Some days I wonder if I matter. Our world is so big and so broken that I can’t see how my paltry efforts make a difference. Especially when you hear stories about individuals who have accomplished so much more, like a twelve-year-old who raises thousands for cancer.
Can you relate?
But before you get down on yourself, think back to the times when you were feeling blue or stressed and someone said a kind word that made your day, or offered help exactly when you desperately needed it. And what about those times when a someone like a boss, coach or teacher saw potential in you and encouraged you to develop?
Those simple acts mattered. A lot.
A few apt words or an act of kindness can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
Here are twenty-five suggestions for how you can make a difference in someone’s life today.
- Compliment a coworker. A bit of sincere praise or encouragement might help them through a rough day.
- Send a ‘thinking of you’ card to someone who’s been on your mind.
- Send an encouraging text to someone you know who’s struggling.
- Contact your government representatives about an issue that you care about.
- Pick up stray trash you see along your path.
- Write a positive review on Amazon, Yelp, or a similar site. This is especially helpful for small local businesses, not-yet-popular authors, or anyone else who has only a handful of posted reviews.
- Shop locally.
- Do a favor for a neighbor or coworker.
- Call someone and reconnect.
- Donate your excess to an organization like Goodwill.
- Ask someone you respect for advice. There’s nothing like a request for advice to make us feel like we matter.
- Thank someone for their word of encouragement or kind act.
- Decide not to gossip.
- Share your story with someone. We all have testimonies of challenges we have survived and dreams we have worked to attain. Your story can inspire someone else to carry on.
- Give a sincere compliment to a stranger. (For example, if you see parents with well-behaved young children, compliment them. All parents need to hear this.)
- Pray for people.
- Visit a recovering patient.
- Ask your waitress or cashier how their day is going, and actually listen to the answer.
- Post encouragement rather than complaints on your social media.
- Donate old eyeglasses or other medical equipment to an organization like the Lions Club or MedShare that can distribute them to those in need.
- Sign up to volunteer. Be a coach, serve at church or school, teach ESL… the options are endless. Not sure where to start? Try VolunteerMatch.org.
- Be extra kind to anyone who seems to be having a bad day. (Instead of growling at them for being such a jerk.)
- Share a favorite something (book, recipe, plant, movie) with someone you know will enjoy it.
- Perform a random act of kindness.
- Accept help gracefully and gratefully. We all need to be needed, so don’t insult others by rejecting their kindness to you.