(This post contains affiliate links.) Metta (or loving kindness) is a fundamental Buddhist virtue that we would all do well to practice, regardless of our religion. Metta is a genuine compassion directed towards other people with the intention of surrounding them with loving kindness.
Metta meditation helps us to cultivate the quality of Metta and this in turn can help us to forgive those who have wronged us, dissolving the negative emotions that we hold towards them. The following meditation is a good example of a Metta meditation:
In terms of the Law of Attraction, giving and being of service to others whilst expecting nothing in return is considered to be an expression of abundance. Our acts of kindness dissolve our thoughts and feelings of lack, replacing them with a vibration of abundance, and the Universe matches that for us.
Christianity promotes kindness too of course and the Holy Bible very much echoes the sentiments of the Law of Attraction:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. – Luke 6:38
- Compliment people. If you are admiring someone’s haircut, don’t keep the thought to yourself. Tell them. It could make their day.
- Snail mail from friends and family is always so lovely to receive, isn’t it? Take every opportunity to send some happy mail, whether it be thank you notes, a letter or greetings card, or even a clipping from a magazine.
- Giving to charity doesn’t always have to mean donating money. Check out my post How Helping Charities Needn’t Break the Bank for some ideas.
- Give up your seat for someone who needs it more than you do.
- Praise good service. Remember the employee’s name and tell the manager or write to the company. Hopefully the employee will get the recognition they deserve.
- Make eye contact with strangers and smile at them. Check out my post A Smile Costs Nothing for inspiration.
- Put some coins into someone else’s expired parking meter.
- While walking in your neighbourhood, pick up any litter you come across. Go prepared with a rubbish bag and a rubber glove!
- Take your parents out for a meal.
- Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Hold open the door for others. Always. Not only is it the kind thing to do, but it’s just good manners!
- Plant a tree or some flowers to brighten up dull areas in your neighbourhood or on your commute. These seed balls are a great idea and they are recommended by The Bumblebee Conservation Trust too.
- Donate blood.
- Make someone laugh. If you have a friend who is feeling a little low, email them the link to your all-time favourite funny YouTube video.
- When you have finished mowing your own front lawn, offer to do the same for your neighbours.
- If the person behind you in the supermarket queue seems rushed or has only a few items, let them go first.
- Pass your newspapers and magazines on to neighbours who cannot afford to buy them themselves, or donate your magazines to your local GP surgery or hospital.
- Blow up some balloons and randomly hand them out to young children at your local park.
- Buy a bag of doughnuts and take them to the firefighters at your local fire station.
- Treat your best friend, maybe by taking them to dinner or to the cinema.
- Finished your own work and have a little time to spare? Ask your colleagues if there is anything you can do to help them.
- Do you have a friend, neighbour or work colleague who is feeling a little lonely or going through a difficult time? Invite them to your house for dinner. Some good company can do wonders to lift their spirits.
- Buy a copy of The Big Issue magazine from a high street seller.
- Tell your friends and family how much you love and appreciate them. Compliment them and make sure they feel as special as they truly are to you.
- Browse charity shops for copies of your absolute favourite books and use them to form a small library of books that you can lend to your friends so that they too can experience the joy or inspiration that reading them brought to you. Or, release the books into the world for strangers to find through Book Crossing.
- Take the time to truly listen to someone’s problems. Don’t talk, just listen.
- When you are going shopping, ask any elderly neighbours if they would like you to pick anything up for them too, or if they would like a lift to the shops.
- If you see a tourist struggling to take a photograph of himself in front of a famous landmark or a couple trying to take a photograph of the two of them together, offer to take it for them.
- Give a homeless person food or a hot drink. Or why not take them to an all-you-can-eat buffet and actually get to know them too?
- If you read a blog post that you particularly enjoy or that is helpful to you, leave a comment.
- Offer your services as a babysitter to any friends who are busy or stressed. An evening free of childcare duties to go out to dinner or even just catch up on the housework can make all the difference.
- Do you know someone who has just had a baby, is going through a bereavement or has just had an operation? Try cooking double the amount when you cook your dinner each day and freeze the extra portions for them. Offering to clean their house, shop for them or do their ironing will also be much appreciated.
- If you see someone struggling, offer to help them.
- Do you see the same glum faces on your way to work each day? Why not try to start a conversation? You just might make a friend and make your daily commute happier for both of you.
- Offer to pay the difference when the person in front of you in the supermarket queue is short of money.
- Talk to shy people, especially at social gatherings which can be a real struggle for them.
Do you have any more ideas to add to my list? What’s the most memorable random act of kindness that you have ever done? Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.