1. Pay for the person behind you in a drive-thru or at a coffee shop.
It not only makes the person receiving the free food or coffee feel special, it also brings the cashier into the kindness loop by being the bearer of good news.
2. Instead of getting defensive or angry the next time someone is rude or inconsiderate to you, express compassion for their situation.
You never know what others are going through. In his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey tells this story:
One Sunday morning on the New York subway, people were sitting quietly reading newspapers, lost in thought, or sitting with their eyes closed and resting. It was very peaceful. Then a man and his children entered. The children were so loud and rambunctious the entire climate changed.
The man sat there with his eyes closed, oblivious to the situation, as his children were throwing things, knocking people’s newspapers, and yelling. Everyone became irritated quickly. Still the man did nothing.
I couldn’t believe he could be so insensitive to let his children run around like that and do nothing. Finally, I turned to him and said, “Sir, your children are really disturbing everyone. I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more?”
The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly, “Oh, you’re right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.”
3. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Let them know that you have been thinking about them and that you’re sorry you haven’t been in touch.