had the most amazing experience this morning at Starbucks. When I reached the drive-thru window to pay for my coffee, I was told that the customer in front of me – a complete stranger – had already paid for my order. The generous stranger didn’t even wait around for a thank-you; he simply drove away. What a kind gesture!

Widely known as “paying it forward”, it’s a random act of kindness that leaves you feeling a whole lot better about the world we live in. Has this happened to you?

The incident left me thinking about my own actions toward others. Am I doing enough to help other people? Am I kind to others? What more could I do? Nothing short of inspired, I rushed home to write this post. Here are 10 ways to be kind to others:

  1. Pay it forward. Extend your generosity to the customer behind you by paying for his or her order. Don’t wait around to receive their thanks.
  2. Lend a hand.  Lend someone a hand if you see them struggling to reach something in the grocery store or carrying something heavy. I can tell you that women appreciate that endlessly!
  3. Offer up your seat. If you’re on a crowded bus, offer your seat to someone who needs it more than you do. An act of kindness that is selfless and always appreciated.
  4. Send a card. People love to receive cards and it takes so little effort on our part to share this special act of kindness. Alternatively, send a letter to an old friend. It will make their day!
  5. Volunteer. The year I spent volunteering at a non-profit was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Check your local community for an agency in need of your services or visit Volunteer Match.
  6. Forgive a debt. If someone owes you money and they are struggling financially, forgive the debt. A simple act of generosity that will come back to you one day. Often times a hundred fold.
  7. Smile. You can make someone’s whole day with just a smile. Make a conscious effort every day to be kind to others and to smile more.
  8. Mind your manners. Don’t forget to say please and thank you. Using good manners is not only proper etiquette but it also demonstrates respect for others.
  9. Give generously. There are so many worthy charities who desperately need donations. If you feel inclined to do so, I would greatly appreciate your support of my Hope for the Holidays campaign to assist orphans.
  10. Love your neighbor as yourself. This post would not be complete without mentioning this final point. Love others selflessly. Not for any other reason but to love them. Expect nothing in return. Love is the most selfless gift we can offer to those around us.

I hope these ideas inspire you to show kindness to those around you. Never doubt the power of a simple act of kindness and the difference your own actions can make in the world.

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