplug from technology to be with people

Anticipate needs before they are expressed

Speak in gentle tones

Create friends wherever you go

Don’t forget mothers day

Be flexible

Do something nice for someone your loved ones love

Seek to understand others points of view

Put the toilet seat down

Dress up for date night

Continually strive to be a better person

Use encouraging words when others have difficulties 

Give support without expectations

Surround yourself with people who value kindness and you will be more kind

Help people see their self worth and value

Keep your good works a secret

Every time you feel like criticizing offer to help instead

Be more flexible _ especially when others need you

Remember that small moments are actually a deal

Use deodorant and proper hygiene _ yes, that is part of being nice to others

Show consideration for others in public (ie. don’t talk loud on your cellphone, turn off your phone in movies, let people in while in traffic.)

Don’t interrupt people

Keep confidences

Social senstivitity

Validate people even when you don’t agree

Remember in business people proceed profit

Never plan or consider revenge

Let go of hurts quickly

Speak with empathy first before giving advice

Don’t make people scapegoats

Remember the magic words, Please, thank you, you’re welcome, I’m sorry

Focus on people when they are present

Speak well of people when they are not there

Put away your phone when with people

Put your ego away when arguing and listing

Seek to understand before being understood

Listen to a child

Apologize sincerely

Respecting another persons religion

Leaving someone else the last bite

Checking in to see if someone is okay

Become a big brother or big sister

Leave the token or coin in the shopping cart

Get the door someone

Think of others as people too

Forget a mistake that has been made

Help some move heavy objects

Leave a bigger tip and a kind note

Give flowers and a note

Stop at a lemonade stand

Pay a sincere compliment

Hold an umbrella over someone who hasn’t got one

Sometimes the kindest thing you can do it is keep your opinion to yourself

Check your motives before you do a thing

Be kind to small animals too

Visit seniors at the senior center

Feed a handicapped person or disabled senior

Give the shoes off your feet, the shirt off your back

Take supplies to an orphanage

Pray with someone

Shave your head with a friend who has cancer

Put yourself second

Don’t look for something great to do – look for something than needs to be done


Ignore little faults and criticism

Let some in line in traffic

Wait for a pedestrian to cross

Don’t tail gate

Serve at a homeless shelter

Cut hair for the homeless

Run errands for a shut in

Help someone look for a lost item

Help someone look for a lost pet

Help a lot child find their parent

Send a card to let someone know you re thinking about them

Pick up litter

Clear your own table at the coffee shop

Give someone directions

Help someone find their way

Leave public toilets as you’d hope to find them

Wipe down your gym equipment

Clean out your closet and donate your close to a charity or the homeless shelter

Make a care package for someone

Cut someones lawn

Shovel their sidewalk of snow

Give someone a lift

Help someone out of an embarrassing moment by being understanding

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Written by douglasvermeeren

December 25, 2019 at 2:22 am