Paying kindness forward can sometimes feel like an enormous responsibility, but, in reality, it doesn’t take much effort. Most of us do it more often than we know, like saying hello to your neighbor, calling your parents to check in on them, or thanking a grocery store clerk.
Kind gestures make a difference, and who knows, you might even create a ripple effect in their life, family, or community.
Let’s take a look at a “real-life” event as an example. An 11-year-old girl in the U.S.A. frequently writes letters to her friends and family. Earlier this year, she wrote a very thoughtful thank you note to her local mail carrier, who shared it with his colleagues, and many of whom were so touched by her kindness that they sent her a thank you note.
This young girl brightened up a large group of essential workers, and all it took was a thank you letter.
Let’s look at another example, but this time with a TV show.
If you had the opportunity to watch all five extraordinary seasons of the Canadian series Schitt’s Creek, the show subtly embodies kindness and the profound effects of it.
If you haven’t seen it, make it your next binge-watch show! But, not to give the entire storyline away, a very wealthy family of four find themselves broke with no help from family and friends and nowhere (comfortable) to go except a run-down town, where they live out their lives in a derelict motel.
The family has difficulty adjusting to their new life and is in denial about their situation for a long time. But, through the town peoples’ kindness, they begin to integrate themselves in their newfound thorp, making friends, starting businesses, and lending their political talents.
So you see, a kind gesture can go a long way, and in the case of this particular family, the entire community benefitted.
Never underestimate the effects of paying kindness forward. You never know if someone is going through a difficult time because you can really brighten up their day.
So, if you’re in a position to help, reach out! A small piece of advice can ease someone’s mind, or a friendly note can make your coworker’s day.
If you feel compelled to thank a journalist for a fascinating article they wrote, send them an email – they’ll appreciate it. Perhaps you can take the volunteer route and volunteer at a nonprofit that means something to you.
Whatever you do, people almost always respond well to kindness, so if you’ve ever felt unsure about reaching out, just do it.