Becoming kind might seem like an impossible task…
The truth is, you can’t become a kind person by reading a top 10 list of things you can do to help others. There’s no cheat sheet to kindness. Developing a sense of kindness is a personal process that has a clear end goal but millions of paths to get there.
One of the problems with beginning your journey towards kindness is trying to figure out where you are and how to move forward. You know you want to be a kind person, but first, you need to stop and think about what being a kind person means to you. After all, you’ll never find something if you have no clue what it looks like.
Ask yourself who you consider a kind person, then, ask yourself what they do that you find so kind. By identifying kindness in others, you’ll start to get a sense of what kindness means to you.
After discovering some traits and behaviors in others you think are kind, try to emulate them.
In short, find your kindness role model.
You might be wondering: isn’t that the opposite of creating your personal path to kindness? You’re very right, but that’s why this is just the beginning of your adventure. You don’t want to live your whole life trying to be Mr. Rodgers if that method of kindness doesn’t work for you!
Following a role model helps you get a grip on what acts of kindness you’re drawn to. But remember! The point is to reflect on these actions to develop your own idea of what kindness means. It’s different for everyone, and that’s okay!
Once you start to get an idea on what you think kindness is, you should have a general idea of your goal. Now it’s time to survey the many paths forward. The best thing you can do is patiently test out your various options. Think about how much you’re helping others and if what you’re doing makes you feel kind.
It’s time to take action! There are thousands of non-profits in every city that need volunteers. These organizations are some of the easiest entries into acts of kindness because of how streamlined the work is. All you need to do is sign up, then see how it fits into your method of becoming kind.
When thinking about where to volunteer there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Admittedly, donating to a charity can be pretty impersonal. Often it can feel like you’re sending money into cyberspace never to see or hear from it again. But don’t let that dissuade you! Donation is the single most effective way to help others and that makes it one of the best acts of kindness.
Consider the last time you splurged on something you didn’t need. Impulse bought something you didn’t really want. Got a snack you regretted at the grocery store. The truth is we waste our money constantly. The sadder truth is that if we donated that money we might have saved lives. The next time you’re about to make an excessive purchase, try to think about how much good that same money could do when put toward the right cause.
Making these small financial changes to your life and acknowledging the impact your making is inspiring. It’s a great way to practice self-control and become kinder at the same time.
Hesitant about giving away money because you’ve heard of charities being inefficient and squandering millions without helping anyone? Don’t be.
A famous philosopher Peter Singer built a website to address this very issue.
Thelifeyoucansave gives you a step by step guide on how to donate to the best charities in the world. All the organizations listed are proven to have the best dollar-to-help ratio in the world. For more great charities and a calculator for how much of an impact your donation makes, visit GiveWell.
Looking for something a bit crazier and more personal? Donate to Live For Another’s “Kindness Fund”. It’s our attempt to address the impersonal feeling of donating to a charity by making you a part of the process.
Contribute to your favorite idea by voting for the suggestion and investing in the fund. By investing in kindness you also get a bunch of amazing perks like free stickers, t-shirts, recognition in our videos, and more.
It works like an interactive donation pool where our community members submit ideas and we use the money from each month to bring the best suggestion to life.
Even if you can’t invest money, you donate your ideas. Our community will rally together to bring your idea to life. Just submit this form:
One of the biggest developments in becoming a kinder person is doing spontaneous acts of kindness. This can be anything from helping an old woman crossing the street to helping your neighbor shingle his roof.
The point is to be on the lookout for opportunities around you. Watch for ways you can take action and help someone in need.
I can’t give you a list of all the situations you might encounter. Regardless, I’ll try to point out some common acts of kindness you might come across day to day:
Once you see opportunities in your area for kindness, a good way to stay motivated is to create a kindness project.
This can be something small like setting larger kindness goals for yourself. For example, deciding to take the day off giving food to 20 homeless people. Or, think about the last 10 restaurants you loved and take a couple of hours to give them stellar reviews. Coming up with your own project depends on the needs of your community and the resources you have access to. It’s also ok to make these projects fun and creative. Kindness is about others but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself at the same time.
Take a look at our trick or treat trebuchet. During the height of the pandemic, we built a medieval siege weapon to launch candy to kids that couldn’t go trick or treating.
Our upcoming “ hospital road trip” is an example of setting ambitious goals and having an adventure reaching them. In this project, we set out to deliver video games to seven children’s hospitals in seven states in just seven days. Check out the trailer below!
Lastly, our “kindness dart” is a great example of how a crazy idea for spreading kindness can end up helping you through personal issues. In this project, Dillon decided to throw a dart at a map of the US and travel wherever it landed to help someone in need. Unexpectedly, he ended up in Vancouver, Canada and learned about overcoming loneliness as a way to help others.
Once you have a good grasp on how to become a kinder person you want to make sure you keep your goals in mind. A great way to do this is to consume uplifting media that reminds you what kindness is all about.