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50 Intentional Acts of Kindness

2011 August 3

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do. ~Edward Everett Hale

50 Intentional Acts of KindnessKindness: The state or quality of being kind; manifestation of kind feeling … an act of good will.

According to research conducted at Harvard University and the University of California at San Diego, a single act of kindness can extend as far as three degrees of separation, and also spreads laterally to affect an even greater number of people who come in contact with the original “affected” individual.

Can you imagine if every human being performed a single intentional act of kindness every day? Why, it could change the world!

Never underestimate the impact of a single act of kindness.

  1. Give a compliment about a helpful service employee to his/her manager.
  2. Let someone jump in line ahead of you at the bank, grocery store, etc.
  3. Treat a friend to the movies for no reason.
  4. Hold the train (or elevator) door open for someone rushing to get in.
  5. Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person.
  6. Compliment a colleague for their hard work and excellence.
  7. Recommend a competitor to a potential client.
  8. Give another driver your parking spot.
  9. Help an elderly neighbor carry the rubbish out.
  10. Buy an inspirational book for a friend.
  11. Skip one unnecessary purchase for yourself and donate the money to
  12. Surprise your significant other with breakfast in bed – and do the dishes!
  13. Repair something for someone.
  14. Leave a note of gratitude/love laying around for your partner to find.
  15. Wash the dishes in the sink at work.
  16. Hold a door open for someone.
  17. Smile, and say thank you … a lot.
  18. Offer a couple hours of free babysitting to young parents who may not have the money to pay a sitter.
  19. Donate used books to a library or your local chapter of Friends of the Library.
  20. Clean Up Graffiti.
  21. Read to someone … a child, the elderly or someone who is ill
  22. Participate in highway clean up day in your area.
  23. Adopt a soldier.
  24. Call or visit someone who is sick.
  25. Collect canned food for a food bank.
  26. Donate Blood.
  27. Donate Used Clothing.
  28. Send someone a hand written note of thanks or appreciation.
  29. Help someone load or unload their groceries
  30. Give a phone card. Perhaps you know a poor student or senior citizen who is struggling to pay their bills. Help them out! Give them a phone card so they can keep in touch with their loved ones
  31. Bring in a neighbour’s trash cans
  32. Bake goodies and take them with a “thank you” card to the police station, fire station, emergency room, etc., anyone that spends their life helping others.
  33. Print up some inspiring signs and post them around town.
  34. Tuck a “because I love you” note in your child’s lunchbox.
  35. Do a chore that is normally your spouse’s job.
  36. Volunteer at a hospice or homeless shelter.
  37. When visiting a hospital spend a few moments with someone who doesn’t have any visitors at that time.
  38. Send a note with cookies or flowers to a teacher who has dedicated their life to educating children.
  39. Drop off books and magazines to hospitals, nursing homes and doctors offices.
  40. Purchase a couple extra bags of dog or cat food and take to the animal shelter.
  41. Run an errand for someone.
  42. Offer to pick up a friend or a neighbor’s children from school or daycare.
  43. Take a neighbors newspaper laying out on their driveway to them or leave it at their front door.
  44. If your favorite coffee store features a promotion card that is good for a free drink after so many purchases – once the card is filled, give it away. You can ask the cashier to give it to someone of his/her choice, or surprise someone you know.
  45. Pick up some rubbish in the road which would otherwise be lying around.
  46. Put some coins in someone else’s parking meter.
  47. Leave a copy of an interesting book on a train / bus.
  48. Next time you don’t need something, give it away
  49. Compliment someone on how they look.
  50. Donate a new handmade blanket to Project Linus for a child who is ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need.

To make a difference is not a matter of accident, a matter of casual occurrence of the tides. People choose to make a difference. ~Maya Angelou

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25 Responses
  1. LeahRochel permalink
    April 16, 2012

    For my 50th Birthday, I’m going to try to get 50 people to do an intentional act of kindness in my honor. That will be my gift.

    • April 16, 2012

      Welcome Leah, thanks so much for sharing your plans for your special birthday – what an absolutely awesome idea!

  2. Barbara Harnsberger permalink
    October 21, 2011

    Thank you for the wonderful post. I work in a Memory Care Facility and every act of kindness you do is so appreciated. What a great world to live in if more people followed this list.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Barbara Harnsberger

  3. Sally Thompson permalink
    September 20, 2011

    This really a great post.. This must be taught on the children.. This can help kids develop their good moral.. Thanks for sharing!
    Sally Thompson recently oil changeMy Profile

  4. August 19, 2011

    I love this list and am I going to save it for future reference. I know that manifesting goals happens faster when one is in the spirit of generosity; consequently, I make it a point to look for an opportunity to do a random act of kindness for someone once in a while. I love how I feel after I do it.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted..Get Totally Obsessed With ImaginationMy Profile

    • August 21, 2011

      Welcome Rachel,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the list and really appreciate taking the time to share your thoughts!

  5. August 13, 2011

    Hey Marty,

    I love this post :) we always tend to think that doing something small won’t really matter. The fact is that sometimes even the smallest effort could mean a lot to others. Thanks for sharing this list with the community.
    Hooda recently posted..Converstion Marketing: Generate 10 Times More Traffic With One Single Article: The 10X Formula… Part 2 of 2My Profile

    • August 14, 2011

      Hi Hooda … thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts, and I’m so glad you like my article! I’m a HUGE fan of grass roots efforts so I always try to share small ways each of us can make a difference every day. Hope you’re having a great weekend :-)

  6. August 11, 2011

    Hi Marty! This is a great list! I love the heading in this post where you say, “never underestimate the impact of a single act of kindness.” That stands out to me because I think so often we do think small things won’t make a difference. But small things do add up and can have a tremendous impact. Thanks for sharing this!
    Angela recently posted..Build a Big Money Making Business Selling Picks and ShovelsMy Profile

    • August 11, 2011

      Hi Angela,
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts – I’m really glad you enjoyed my article! I’m a BIG believer in the power of grass roots efforts. Come again!

