Photo by Annie Spratt from Unsplash
Generally, many treat their twenties like they’re in a race. They put so much value on being successful and less on how to get there. In this generation, many frown upon playing nice and fair when reaching their dreams. They don’t think being kind is worth the risk of losing. Losing in the gamble of success is what they fear most while living in the culture of hustle and perfection. Ironically, they have witnessed first-hand the awful fate of those who suffer at the hands of the unjust system, but they’d rather be one of the oppressors too than be one of the victims.
At this point, who can blame them? Who can blame opting for the life that they don’t get stepped on and stripped of their dreams? Who can blame them for wanting to live? Nevertheless, choose to be kind anyway. Even when everybody else is treading on a different, more critical path, paint your road. Choose to open your heart. Don’t give up on being kind. Don’t give up on doing what’s right. Kindness does not need conditions — be kind despite the odds.
If you truly want to show a kind gesture to other people, you wouldn’t have to brag about it because the kindness will radiate from you by itself. You don’t have to be rich and able to help someone. You don’t have to declare to the whole world the contributions you made to the poor people in your area, because, what’s the point? There is no definite measurement of generosity. It’s based on an instinct to help other people when they’re in need, and there’s no need for an explanation.
17 LOWKEY ACTS OF KINDNESS YOU CAN DO:
It’s basic decency to ask permission from the owner before borrowing something, but unfortunately, a lot of people don’t get it. They confuse comfort and length of a relationship as a leeway to take or borrow someone’s stuff without consent. Even worse, these very same people lack the sense of responsibility to safeguard and take good care of the object they borrow. They are either too complacent or negligent about it that they leave it anywhere without supervision or let someone watch it for them without ensuring if that person is reliable.
Moreover, they express no concern whatsoever about any untoward incident that may or may not happen to it simply because it’s not theirs. They don’t value the thing they borrowed enough to handle it carefully but adore it enough to wear or use it for themselves. Not only are these kinds of people irresponsible and reckless, but they are also desperate for external validation.
A random act of kindness would be to ask permission when you want to borrow something from someone, no matter how close you are. It’s best not to assume your “right” to access things from someone regardless of your relationship because you can never guarantee which thing holds the most value to someone. It’s kind and honest to be straightforward with your intentions. You can ask these questions as a guide.
1. What do you want to do with it? For what purpose?
2. How long will you borrow it for?
3. What time do you propose to return it?
4. Who else would be using it? Is this person/s reliable?
5. In case of damages, will you be able to make restitution and reparation?
Honor your word and fulfill your obligation. If you’re not the only one who will use the object, constantly monitor its quality, quantity, and on whose hands is it in now. Don’t pass on the blame and responsibility to someone else. In extreme circumstances, make sure you hand it over to someone you trust with your life.
SOME THINGS ARE BETTER LEFT UNSAID
Many people fail to understand that some things are better left alone, never to be brought up again. Sometimes, the past is not worth digging (even if it reveals the truth) if it brings no good at all. When you’re thinking of talking about a sensitive topic or a taboo with someone in a conversation, you need to think carefully think about the consequence of your action. If you raise that subject, will it trigger him/her to be upset, to be in rage? If you intend to clear things out, will talking about it directly fulfill its purpose or will it only cause further turmoil?
Also, if the person is not present in the conversation, refrain from talking about it with someone else especially if that person is likely to tell on you or unable to keep a secret. Not only is asking for permission a decent way to show respect to a person, but it also means that you are concerned about his/her privacy and feelings. To help you become more mindful about what you say, ponder about what you would feel if someone were to talk about something that you wouldn’t want to talk about. If you cringe with the idea of recalling something mortifying because someone brought it up, then I suggest you wouldn’t do the same thing to others.
DON’T GIVE UNSOLICITED ADVICE
Giving unsolicited advice is an impolite deed that has been going on like gossip but worse. This habit has spiked since the existence of social media where everybody knows almost everything about everybody. When we see an idea, commentary, image, video, or anything at all that we disagree on or get upset about, we somehow feel the obligation to speak up and say something about it. It’s alright to have an opinion because every human being is entitled to his own, but it’s a different story when you address yours to someone and impose it on him. Some people have the audacity to give unwanted comments about other people’s choices in their lives.
