What do you do when you pass a stranger on the street? Do you smile and say hello, or do you keep your head down and keep on walking? I guess it depends on where you live and where you’re walking. But if you’re on a street where you feel safe, then I say, go for it. Smile and say hello. You never know, it might be the first kind thing that stranger heard all day.
I’ve been particularly aware of how people behave whether they come from a big city or small town. I’ve found that town folk tend to say hello and strike up a conversation with a total stranger much easier than city folk. Now I know that’s a generalization, but that’s been my observation.
So why is that?
Is it that big cities make people feel invisible amongst the throngs and it’s easier to be anonymous? Whereas small communities tend to be more interlinked, so whether you the know the person or not is not that important. Saying hi and being kind is just the neighbourly thing to do. Which brings me to the topic of this week’s blog.
Because I’ve dedicated the month of June to the joy habit of kindness, for the past three weeks I’ve challenged you to extend a variety of random acts of kindness. This week’s challenge is about showing kindness to a stranger.
Just to recap, in week one your random acts of kindness challenge was on sharpening your joy habit of kindness by first showing love and kindness to yourself. I offered some great ways for you to do that on a daily basis.
Then in week two, your random acts of kindness challenge was directed towards children – either your children, grandchildren, or those of friends or family members. Once again, I gave some suggestions for things you could try that would help model kindness to this next important generation of leaders.
In week three, I asked you to think about the kindness offered to your friends, neighbours, and especially your co-workers. I told you about a great book I read several years ago that really influenced the way I ran my company and my life. It was all about the power of being nice.
This week’s challenge it to perform a random act of kindness for a stranger, especially for someone who is different from yourself. Here are some ideas to get you going:
- If you’re a gardener, take some fresh flowers to a nursing home.
- Smile and say hi to the bank clerk, the grocery store cashier, the person walking their dog, the construction worker. You get the idea. It’s about getting out of your own head and your own stuff and just being more open and human.
- Start a trend of “pay it forward” at the coffee drive-through or donut shop.
- Write a thank you note to your letter carrier.
- Hand out disposable water bottles to road crews who are working on a hot summer day.
- Offer to return someone’s grocery cart in the parking lot.
- Let someone in ahead of you in the grocery store line.
- Let someone else take the closer parking spot.
- Buy a warm meal for a stranger in need.
- Leave a great tip at a restaurant along with a note saying thanks for the service.
- Take a basket of cookies or muffins to a new neighbour. Remember a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet. Take the time to meet them!
- Volunteer at your local food bank or soup kitchen.
- Buy gift cards from a coffee shop or fast-food restaurant to give to people who are living on the street or in a shelter.
- Give an unexpected compliment – “I really appreciate your great service today.” “You’re really great with your dog.” “Your garden looks beautiful.” “That’s a great colour on you.” Make it respectful, genuine, and appropriate.
Never underestimate the power of kindness to change someone’s day and to ultimately shift the joy vibration throughout the world. Which always gets returned right back to you.
Love from your Joy Mama,
P.S. If you haven’t already read my book Being Joy™, it’s a simple 40-day practice of replacing old self-defeating beliefs with new empowering joy habits. As your vibrational frequency increases, you’ll not only experience more joy, but you’ll also be a beacon of hope for others who have forgotten their own joy. Please join me on this important mission by ordering your copy today!
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Images courtesy of Pixabay.