Do something nice, smile and pass it on 

This week offers two days that officially celebrate being nice to others. 

Tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 5) is National Do Something Nice Day, and Friday is World Smile Day (celebrated the first Friday in October). 

So what better time to review some ways to practice the Golden Rule? 

Oh, I know a great variety of other days and weeks exist to encourage us to show love to our fellowman. We’ve got World Kindness Day, Pay It Forward Day, Random Acts of Kindness Day, Make a Difference Day, Be Kind to Humankind Week, Good Deeds Day, Good Neighbor Day and others. They’re sprinkled throughout the year. 

But the fact of the matter is – and I think we all know this in our hearts – we should practice kindness every single day. Sometimes, though, I think I need a primer in order to accomplish this mission.  

With that in mind, I performed one of my trusty web searches and found an abundance of helpful suggestions. In case you might benefit from them, too, I’ll share ideas from “75 Tiny But Nice Things You Can Do To Brighten Someone’s Day” and “100 Ways To Make Someone Smile Today”: 

– Ask someone how their day is going and genuinely listen to their response. 
– Do a chore that you know no one else wants to do. 
– Let the person behind you in line go first. 
– Hold the door open for someone. 
– Hold the elevator. 
– Email someone who you haven’t talked to in a while who made a difference in your life. 
– Let someone in your lane. 
– Buy flowers for your friend who’s going through a break up. 
– Text someone you know is going through a hard time. 
– Tell someone all the things you love about them. 
– Say “thank you” more. 
– Cheer someone on. 
– Talk to someone who often gets ignored. 
– Ask for someone’s opinion. It will make them feel valuable. 
– Share with someone something that surprised you about them or made you proud. 
– Tell someone how they inspired you. 
– Snail mail a handwritten letter. Yes, they still exist! 
– On the flip side – send someone an e-card. 
– Tell someone they have a nice smile. 
– Repeat something nice you heard about someone else. 
– Offer to return the shopping cart for an older person or a busy mother. 
– Empathize with someone, especially a person who’s known to be grouchy. Maybe they need an empathic ear for a change. 
– Surprise a family member or friend with their favorite dessert. 
– Ask someone about their children. 
– Let your child win the board game. Or your parent. Or your friend, if they always lose. 
– Sing and dance in your car at stoplights. When people ogle you, look straight at them, smile and continue. It will catch them off guard, and they will smile. 
– Ask someone, anyone, how you can help. 
– Encourage someone. 
– Forgive someone. 

All of which leads me to the verse I mentioned earlier and the one that I’m re-memorizing this month:  

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12, New American Standard Version). 

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Sallie Rose Hollis lives in Ruston and retired from Louisiana Tech as an associate professor of journalism and the assistant director of the News Bureau. She can be contacted at sallierose@mail.com. 

 


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