1. People & Relationships

10 Real Life Random Acts of Kindness

Get Inspired by These Kind Gestures

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Kahlil Gibran said that "You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." The things friends often remember most are the generous acts from you. They might be small, but they are filled with thought and are given with a genuine desire just to do something nice (without expecting anything back in return.)

Doing something nice for a stranger has many benefits. It helps you view the world more positively, build self-esteem, and even approach your friendships differently.

It's not always easy in this busy world to think about someone else first, but if you can do a few random acts of kindness here and there it really will make a difference in your relationships. Here are some real acts of kindness that have taken place recently. Allow them to inspire you to come up with your own way to show compassion for others.

1. Honoring the Memory of a Loved One With Acts of Kindness

holding hands with elderly woman
Blend Images - Dave and Les Jacobs/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Take some inspiration from Samantha Manns, who is honoring her late grandmother with 89 acts of kindness, one for each year of her grandmother's life. She's created a Facebook page and plans to do something over the course of a year and a half.

This is a wonderful project that should fill you with ideas. How can you honor the life of a loved one who has passed? Allow their life to inspire you.

2. Encouragement on a Take Out Container

There's nothing like a pity party to aid your breakup blues, so it was understandable that Samantha La Rocco ordered take out and then wrote special instructions on her order. She said, "I've just been dumped. Please draw something inspiring on the container."

What the restaurant clerk did was truly kind indeed. The person could have just ignored this note, but instead they drew a sign that said "You're worth it" and "You don't need him to be happy."

3. Man Returns 15 Years Later to Pay His Tab

You'll never know where showing kindness will come back and benefit you directly one day. One teenager in New Mexico treated his girlfriend to a big Valentine's Day dinner, only to realize later that he was $40 short of paying the bill. The owner of the restaurant, Claus Hjortkjaer, kindly paid the boy's bill out of his own pocket.

Fifteen years later, the boy, now a grown up, came back to make good on that bill. He paid Hjortkjaer $100, more than enough to pay the tab plus interest. Hjortkjaer was pleased, saying, "Sometimes it pays off to be a nice guy."

4. Hangover Star's Act of Kindness

Actor Zach Galifianakis, 43 befriended Elizabeth "Mimi" Haist, 87, twenty years ago when he was a young actor just starting out. They met on the Fox Studios lot where Haist would volunteer to do laundry for tips. They stayed friends and when Galifianakis found out Haist was homeless two years ago, he began paying for her rent and utilities. He also takes her to his movie premieres, including The Hangover.

5. Boy Returns $10,000

What would you do if you found a large sum of money? When ten-year old Tyler Schaefer found $10,000 in cash in a Kansas City hotel room, he and his dad immediately turned the sum over to the police. What's really great is that Tyler's father helped instill the sense of right and wrong in his son with this real-life lesson.

6. Actor Patrick Stewart Reaches Out to Fan

Sometimes just acknowledging the emotions of another person can mean a lot. How often do we pass by people we suspect are hurting, but we're too afraid to ask them if they're okay?

Recently actor Patrick Stewart helped a fan just by sharing his own story of childhood abuse. When she went to Comicpalooza to thank him, he asked her if she was alright and gave her a hug. It was a simple yet touching moment that was memorable for all who saw it happen.

7. Facebook Posts That Help Tornado Victims

Most people don't think twice about photos they see on Facebook, but when those photos are of the only things you have left in the world, your perspective definitely changes.

One Facebook group was set up to help return things like photos, cards, and other precious documents to victims of the Oklahoma tornados that hit in May 2013. Tornado victims could take comfort in the fact that at least some of their cherished possessions had been found, and were safe.

8. Do a Nice Act and Then Encourage Them to Pay It Forward

This story, about a young couple who got their romantic dinner paid for by the older couple next to them, is all about encouraging people to pay the kindness forward. The note said, "The only request is that someday you pay it forward. In the meantime, enjoy your youth, enjoy friendship, enjoy love. Be good to each other and good luck."

9. Breast Cancer Survivor Helps Bride With Cancer

Battling an illness like cancer can make you feel immediate empathy with someone else struggling with the same disease. When Jennifer Batugo was told she may only have a few months to live after getting a rare form of breast cancer, she and fiancé Brian Gargano decided to move up their wedding date from August to April.

They called Elysia Skye to help with the wedding. Skye, a breast cancer survivor, started fundraising for the couple to cover wedding and medical expenses. She also got vendors to donate services. She literally took care of everything, which allowed the couple to focus on their big event and their future.

10. Kindness That's Inspired by the Love of Your Child

What better way to show how much you love your children than to demonstrate kindness to others? It helps them see the value in helping people, that you can build your own self-esteem just by putting someone else first.

Mique at the Thirty Handmade Days blog is doing a random act of kindness on the 14th of every month in honor of her son, whose birthday falls on the 14th. She has printables on her blog so you can participate and encourage this lovely project.

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