Don’t be like those who think so highly of themselves that everything that comes out of their mouths is worthy of praise and emulation. Not only are you in a position where you have a right to give advice but it is also insulting to do so simply because it is not your life. Besides, you have your problems to deal with. Why don’t you solve yours before sticking in other people’s business? How would you feel if someone would stick his nose to your personal affairs?
DON’T FORCE YOUR HELP ON PEOPLE
Sometimes, helping is not always a good thing. Usually, those who are eager to help people in need are frowned upon and misinterpreted because often, they go over the border to help them. In some cases, it’s unkind and even rude to force your help onto other people who don’t even need it in the first place. It somehow sends a message that you see something wrong with them that you have this intense desire to fix and it makes them conscious and insecure. Also, by imposing your help on them, you’re taking away their opportunity to help themselves.
MIND THE COMPANY BEFORE YOU DROP A BOMB
Calling out someone in public can ruin his self-esteem and scar him for life. If you have shocking or surprising news, you can do it privately where no one else can hear (and you can save them the second-hand embarrassment). Some conversations don’t concern other people so you must keep them as confidential as you can if needed. You need to consider the people who are in the room. This is to show respect to the person you’re talking to. If you were on his shoes, you wouldn’t want anybody to smell your dirty laundry either. This is also not to involve more people about other people’s business. Not everyone needs to know what somebody did or didn’t do; you would never know what might trigger somebody.
DEFENDING SOMEONE IN HIS ABSENCE
When you defend someone in his absence, that is more than a kind gesture. So many people have been victimized because a person chose to be silent, someone chose to not be vocal about the truth. A lot of reputations have been stained because no one defended them in their absence, so people were led to believe what was only heard. Defending someone in his absence shows that not only are you full of integrity but you are also a good friend.
This means that you truly know the person from inside out enough to protect his name from any more affiliation to shame or defamation. You’re kind enough to do something good for someone even without expecting something in return. It shows that you are not two-faced and whatever you tell in front of his face is what you tell to other people as well.
GIVE SOMEONE A COMPLIMENT
Words may be cheap when not backed up with action but they hold pure power when used in the right place at the right time. It’s a kind gesture to say something good about someone (may it be his look, recent achievement, progress, etc.) Anything that you admire about someone — feel free to let him know. Giving sincere compliments can cheer up anyone anytime, especially when deep down, they’ve been waiting for someone to tell it to them. You can make up their day in no time.
GIVE YOUR LEFTOVERS TO NEIGHBORS OR STREET CHILDREN
When you eat out with your family and friends, don’t be that person who throws away the extra food. t’s a kind gesture to do charity even in simple ways. You can give them to your neighbors or to your family members who haven’t had the time to cook dinner. You can also give them to the street children you see on your way home. Many starving children who don’t have enough to eat three times a day can benefit so much from that food. If you throw away food, you’re throwing away the grace of God and your opportunity to serve the hungry.
GIVE SOMEONE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT
Don’t conclude a person’s intent or personality based on hearsay or personal judgment. Don’t be too quick to end his story with your opinion. It’s unfair and uncalled for to judge them solely based on their past actions. A person can change. Don’t deprive him of the opportunity to know better. Until proven guilty, we should believe him. The least you can do is to show him a little respect and hope that maybe he won’t do the same mistake twice. Sometimes, we all need to have a little faith especially on people who seem not to deserve it.
LET SOMEONE GO FIRST IF YOU’RE NOT READY
When standing in line in a grocery store, let someone go first if you still haven’t decided the things you want to buy or if you still need to look for spare change. If they tell you that they’re in a hurry and only bought one or two things, you can lend them your turn too. You can even let pregnant women, disabled and old people get to be first on the line. It’s a kind gesture to not hold up the line and prolong anybody’s waiting time. We can show kindness in a lot of different ways especially during common instances like this. You never know that they may have an important errand to attend to, and your patience made them not miss it.
