My first year of Graphic design studies is officially over, I passed my finals and kissed hello this summer. Today is the first day of Ramadan, so I wanted to first wish all muslim people a happy Ramadan, may this month be a time for transcendence, redemption and goodness. To everyone else, I wish lots and lots of happiness, love, health and dream-oriented energy. For this special occasion, I want to make a post about 30 random acts of kindness, one for each day of the month. Because Ramadan isn’t just about the food or prayers, but all of it plus much more reflexion and intentions, there are many actions that we could do daily to help the world be a little bit less darker and most importantly, to help ourselves be a little bit less darker. And to everyone not doing this Ramadan, here are 30 random acts of kindness the universe needs asap from each and every single person around.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“Every act of goodness is charity.”
He also said “Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adam every day the sun rises.” He was then asked: “From what do we give charity every day?” The Prophet answered: “The doors of goodness are many…enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one’s arms-all of these are charity prescribed for you.” He also said: “Your smile for your brother is charity.”
1) Don’t butt-in or give advice and opinions when you’re not asked for it. Have confidence in others; trust that they are fully capable of being in charge of their own lives. This one is extremely important because so many people nowadays just can’t seem to understand it. Try to take care of your own business and stop thinking that the universe needs your opinion, advice and perception of the current situations. If someone asks for your opinion and advice, give them all you have and express yourself freely, but if no one does, just mind your own problems.
2) Write a thank you note and express your gratitude to someone who has made your life better. It can be your parents, a friend, a relative, your teacher, a mentor… Anyone who inspired you in your life and helped you through a difficult time. Saying thank you is a thing, while giving them a hand written thank you letter is a completely different thing, it will make their day, and yours as well. Here’s a website for great e-cards.
3) Give 10 compliments a day. I’m talking about genuine, honest and original compliments that people will remember and that can shift a person’s mood completely. Remember having a really bad day, and then hearing something so good and genuine about yourself that you almost forgot you had it, but now that you remembered, you have that ‘extra’ that could help you move rocks.
4) Hold the door open for someone behind you. It can’t get easier than that.
5) Greet people with a smile and an enthusiastic hello. You can do this in person as well as over the phone. People will appreciate your warm reception of them and feel welcomed. Smiling at strangers and saying hi is the easiest random act of kindness you can pull off.
6) Talk to at least one old friend of yours every week. It can be on Facebook or over the phone, but the most important part is to keep in touch with these people who once made a part of the life road with you, ask how they’re doing, tell them you missed them.
7) Encourage someone who needs it. Whether it’s a friend, sibling, parent, child or coworker, a little recognition could make a world of difference in their lives, especially if they have a project coming up, a dream or goal they want to achieve. Even if you think it can’t be done, or that they’ll soon change their minds, give them honest encouragement and give them advice on how to get started.
8) Share your favourite music playlist with a friend. Life is ten times better with music, and like the quote says : “with the right music, you can either forget everything or remember everything”, so share your faves with a special person to let them know how much special they are.
9) Make extra copies of photos and send them to the people who are in the images. The fact that you thought of sending them the pictures is irreplaceable, it will create memories and generate even more kindness (they’ll say thank you and think of your action as something they could do as well to their other friends in the future).
10) Connect people to each other. You heard that someone was looking for a vet, and you happen to know one ? Your best friend has a great singing talent and you just met a music producer ? There’s a great writing contest and you know an extremely talented classmate who might be interested ? Why not give destiny a hand by connecting people to each other. No one asked for anything, and you’ll win nothing in the end, but the satisfaction of seeing someone succeed or achieve something because of your small intervention is a joy nothing else in life can give us. Bonus points if you connect people without them even knowing who did.
11) Do the dishes, especially if they’re your own.
12) Be kind to yourself. Pamper yourself, give yourself a spa treatment, buy yourself an ice cream, spend a day in your pajamas in your bed, re watch your favourite show… Basically, be nice to yourself, you deserved it.
13) Don’t over use water and electricity, it costs money, and it costs the world a lot of energy. Turn off the lights whenever you go outside a room, unplug appliances when they aren’t in use, air dry your clothing… Here’s a website for more ideas to cut on energy use and protect the planet.
