17 Ways in 17 Days

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Story by Sydney Rowe, staff writer

A little bit of kindness can go a long way. Whether it’s shown to someone during a time of darkness or on an amazing day, performing one simple act of kindness a day makes your life and other’s life so much better.

Random Acts of Kindness Day is celebrated on Feb. 17 and is a day to brighten people’s mood in simple ways. If you want to celebrate but aren’t quite sure how, here are 17 ways to make someone’s day better leading up to Random Acts of Kindness Day. 

Day 1. Pay for the person behind you in the drive through

Next time you go to pay for your order, tell the cashier you want to pay for the next person’s. Whether it’s the school lunch line, fast food or any of the other numerous drive throughs in your area, you can pay for the next person’s order and brighten their day. 

Day 2. Give someone a compliment

Whether you decide to tell a teacher you appreciate their time and work, tell a friend you like their outfit, or even tell a parent you are grateful for all they have done for you, simply commenting on anything you find nice about someone can raise their spirit and confidence.

Day 3. Talk to someone who looks lonely

Many people find it hard to reach out and make friends so try and help someone out a little and be the one to start a conversation. Having a person to talk to can make the day so much more tolerable for someone in need of a little friendly human interaction.

Day 4. Hold the door for someone

The next time you find yourself walking through a doorway, simply spend a few extra seconds holding the door for a few people behind you. This small act of kindness can be very appreciated just because it means you intentionally took time out of your day to help someone, whether they appear to have needed it or not.

Day 5. Leave a sticky note for someone to find 

Write down a couple positive and uplifting messages on a couple of sticky notes and leave them in random places. You can stick them on lockers, computers, textbooks or anywhere else you choose in order to be the cause of a smile on someone’s face.

Day 6. Let someone go ahead of you in line

Waiting in long lines is something no one likes to do. They’re boring and seemingly never ending so whenever you find yourself in a line, consider letting someone go ahead of you. For example, if you see someone behind you in the checkout line that only has a few items while you have many, let that person checkout ahead of you. 

Day 7. Help someone unload groceries at the store

Whether it’s your parents, an elderly person or a completely healthy individual, offer to help someone unload their groceries into their car. Just be sure to be aware of your surroundings and don’t put yourself in an unsafe situation. Also, be sure to always let someone know where you are while you’re helping.

Day 8. Smile at someone when you pass by them

Smiles are infectious. When you pass by someone in the hallway and make eye contact, go a step further and smile at them. A genuine smile can show someone that they matter and are noticed. Gratification like that can help tremendously when you’re feeling insignificant to the world.

Day 9. Call a friend or family member just to talk

Rather than calling for a specific reason, call someone you care about no reason other than to chat. Update each other on your lives and upcoming events. A carefree, go where it may conversation can turn into one of the most memorable talks you’ve ever had.

Day 10. Take time to really listen to someone 

Let someone get everything off their chest with you. Listen attentively and support them when they need it. Refrain from relating the conversation to one of your experiences or troubles, unless otherwise asked, and keep the focus solely on the other person. 

Day 11.  Give someone you know a ride 

Though you shouldn’t ask a total stranger for a ride, if you seem someone you know well enough to feel safe alone with, you can give them a ride. Do this purely out of the kindness of your heart and forgo asking for compensation such as gas money. 

Day 12. Leave money taped to a vending machine 

Every once in a while when you go to get a snack from a vending machine, leave a dollar or two for the next person. Also, consider leaving a little note to verify that you left the money intentionally and it is meant to be used. This small surprise can turn a bad day into a good one with something as simple as a candy bar or some chips.

Day 13. Do someone a favor without expecting one in return

Ask someone what you can do to help them. When given an answer, complete the task to the best of your ability without expecting anything in return.  

Day 14. Give out valentine’s cards/flowers to people around you

On Valentine’s Day, buy a bouquet of individual flowers or a bunch of valentine’s cards and hand them out to people. They don’t have to be expensive or over the top. Throughout your day hand them out to those who don’t have anyone they’re celebrating with.

Day 15. Leave a generous tip for your waiter

In addition to being kind to your waiter when you go out to eat, leave some extra money as a tip. Most waiters and waitresses work hard all day long and having instant money from tips is great motivation to keep up the hard work.

Day 16. Give to someone in need

When you see a homeless person or someone in need give them something to help them out. Buying them food, giving them clothing, blankets or just cash can be a great way to help. Anything you can spare is helpful to the less fortunate. 

Day 17. Give someone some encouragement

When you see someone who appears to be struggling, try giving them some encouragement. Sometimes all we need to keep persevering hardships is a few uplifting words. 

Although this list only goes on for 17 days, kindness is something everyone should try to spread everyday. The small things are usually what mean the most and purposely giving up some of your time for someone else is a simple way to give a little kindness.