Many of us are guilty of spending far too much time in front of a computer screen or staring at our phones and not connecting with what’s going on in the real world right this very moment. I know I am! Take some time this holiday season (and afterward) to do a few random acts of kindness. It may make someone’s day, and you’ll be surprised how many times that person is you!
Here are a few ideas for Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) that can be done on a college campus or in the local community.
- Write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life that you haven’t see in a while. Yes, on real paper. No, not an e-mail. Compose a real life piece of snail mail and send it to someone.
- Create and print some inspirational flyers to hang in your dorm or on campus. You could use quotes on kindness or motivational reminders, google for ideas.
- If you see a member of our military on campus, stop and thank them for their service. I saw a young man carrying a military dress uniform across campus this morning. Hinds Community College is a military-friendly campus and we have many students who have (or are currently) risking their lives for our country. A smile and a thanks are just small things we can do to show our appreciation.
- Bake cookies for your neighbors or your floor in your residence hall.
- If you’ve got the cash to spare, order pizza for a night class (just not on a test night).
- Standing in line? Let someone go ahead of you.
- Leave quarters on laundry machines or taped to vending machines for the next person who comes along.
- If you have a car, help out someone in your dorm who doesn’t.
- Visit a local nursing home and take some friends with you. Ask an elderly person about their memories of the community, read to them, play some music.
- Give directions to someone who looks lost on campus. You were in their shoes once.
- It’s cold, give up your parking spot to someone else. Walking a bit farther won’t hurt you.
- Call the animal shelter and ask if there’s anything you can do to help. You can make home made treats for animals, or go help out.
- Study with someone after class. There’s always someone who needs a little extra help, it may be you. Offer to tutor in the subjects you do best in.
- If you’re buying Christmas gifts, support businesses in your local community. If you do buy online, check out stores like Sevenly that donate part of their proceeds to charity.
- Have some nice clothes that don’t quite fit anymore? Donate them to organizations that help the homeless get back in the workforce.
- Give gift cards to strangers. There are tons of people in the community and on campus who’d appreciate a gift card for a meal.
- Ask a good question every day in one of your courses. It will help you understand the content better and help someone who may be too shy to ask themselves.
- We have some great student bloggers here at Hinds CC! Take a moment to leave a positive comment on one of their posts. Apply to share your student experiences with new students. You may want to blog about all the Random Acts of Kindness you’re doing.
- Leave a thank you card for someone who works on campus. It may be a janitor, a faculty member, someone who helped you with financial aid, anyone who has helped make your life better.
- Check out kindness apps like We&Co or sites like beremedy.org and share ideas you like in the comments.
I hope this season is wonderful for everyone. Spread some cheer today and every day. As Plato famously said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."