14) Stop complaining all the time and keep your bad attitude to yourself. You have probably experienced how being around someone who complains all the time can be draining and sometimes downright frustrating. If a party sucks, or if something goes terribly wrong, restrain yourself from telling your friends or relatives all about how sad and mad you are. Instead, look for the bright side and remind every one of it.
15) Donate your old clothes, sport equipment, books, accessories, bags and toys. We sometimes get so overwhelmed with our own problems that we tend to forget that we cling to some objects and clothes that we don’t necessary need and that others out there would benefit from.
16) Smile and make people laugh. Laughter is the best medicine, it reduces stress and helps the soul grow. The prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him) saw a smile as a gift of joy, a gift whose substance is received by the heart. He said “When you smile to your brother’s face, it is charity.”
17) Bake a cake or buy chocolate and share it with people around you.
18) Don’t write the angry internet comment you’re thinking of writing. Just stop mean twitting or YouTube shaming and basically just hating all over the internet. It’s dumb and unnecessary hate that the universe doesn’t need at the moment. If you don’t like something, close the tab. Instead, leave positive feedback and comments to the people who deserve it, there are so many talented people out there who could benefit from your compliments and encouragement, so use the comment section wisely.
19) Be polite to the taxi driver, the server, the electrician… Everyone has a rough life, people have enough problems on their own, so don’t add your own rude behavior and attitude to the equation, and if it’s their behavior and attitude that creates the problem, don’t make a fuss about it, let it go and kindly remind them that “the two things that define you are your patience when you have nothing, and you attitude when you have everything.”
20) Be the eternal optimist of the group or family. Be the one to cheer everyone up and to give them ideas on how to do things, not the person that always brings the others down and who always has arguments to convince others not to try, not to seek…
21) Tip generously. Next time you go to a café, pub or restaurant and have a really great service, remember to tip accordingly. And if you meet the boss, don’t forget to praise the server or waitress.
22) Don’t throw garbage in the streets (besides polluting the planet, turning your neighbourhood and country into a disgusting mess, there are people whose work is to pick your trash after you because you’re not responsible and clean enough to do it for your own, so show some respect).
23) Make peace with yourself. Use that knowledge to help others who might be going through the same thing. Don’t be harsh on yourself and master the art of forgiveness.
24) Ask people to do something you love with you. Be inviting, and make sure to ask the right people who you think will appreciate your invitation and enjoy the activity. If you’re going to an art fair, invite your artist friend. If you’re going to a book signing, ask a book lover to come along with you. If it’s a movie, ask the one friend who will for sure enjoy the movie…
25) Participate. People who organize new events always worry that no one will take part. So if you hear about some new event in town, your friends organizing a party or some sort of meeting, try to give it a try.
26) Leave a gift for someone in a random public place such as on a park bench, at a bus stop, the library, or a coffee shop. Leave a copy of your favourite album, a jewelry or an old book. But most importantly, write a little note (in a post it as an example) so that the person understands that this gift was left there on purpose, and that their mission now is to give back as well.
27) Speak well of others or shut up. People are horrible, they’re mean, rude and extremely annoying, but try not to bring up only the dark sides all the time. In whatever situation you are in, whenever you say something bad about a person, try coming up with three good things about that same person right after. You will soon realize that no one is perfect and that ultimately, you will have to accept people’s darkness and not talk about it all the time.
28) Prepare dinner (or launch) instead of your mom, roommate or partner. Such a gesture will show just how much you care about the person. Even if you’re not a ‘cordon bleue’, the action in itself will be a great surprise. Bonus points if you cook the one dish that your mom, roommate, partner etc, likes.
29) Give up your seat to someone (anyone!) on the bus or subway. If you’re not that tired, give your seat to the person next to you, they might be going through some really awful times, and your gesture might give them just the right amount of energy to walk out of that bus and take charge of their life.
30) Spread the goodness. Simply let others know you are on a mission to spread kindness with the world and maybe you’ll inspire more than one to do the same.
Happy Ramadan once more,
Peace out, FZ