99 Ways to Be Kind Without Spending a Dime

You: Some of these are weird.
Me: What’s wrong with weird?

You: Some of these are common courtesy.
Me: Yes, some of them are. Still, to be courteous is to be kind and reminders to be courteous, like this list for example, are always helpful, especially when you post them in the common area of your office or share on social media (Ahem, hint hint. See # 32).

You: Some of these are a lot of work and I'd rather spend more than a dime to not have to do them.
Me: I hear ya. If you've got the dimes and not the time, it's your right to spend 'em any which way you want. These are simply suggestions, after all.

Thanks for reading!

1. Hold the door.
2. But not if the other person is 40 feet away. Forcing the awkward jog is not kind.
3. Send a thank you email to a teacher.
4. Send a thank you email to someone in the military.

Dear-Mom-Thank-you-for copy

5. Let someone go ahead of you in line at the coffee shop. They might be late for work that day.
6. If you see someone on the street with toilet paper on their shoe, tell them. They might be on their way to an interview.
7. If you see someone on the street with toilet paper coming out of the back of their pants, tell them. They might be on their way to a first date.
8. If you notice someone dropped a glove, scarf, hat. Alert them. Pick it up. Flag them down.
9. If you like a stranger's outfit, tell them!


10. Let the person behind you in line buying only a gallon of milk go ahead of you and your basket full of items.
11. Take an elderly person food shopping.
12. Help them put the groceries away.
13. After mowing your lawn, mow your elderly neighbor's lawn.
14. After raking your leaves, rake your elderly neighbor's leaves.
15. After shoveling or snow blowing your driveway, shovel or snow blow your elderly neighbor's driveway.
16. Take the garbage out for a sick neighbor.
17. Offer neighbors extras from your garden. (That is, if you have a garden where things actually grow and look good enough to eat, in which case you should also pat yourself on the back.)
18. Give leftovers from date night to someone hungry or in need.
19. Ask first if they'd like it. Don't just plop it down.
20. Don't throw out leftovers you’ve cooked. Drop off at a community center, homeless shelter, church.
21. Don't throw out clothes you never wear anymore. Drop off at a community center, homeless shelter, church. Call them first. Most of them actually pick up.
22. Don’t throw out books! Dog eared? Stained? The binding is broken? Who cares! Your book trash is someone else’s reading treasure. Donate to a library, school, shelter or start a lending library in your office.
23. Going from long hair to an Anna Wintour bob? Cute. Oh! Wait! Don’t sweep that hair right out of the salon. Donate it to Locks of Love.
24. Say "take your time" to the busy cashier who seems to be rushing on your behalf.
25. Say "take your time" to the office manager, gas station attendant, receptionist or anyone who seems busy and rushing on your behalf.
26. And if you're feeling particularly kind and the circumstances warrant, say "Don't worry. You know what, I'll come back later."
27. If you receive good service at a restaurant, write a review on Yelp.
28. If you receive good service at a hotel, write a review on TripAdvisor.
29. If you like a small business, leave a review online.
30. If you love a book, write a review on Amazon. It means a lot to an author.
31. Comment on a blog post you like.
32. Or, share a blog post you like. It makes a blogger's day to see how many times a post has been shared.
33. Wish someone "Happy Birthday" on Facebook. FB makes you feel like a rock star on your birthday. Contribute to another's FB birthday love fest.