  7. Kamil permalink
    August 7, 2011

    Thanks Marty for great list single act of kindness. We all should print this list and read every day.
    Kamil recently posted..What exactly You Must Understand When You Purchasing Bank Repo CarsMy Profile

    • August 8, 2011

      Aloha Kamil,
      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts … I’m so happy you enjoyed the article and I hope you’ll be returning soon. Aloha!

  8. August 6, 2011

    Hi Marty,
    what a great list. Thank you for putting it together and sharing it.

    Doing things for others feels good. I came across a suggestion once that said to do something for others when they don’t know you have done it for them, like the parking meter you suggested, or paying for the person behind you, or leaving a few dollars on the counter in the toilet.

    To be honest I like seeing the look on people’s faces and I like giving gifts any time of the year.

    Much appreciated
    Yorinda recently posted..What is the Meaning of Freedom?My Profile

  9. August 4, 2011

    Hi Marty,

    Thanks for sharing this impressive list of acts, which require little effort on our part, but can make such a difference to the lives of others.

    It’s just another way of paying it forward and being selfless and those acts, if done from the heart will always manifest itself many times over and reward the person who makes the effort.

    It really can be very easy and take so little time to make a difference and feel good about yourself for having done so.

    If you just think of the things that you wish others would do for you to add some convenience to your life, you can continue to add to the list and just do those things for others and there is a good probability that the favor will also be returned. Just do it from the heart and don’t expect anything in return.

    If everyone would adopt that mindset, the world WOULD be a better place to live.

    Keep inspiring us,
    Marc Korn recently posted..How to Identify Your Goals | 7 Goal Setting QuestionsMy Profile

  10. August 4, 2011

    I love this Marty!

    I’m all about random acts of Kindness – started a website around it, actually (, after I initiated a 22 Days of Kindness campaign at my stores. It was so much fun, felt so good, and the benefits went beyond me and my staff to the community at large, and even people around the world.

    I deeply appreciate reminders like this beautiful post, that make it clear kindness does not have to be difficult, time-consuming, complicated or costly. Sometimes the simplest act can have a huge impact on someone’s day, week, or year. You could invest 5 minutes doing something that will be fondly remembered forever.
    Natalie recently posted..The Power of a Sincere ApologyMy Profile

  11. Roshanda Gilmore permalink
    August 4, 2011

    This post is TRULY a gem! It’s the little things that can make a HUGE difference in someone’s life. Even the things that can’t be seen like picking up a piece of litter and throwing it away.

    As the saying goes..”Your never fully dressed without a smile.” You have put a smile on my face today.. Thank you for YOUR kindness! :-)
    Roshanda Gilmore recently posted..How To Create A Facebook Fan Page In Less Than 2 minutes – 2011My Profile

    • August 4, 2011

      Welcome Roshanda and thank for taking the time to share your thoughts. Glad you liked my article. You know, I think in many respects the kind things we do that no one sees or knows about are far more important than the ones we get credit for. Aloha!

  12. August 4, 2011

    Marty -

    This reminds me of that movie Pay It Forward! Whether consciously or not, I have always tried to do something on this list (or one of my own that is very close to it) every day. Do something nice and nice things will be done for you, right? :)


    • August 4, 2011

      Hi Sandy, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts … and you are so right. What’s that old saying, what goes around, comes around :-)

  13. August 4, 2011

    As usual, an article packed and chock-o-block of your daily smiles, which always bring a smile in my own heart.

    Thank you, kind Lady!

    Keep the Smiles,
    Stevie Smith recently posted..Young Loving Woman Ready To Meet A Nice Man…My Profile

  14. August 4, 2011

    Hi Marty,
    This is one heck of a list… so much we can do to make someone feel good..
    Here is the exciting part…
    your acts of kindness will not only help the person feel good
    it will make you feel great too.

    Got to draw the line somewhere…
    “Give another driver your parking spot.’…
    Just kidding.:-)

    Have a great day.
    Bryan McHeyzer recently posted..God-Created-ChildernMy Profile

    • August 4, 2011

      Ha! Thanks for the chuckle Brian – and I have a confession to make … giving up a parking spot is a tough one for me as well. Thanks for stopping by :-)

  15. Suteki permalink
    August 3, 2011

    Interesting to read this great article indeed because I have known many great and new things from you. Thanks a lot one more time
    Suteki recently posted..Tips to avoid HeartburnMy Profile

  16. August 3, 2011

    Hi Marty,

    What a sweet list this is! Isn’t life much more enjoyable and purposeful when we render kindness? Little gestures go a long way and we are unaware of the impact we have on someone when we reach out and provide service to others.

    All the verbs are here! Give, donate, print, offer, run, purchase, donate, compliment, do, bring, help, call, donate, recommend, compliment, treat, buy, skip, surprise, repair, leave, wash, hold, smile, read, and participate. If you are performing a verb, you are rendering an act of kindness!

    Also, remember to receive when someone else wants to be kind to you. If you repel their gesture, then you are not allowing them to perform their verbs!

    Raena Lynn
    Raena Lynn recently posted..What Is The Most Important Offer I Can Share With The Most Value?My Profile

  17. August 3, 2011

    That’s a nice list things to do for acts of kindness. It gets me thinking of other ideas.
    Melodie Kantner recently posted..EFT Tapping For Those Days When You Feel Crappy and UnmotivatedMy Profile

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