37 Small Things You Can Do To Be The Change Today

Be the change you wish to see in the world.
— Mahatma Ghandi

So. This has been a rough week/month/year, yes? No matter how you feel about the way things have played out during this election I think we can all agree that the result has left those of us in the US a little worse for wear temporarily. Yes, I said temporarily. We're going to be okay. We're kind of badasses. 

But right now, today, we need something to jar us out of our isolated bubbles of anonymity and remind us that regardless of who did what to who (whom?) we're all human beings just walking each other home. Am I right? We need to see each other again. Actually SEE each other.

This list is something I started thinking about a few weeks ago as a personal challenge to myself, and although I hadn't planned to share it with anyone I know there are no coincidences, especially not with timing. So this post is part of how I plan to stand up and be the change.

I strongly believe that at our core we're all good, and that small acts of kindness will ripple outward at an amazing velocity. So I want to challenge myself, and you, to use this list as a starting point, add to it, and try to perform at least one random act of kindness every single day.

Don't just talk about being the change. Don't just post inspirational memes on Facebook (although I do love a good inspirational meme). Don't just do one nice thing today and then forget about it until right before Christmas. Don't do something nice to cancel out that guy you cut off in traffic.

Focus on BEING the good in the world. You don't need a lot of money (at least half of these are free) or a lot of time (it takes two seconds to smile at a stranger). 

One thing. Every day. Less than five minutes. You can do it. We can do it. 

Pay for someone’s coffee.

Pay for someone’s prescription.

Make bags for homeless, put them in the car, hand them out as needed.

Donate clothes to the Salvation Army or another charity.

Carry post it notes and a sharpie everywhere you go. Randomly leave encouraging notes. 

Compliment a stranger.

Call a friend. On the phone. For no reason. 

Start a conversation with the person in line with you.

Actually look people in the eyes.

Smile when you do it, but try to not look too creepy.

Buy a little toy while shopping, leave it at the checkout and ask the cashier to give it to a random child.

When toddlers talk to you in the supermarket, smile and answer them.

Volunteer somewhere. Then volunteer somewhere else.

Offer to get something off a high shelf for someone at the grocery store. 

Make a donation to a homeless shelter.

Leave a larger than normal tip. With a smiley face post it note on top. 

If you see someone eating alone, pay for their meal.

If you see someone not eating alone and can afford it, pay for the whole table's meals.

If you like someone’s hat, tell them.

If you don’t like someone’s hat that’s okay, but don’t tell them.

Buy a dozen donuts. Take them to your dentists/realtor/anyone’s office. Leave them with a happy note. 

Take new tennis balls to your local dog park. 

Send a short video message to someone you don’t talk to often but miss. 

Thank a veteran/police office/fire person for their service. 

Leave your mailman a thank you note. 

Buy a few funny stuffed animals. Keep them in your car. Give them to people that look sad. 

Mail someone a thank you note. 

Make muffins. Share them with your neighbors. 

Make a promise to only share positive news for 24 hours. 

Pay the parking fee for a car behind you at an event or park. 

Carry hand warmers and extra gloves around with you. Give them to people who look cold. 

Next time you get excellent service somewhere, make a big deal out of it. Praise them. 

Leave unexpired coupons on store shelves for people to find. 

Order a milkshake or cookie for the person behind you at the drive through. 

Tape a dollar to the vending machine with a friendly note. 

Take your used books to one of those adorable tiny free library houses.

What else can you think of?