facebook birthdays rock

34. If you like a photo, a status, anything on FB, give it a thumbs up.
35. Retweet.
36. Heart it on Instagram.
37. Repin on Pinterest. We all get that notification high. Contribute to someone else's social media high.
38. RSVP!
39. The day after the party/event/wedding/etc., tell the host at least one thing you really liked.
40. Leave a note at the gas station pump that says "Everything is going to be OK. You don't know me. I don't know you. But, it will. Everything will be OK. It always is."
41. Leave the same note for the next person to use the dressing room.
42. Leave the same note for the next person who gets in the back of the cab.
43. Leave the same note for someone in a magazine at the doctor's office.
44. Leave the same note for the next person to reach into the vending machine.
45. Leave the same note for someone to find behind an item on the shelf in the supermarket.
46. If you finished reading your People magazine on the flight, leave it in the pouch as a pleasant surprise for someone on the next flight.
47. Give up your seat on the crowded train for the guy or gal carrying a laptop bag, a tote bag, a lunch bag and a cup of coffee. We've all been there.
48. Give up your seat on the crowded train for the pregnant lady. She could be ready to pop and it's better to be kind than a makeshift OB/GYN if the train stops short. You never know. Just sayin'.
49. Don't lean the seat back.
50. Don't hog the arm rest. Let the person in the middle have it. That's the least you can do. The middle seat sucks. Have a heart.
51. Don't take your shoes off on the plane, train or in the car. Just don't. Just...ew. Please.
52. Don’t eat tuna fish on a plane.
53. Don’t eat Indian take out on a train.
54. Don’t bust open a can of sardines in the car pool. It was nice of you to offer them to everyone else but they don’t want any. What do they want? For you to stop bringing stinky food in the car.
55. Hold the elevator "Door Open" button.
56. Ask "What floor?" if they're carrying a laptop bag, a tote bag, a lunch bag and a cup of coffee. We've all been there.
57. Refrain from talking on your phone on the train. Let others ride in peace.
58. Refrain from talking on your phone on the elevator. Let others ride in peace.
59. Refrain from talking on your phone at the nail salon. Let others primp in peace.
And you could be sitting next to a blogger who will recount your entire conversation in a blog post.
60. Let someone trying to merge in traffic go ahead of you.
61. Say thank you with the 'driver hand thank you' - you know what I mean - to the person who let you go ahead of them when you were the one trying to merge.
62. Tell the taxi driver "I'll just get out here" so he doesn't have to weave through the crowded side street.
63. See someone stranded on the side of the road? Pull over and offer your phone. Their battery might be dead! Or tell them you’re just going to hang out in your car in front of them until help arrives so they’re not alone, especially if it’s after dark. (Be careful getting out of the car, by the way. Get out on the passenger side if you can. We don’t need you going from being kind for kindness sake to pancake.)
64. Wipe down the machine at the gym next to you for the guy who 'forgot.' And don’t forget to wipe down yours.
65. Don't go to the gym when you have a cold.
66. Don't go to work when you have a bad cold.
67. Call a family member if you hear they're not feeling well.
68. Call a friend if you hear they're not feeling well.
69. Call a neighbor if you hear they're not feeling well.
70. Just say "Thank you" in response to "G0d bless you" when you didn't actually sneeze but coughed. You might think this one is silly. It is. But, next time, see if you can resist saying “That was a cough” and just smile and say “Thank you.”
71. Laugh at the joke even if it's corny.
72. Smile at children.
73. For the mom with the screaming child, don't look in their direction. Give your best Oscar winning performance in the role 'Nicely Dressed Person Intently Reading Phone.'
You got this.
"What ruckus? I don’t hear a thing as I check my Twitter feed right here."
74. Buy lemonade from a kid's lemonade stand.
75. Don't ask if they have a permit from the town and are paying taxes on their lemonade profits. They won't think it's funny and are too young to know that to laugh at the corny joke is to be kind.
76. If you like a child's outfit, tell them! It might be the first time they dressed themselves.
77. If you like a child's hairdo, tell them! They might be unsure about it.
78. If you like a child's jersey, tell them! Go, Cowboys!
79. Don’t throw out old toys. Donate to a domestic violence shelter or a church or community center. Wipe ‘em down first, of course.
80. Tell the parents of well-behaved children how good they are.
81. Leave a joke in your child’s lunch. “Knock knock. Who’s there? Cargo! Cargo who? Car go ‘Beep beep!’”
82. Throw your plastic bottle in recycling, not in the garbage.
83. Be careful not to accidentally throw garbage in recycling. Make someone's job a little easier.
84. Pick up those paper towels someone else dropped on the bathroom floor. Make the cleaning staff's job a little easier.
85. Tell a co-worker if there's something in their teeth.
86. Do it discreetly. Say it like you're not sure. It softens the horror. "I think you have something ... right here... I think. Oh yeah, you got it. You better tell me when it’s me next time. Haha."
87. Don't throw out extra ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper packets. Leave them in a designated drawer. One man's trash is another man's sandwich enhancing treasure.
88. If you think someone did a good job, tell them! Better yet, tell them in front of their boss.
89. Resist the urge to snap a photo of a fashion felony. It doesn't matter how offensive (fanny pack, for example) because we've all been there (I've never owned nor worn a fanny pack but I did wear a teal prom dress, not to mention other fashion risks I’ve taken over the years, so I'll keep my camera to my fanny pack-less self).
90. And even if you do snap a fashion felony just to look at later and/or even if you didn't capture their face, don't share it.
But the internet is a big place, you say.
Yes, yes, it is.
Still, don't share it.
91. Ask questions. Ever have a conversation with someone where by the end, you know everything about the other person and they know nothing about you? Or, worse, ever leave a conversation realizing it was all about you? Run after them. "Wait! Wait! Sorry, I ran my mouth the whole time! Um, so, where did you grow up?"
92. Don't contribute to gossip. Listen politely and then change the subject. Funny stories about how you tripped and fell at work or other humiliating and amusing tales are effective. "Oh, before I forget, I can never show my face again at the office. So, I was walking out of the bathroom when ..."
93. Engage the person who arrived alone to the party.
94. Don’t ask someone who is single how the dating pool is.
95. Don’t ask someone who is married when they’re going to have kids.
96. Don’t ask someone who has one child when they’re going to have a second.


97. Be kind at home. "Want me to empty the dishwasher? Want me to take out the garbage? Want me to cut you up some strawberries? They're looking pretty sweet."
98. Leave surprise “I love you” or “I appreciate you” or “I think you’re hot stuff” notes for your partner in their car or on their bathroom mirror or in the refrigerator.
99. Buy a five cent gumball for the kid behind you at the convenience store. Hey, the title says "dime." You can spare a nickel.

In the spirit of Roses, today I am grateful
- for all the kindnesses I've witnessed
- for all the times I've been on the receiving end of such kindness (thank you!)
- for all the times I've mustered up the energy to be kind. It's always worth it. It is always as good to give as it is to receive.

Thank you again for reading.

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What is Stop and Blog the Roses? If Sex and the City and Chicken Soup for the Soul had a love child. Check out these entries -

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