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8 Ways to Make Kindness the Norm

A white hand holding a pink slip of paper that says "Practice kindness."
Nonprofit Leadership Center

Kindness, empathy and caring about the needs of others are in the DNA of nonprofit professionals and organizations. And research shows kindness can improve happiness, health and the desire to help others.

"There's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."

In an ever-changing world where kindness seems to be in short supply, here are eight simple ways to incorporate kindness into your day, today and every day.

8 Ways to Incorporate Kindness at Work & in Life

  1. Tell someone you care. Send someone you care about an email or text letting them know that you’re thinking about them and how much they mean to you. Better yet, stick a hand-written note in the mail with a personal message.

  2. Pick up the phone. Yes, people still call each other (GASP!). Human connection is what kindness is all about. Call a friend or loved one you haven’t talked to in a while to make sure they know you care about them and are interested in what’s happening in their life.

  3. Leave an anonymous note with words of encouragement for a stranger to find. This may be an inspiring quote or positive mantra on a piece of paper or a 3×5 index card. You can place it on the windshield of a car, in a public space or somewhere that’s frequently visited to brighten someone’s day. Just be sure if it’s in an outdoor space, you secure your note so it doesn’t blow away and become litter.

  4. Sign up to volunteer at a local nonprofit. Give a few hours of your time to prepare meals for the homeless, purchase holiday gifts for kids in need, or help in the office of your favorite charity. If you’re a nonprofit leader, take a moment to recognize your volunteers.

  5. Be liberal with compliments. Whether you’re at the office, out running errands or walking in your neighborhood, share a kind word with a friend, acquaintance or stranger. Making others feel good about themselves is an easy thing to do and has motivation-boosting benefits.

  6. Pick up the tab for someone’s coffee, or give an extra-generous tip. This small act of kindness can be a big boost in someone else’s day.

  7. Be a patient driver. Let two cars go in front of you instead of just one.

  8. Donate to your favorite charity. Not because it is year-end. Not because it is #GivingTuesday. Not because someone asked you. Make a donation, no matter how small, to an organization that supports a cause that’s important to you “just because.”

Share more kindness by sharing this article with others and on your social networks to make kindness the norm.

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