OFFER YOUR SEAT TO THE PRIORITY LIST
Even if this is something mandated by law, sadly, in other countries, this law isn’t strictly enforced so it’s left to the kind hearts of the public to make this happen. When you’re on the train, bus, or any public vehicle, it’s a kind gesture to offer your seat to those who need it. Whether it’s an elderly, a pregnant woman, a disabled person, giving up your seat for them is a kind act.
INFORM SOMEONE WHEN YOU’RE LEAVING OR WHEN YOU’RE NOT COMING
It’s a common thing to do among friends or even in extended families to suddenly leave from a party or a get-together without even saying goodbye. Not only is this disrespectful and insulting to the host but also to the company who expected you to be around for quite some time. When you’re with the company, please be kind and thoughtful enough to inform someone when you’re leaving. On the flip side, when you’re having second thoughts about attending an event, be transparent about it. It costs nothing to accept the invitation and reject it honestly. What’s wrong is leading them on, letting them expect they’ll see you there when you’ve changed your mind.
LISTENING TO SOMEONE WHO WAS INTERRUPTED IN A CONVERSATION
When you’re in the middle of a group conversation and someone overlaps the other who was still talking, continue to pay attention to the latter. It’s sad that this happens frequently but gets often overlooked. Try to make sure that everyone in the conversation feels heard and included. Tell the person who interrupted to wait for his turn and lend his ears to the person who previously talked first. Have compassion for others who are having a good day and want to say something. How would you feel if you were interrupted by someone and you didn’t get the chance to share what you were so interested in?
PICKING UP AN OBJECT THAT FELL FROM A STRANGER’S POCKET
All of us have experienced this at least once — seeing someone’s wallet or object falling from the pocket. Even when it’s from a stranger, call his attention and tell him something fell from his pocket. If he had already walked away, pick it up and chase him down for as far as you can. You never know that could be something so important to him. Pretending that you didn’t see it fall would count as selfishness because you didn’t help him when you had the opportunity to. Be kind enough to care when someone needs your help even when he didn’t ask. Be kind enough to assume that the thing had value to him, and he would be devastated when he’d found out he lost it.
GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
It’s important to recognize the value of giving credit to whoever deserves it regardless of your biases. When someone helped you out in a project, tell him thanks for the help. Give him praise for his generosity of time, intelligence, and service to assist you. When you know someone who’s been stolen the credit, like when he’s been deprived of making a speech, do your best to give recognition to the person who did it. By giving credit to the rightful owner, you are not only acknowledging his work but also to every other artist, writer, professional who has done something remarkable in his field. This goes with citing the proper sources when writing an academic paper or any writing in general. Do your best to avoid any form of plagiarism at all costs.
RUN AN ERRAND FOR SOMEONE WHO’S BUSY
Be kind enough to offer your time and service to someone in your family or in your circle of friends who don’t have the luxury of time to attend to his errands. With your help, you can save someone the time of standing in long queues when he can be doing other more important things. Your kindness took some of the weight off his shoulders and took away his anxious feelings too. Not only did you help out someone complete his tasks, but you also prevented him from having a possible breakdown.
Being kind to yourself and to other people is the best gift you can give. It doesn’t need to be bought nor bribed; all it takes is reaching out the goodness in your heart and sharing it to others. As you rove through your twenties, remember the people who have helped you during your lowest times. Take part in the cycle of generosity and pass it on to more people around you.
You don’t have to wait to be rich to change a life of a human being. You simply need to find ways to help alleviate their lives by giving what you have. When you’re playing every role there is, don’t ever forget to play the role as a Samaritan to those in need, especially the last, least, and the lost. Those who are truly kind are those who remain kind even when it’s not reciprocated. Trust me when I say, that throughout your life, you would need someone who’s kind, nothing more, nothing less.
“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.”Princess Diana