Random acts of kindness: 151+ ideas & examples [List]
What are random acts of kindness (RAK)? Simple actions to make the world a better place, such as giving a cup of coffee to someone you don’t know. Here are examples of the best ideas for random acts or kindness.
What are random acts of kindness?
A random act of kindness is a spontaneous action that is not organized or anticipated in advance, bringing love, helpfulness and kindness to the outside world. It is very important to realize how much effect you can have on the world with small acts of kindness. This has to do with the butterfly effect.
The term was popularized by Anne Herbert. Her 1993 book Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty contains all kinds of stories about “acts of kindness.” The term ‘random acts of kindness’ is now also known in the Netherlands.
The idea is that you do these acts of kindness anonymously. You don’t need any credits for them and you don’t do them in the name of an organization, ideology or belief. Still, there are ways you can find support in performing RAKs. For example, there is a very active ‘subreddit’ on the anonymous social media platform Reddit.
151 examples and ideas for random acts or kindness
Let’s start with the 55 most awesome ideas:
- Are you in the store? Buy something right away for a stranger. For example, a bunch of flowers for someone or a bag of candy vegetables for the homeless newspaper salesman
- Declutter and post things you no longer use on Facebook or Marktplaats for free.
- Give someone the gift of listening without interrupting the other.
- Smile at someone on the street.
- Do you ever read blog articles? Leave a kind and thoughtful comment for the author.
- Give someone a nice, long hug.
- Offer friends to babysit their child.
- Get garbage bags and picks and organize a cleaning action in your neighborhood or in a park.
- Visit someone who is lonely.
- Make a present, wrap it and write on it: “for you, from a stranger.” Leave it somewhere in a public place.
- Offer your help at a shelter.
- Delight a child with a balloon.
- Put some change in a candy machine without buying anything. This way you treat the person after you with a treat.
- Ask someone about his / her passion
- Have a deep conversation with someone ( use these deep questions ).
- Give sincere compliments to random people. Many positive things remain unmentioned. You can be the one who does mention them!
- Wish random people a good day. Or stand by the road with a sign with that message.
- In Naples it is in the culture to – if you have financial resources – to order two cups of coffee. You then pay for two, but only one cup is prepared and brought to you. On the other hand – if you are not financially well off – you can ask a café if there is an extra cup of coffee available for you, which has previously been paid for by someone else.
- Put money at the cashier when you see that the person behind you has taken the cheapest brands, probably because they don’t have that wide range.
- The free hugs campaign, which peaked in 2006.
- On November 14, 2012, a viral photo emerged of a New York cop who had bought a pair of warm socks and boots and was handing it over to a bare-footed homeless man.
- If you see someone with a physical disability, help this person. Once upon a time, a video went viral of a fast-food restaurant employee helping a customer with food that couldn’t move his arms and legs.
- Has someone made a difference in your life? Write a letter to let that person know.
- A Chicago resident Ryan Garcia performed a random act of kindness every day throughout the year 2012. So remind yourself to do this every day, no matter how small.
- Do you see a child who has dressed up as, say, a princess? Ask for a signature. The child feels like a real princess.
- Send someone a simple one-sentence email. For example, “I just wanted to thank you for being such a good friend.”
- Check in especially on Father’s Day and Mother’s Day with friends who have lost a father or mother.
- Always help someone who has fallen off the bicycle or scooter.
- Is the weather very hot? Hand out bottled water to people who are at work, such as the postman or construction workers.
- Is it very cold weather? Do the same, but with coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
- Give your parking space to someone else.
- Become a city preacher, just like the famous Arnol Kox in Eindhoven. Choose your loving message and shout!
- Bring donuts (or healthy fruits and vegetables) to work for everyone.
- Compliment parents on how well-mannered their children are.
- When everyone is gossiping, be the person saying something nice.
- Help someone in the household who is having a challenging time. For example if they have had a child.
- Give an extra large tip.
- Are you in the supermarket and the person behind you only has a few items? Let that person lead the way.
- Call your parents and grandparents more often. And / or visit them and / or help them with something.
- Call friends who are struggling. And / or visit them and / or help them with something.
- Send anonymous flowers to the receptionist.
- Are you in line for something to pay for? Pay for the person behind you too.
- Express your gratitude for things that are too often seen as a given. For example, thank the concierge.
- Send dessert to another table.
- Give up your seat on the bus, metro or tram for anyone.
- Bring people who are doing their job a cup of coffee (and a treat).
- Help someone lugging heavy bags.
- Order pizza and send it to any house number.
- Have extra patience in traffic. Give way to others in time or allow others into your lane. This can de-stress others!
- Hold the door for a few extra seconds. This makes others extra happy.
- Give away a piece of your hobby, such as a necklace you made or something you baked.
- Encourage others.
- Give a hug. It de-stresses others and interrupts negative thoughts and moods.
- Laugh. Your smile can make someone incredibly happy, even if you only talk to that person for 30 seconds, like your cashier. Bring positivity to other people!
- Offer a listening ear.
Here you will find 100+ ideas!
My favorite random act of kindness: neighborhood activities
Make the world a better place? Your own neighborhood is the best place to start. Regularly throw neighborhood parties, organize barbecues, organize things for the youth, sunday services … Building a real community!
Random acts of kindness books and teaching materials for schools
View officially free teaching materials here so that schools can also get started with random acts of kindness. It is packed with exercises and assignments. Recommended!
Also Compassion For Care provides inspiration and help, for example with the action: do a week at least three nice things every day.
Videos and quotes
- Check out the kindness quotes here and all kindness videos here for even more inspiration.
- In this video you will find an act of kindness that is not so much ‘random’, but very loving and genuine.
- You will find even more inspiration in the videos below:
Compilation: Random Acts Of kindness That Will Make You Feel Better
Bullied boy in Memphis gets help from classmates:
Skid Row Tuesdays (Homeless Documentary)
The Best Samples From Kanye West’s ‘Sunday Service’:
Peter Schmidt – architect at TU / E – was a very peaceful man. He devised and realized the peace path in Eindhoven. See pad Naarvrede.nu.
Good luck with your random acts of kindness!
Make the world a more beautiful place!