We all enjoy a little free kindness in our lives, don’t we? You know, the kind of little things that you haven’t asked for, that come unexpectedly, and just make your day?
We all deserve a free smile, or to have a random door held open when your arms are full, or even better, when they aren’t.
But in order to receive such kindness, there has to be kind people out there, ready to brighten your life.
Why not try to be that person?
Because you don’t have time on your hands? Because you don’t have savings that would allow you to give stuff around? But it only takes a couple of minutes, and a little creativity to turn a stranger’s meh-day around.
Here are a couple of simple gestures I tried in the past, that require very little time, won’t cost you a dime, and could make a big difference in another person’s day…
In Montréal, after 6 PM, an evening Metro pass is actually cheaper than buying two regular tickets. You can use it until the subway closes for the night. So, when I have some shopping to do, I try to wait until that time to buy the evening pass, even if I just go a couple of stations away, and come back within an hour. And when I am about to walk home, I just stop by the stand where people buy single tickets, and offer my pass to someone in line.
Last spring, I spent a lot of time at the hospital with Dad. When you use a hospital parking lot, unless you have very little time to spend with your hospitalized loved one, you often have to buy the 24 hour pass. But who spends 24 hours at the hospital, no matter how much you care for someone, right? So, when we left the parking lot after our visit, and there was a car at the incoming gate, I’d get out of our car, and offer the free parking to that person.
When attending Montréal’s World Film Festival, I had to buy tickets and I noticed that the ten tickets package deal was the same price as seven regular tickets, which was all I needed. I bought the ten tickets bundle, and before one of the movies, I stayed near the ticket stand, and offered the three extra tickets to strangers walking into the theater.
I am not writing this to make myself look good.
I didn’t spend a single dollar, other than what I needed to pay for myself anyway, in all three of these examples. And altogether, I doubt I waited more than a minute or two each time, to pass the piece of paper forward.
I am sure that you can think of similar little gestures in your daily life, that wouldn’t cost you at all, and could benefit another.
All you need is to think about it. And do it.
These people won’t remember me, or ever pay back the favor. But maybe, just maybe… Someday they’ll get a chance to pay it forward, and will act kindly for no reason other than just being nice to some other stranger. And that’s cool.
Because someday, that stranger might be you. And you might need that little kindness to brighten your day!
If you have other ideas of free, easy gestures, please leave them in the comments!