Random Acts of Kindness Ideas

Make someone else’s day — and yours!

They say kindness is contagious. The more nice things you do for others, the more that makes others prone to do the same. That said, what goes around comes around — performing random acts of kindness upon others can make you happier, too, over the long haul.
“People who engage in kind acts become happier over time,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. “When you are kind to others, you feel good as a person—more moral, optimistic and positive.”

So, where do you start? Here are some ideas on ways you can make someone’s day that much better — and yours as well.

Treat the next person in line – Standing in line for your lunch or sitting in a drive-through? Buy something for the person in line behind you. Knowing that you will make a stranger’s day better can help you have a better day, too, and likely make them pass on another act of kindness to someone else. If you’re feeling extra generous, you can buy multiple people’s orders.

Volunteer – You can choose to volunteer at a food bank, a neighborhood cleanup, or you can even be a chaperone on your child’s trip. No matter where you choose to volunteer your time, you’re bound to feel great, and help others feel the same for donating your time to them. In fact, science proves this to be true.
“People who volunteer tend to have higher self-esteem, psychological well-being, and happiness,” says Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society at the University of Minnesota. ”All of these things go up as their feelings of social connectedness goes up, which in reality, it does. It also improves their health and even their longevity.”
Leave money in random places – For example, place change a gumball dispenser so the next person who uses it gets it free. Or tape a dollar or two to the office vending machine with a note stating that “The next snack’s on me!” Whoever is next to purchase their snack will no doubt be put in a better mood, and you’ll feel better knowing you helped someone with just a few bucks and some creativity.

Don’t skimp on compliments – It’s the easiest way to brighten someone’s day, and doesn’t cost you a thing, nor requires a lot of effort. If you can find something to compliment — whether it’s someone’s outfit, their new haircut, how well their presentation went — then let that person know. Even the smallest comments of praise can make someone smile, and make you feel better about your own self.

Give thanks – Community life-saving professionals, like police officers and fire fighters, often don’t get the thanks they deserve. It’s important to take a moment and think about all they’ve done in the past and present, and tell them how appreciative you are of their work, be it a phone call, letter or email. These people risk their lives to save others every day, and offering a simple “thanks” can mean all the difference. In addition, you can also thank your family, friends and other loved ones if they’ve recently done something you’re grateful for.
Kindness really is contagious, after all so get out there today and make a positive difference.


Fun Facts about Purim – Learn more about this Jewish holiday

Many people are not familiar with the Jewish holiday of Purim. Purim centers around the story of a man named Haman, a king’s adviser who planned to draw lots to determine which Jewish people he should kill. The king’s wife, Esther, told the king of this plan, and therefore saved the Jewish people. On the surface this holiday doesn’t sound very festive, but read on to discover a few fun facts about Purim.

A happy and joyous occasion
In the entire Jewish religion, Purim is considered one of the happiest and most joyous of occasions. Indeed, some rabbis have ordered all adults to get drunk on Purim. Sounds a little more festive now, doesn’t it? Adults are supposed to get so intoxicated that they can’t remember who the bad guy was and who the good guy was in the story the holiday recalls.
‘The whole megillah’
The saying, “the whole megillah,” is actually a phrase derived from the name of the scroll from which the story of Esther is read. That story is read two times on Purim. It is read at night and then again the following morning.
Let’s make some noise
A noisemaker called a gragger is used to stir up a tremendous amount of noise every single time the name of Haman is said while the megillah is being read. This is supposed to drown out his very name. Children make these graggers, and it is a fun project that allows the young ones to get involved in the festive activities. The gragger is typically a small container filled with lentils and dried beans that is then decorated and shaken.
Let’s eat
There is a three-cornered pastry containing poppy seed that is eaten on Purim. That pastry is called “hamantashen.” Why three corners? The pastry has three corners because Haman’s hat had three corners. In Hebrew, these pastries are referred to as oznei haman, which stands for “Haman’s ears.”
Something missing?
Interestingly, in the Book of Esther, of all the sacred and holy Jewish books, God’s name is nowhere to be found.
Giving alms
On Purim, it is the Jewish custom to give alms to poor people. One is supposed to give away three half-dollar coins. Whether the giver is extremely wealthy or very poor, all are required to give away the same amount on Purim. Why? Because it is believed that everyone has a truly equal role to play in the future and destiny of the Jewish people and their faith.
The Jewish religion is filled with tremendous tradition, ritual and faith. It is made up of a fabric of wonderful customs and celebrations that make it a very interesting faith to study and learn about and/or experience.