Today is...Random Act of Kindness Day

Today is...Random Act of Kindness Day

Posted by Laura Klein on 17th Feb 2024

In a world sometimes overwhelmed by negativity, stress, and conflict, it's refreshing to have a day dedicated to something as simple yet powerful as kindness. 

Welcome to Random Act of Kindness Day, celebrated on February 17th each year.

How Did It Start?

Random Act of Kindness Day isn't a new concept. It emerged from Anne Herbert's 1982 book "Random Acts of Kindness". The movement steadily grew, and was cemented in modern culture by the notion of "paying it forward," a phrase popularized by Catherine Ryan Hyde's 1999 novel and film "Pay It Forward." 

Why February 17th? 

February, often associated with love and compassion thanks to Valentine's Day, provides the perfect backdrop for Random Act of Kindness Day. 

It's like an extension of spreading love beyond romantic relationships, encompassing everyone in our lives and beyond. 

Global Celebration

One of the most beautiful aspects of Random Act of Kindness Day is its global reach. 

From busy cities to remote villages, people worldwide participate in this day of goodwill. It's lovely to know that regardless of geographical boundaries or cultural differences, kindness is a language understood by all.

The celebrations come in various forms, from simple gestures like holding doors open for strangers to larger acts like volunteering at local shelters or organizing community clean-up drives. 

Social media platforms will likely be filled with stories of kindness, inspiring others to join in and make a positive impact.

I even wonder what Taylor Swift might do at her Melbourne concert tonight?

But perhaps the most beautiful aspect of Random Act of Kindness Day is its ripple effect. A single act of kindness can set off a chain reaction, inspiring others to pay it forward in their own way. It's like dropping a pebble in a pond and watching the waves spread out, touching lives far beyond what we can see. 

And remember, your gesture doesn't have to cost a thing. 

Embracing Random Act of Kindness Day

So, how can you celebrate Random Act of Kindness Day? The possibilities are endless! 

You could start by complimenting a stranger, buying coffee for the person behind you in line, or sending a thoughtful message to a friend. Or you could go big and organize a community event or fundraiser for a cause close to your heart.

Here's a list of 50 options, taken from the Random Act of Kindness official website.

  1. Pay it Backward: buy coffee for the person behind you in line.
  2. Compliment the first three people you talk to today.
  3. Send a positive text message to five different people right now.
  4. Post inspirational sticky notes around your neighbourhood or gym.
  5. Tell someone they dropped a dollar (even though they didn’t). Then give them a dollar.
  6. Donate old towels or blankets to an animal shelter.
  7. Say hi to the person next to you on the elevator.
  8. Surprise a neighbour with freshly baked cookies or treats!
  9. Let someone go in front of you in line who only has a few items.
  10. Leave a petrol gift card at the servo.
  11. Throw a party to celebrate someone just for being who they are, which is awesome.
  12. Have a LinkedIn account? Write a recommendation for coworker or connection.
  13. Leave some coins at the laundromat.
  14. Encounter someone in customer service who is especially kind? Take an extra five minutes to tell their manager.
  15. Leave $5 in the soup aisle at the supermarket.
  16. Leave a note on someone’s car telling them how awesome they parked.
  17. Try to make sure every person in a group conversation feels included.
  18. Write a kind message on your mirror with a dry erase marker for yourself, your significant other or a family member.
  19. Place a positive body image notes in jean pockets at a department store.
  20. Smile at five strangers.
  21. Set an alarm on your phone to go off at three different times during the day. In those moments, do something kind for someone else.
  22. Send a gratitude email to a coworker who deserves more recognition.
  23. Practice self-kindness and spend 30 minutes doing something you love today.
  24. Give away stuff for free on Facebook Marketplace
  25. Write a gratitude list in the morning and again in the evening.
  26. Know parents who could use a night out? Offer to babysit for free.
  27. Hold up positive signs for traffic or in a park for people exercising outside!
  28. Return shopping trolleys for people at the supermarket.
  29. Buy a plant. Put it in a terracotta pot. Write positive words that describe a friend on the pot. Give it to that friend!
  30. Write a positive comment on your favorite blog, website, or a friend’s social media account.
  31. Have a clean up party at a beach or park.
  32. While you’re out, compliment a parent on how well-behaved their child is.
  33. Leave a kind server the biggest tip you can afford.
  34. When you’re throwing something away on the street, pick up any litter around you and put that in the trash too.
  35. Pay the toll for the person behind you.
  36. Put 50 paper hearts in a box. On each cutout write something that is special about your partner or a friend. Give them the box and tell them to pull out a heart anytime they need a pick-me-up.
  37. Everyone is important. Learn the names of your office security guard, the person at the front desk and other people you see every day. Greet them by name. Also say “hello” to strangers and smile. These acts of kindness are so easy, and they almost always make people smile.
  38. Write your partner a list of things you love about them.
  39. Purchase extra dog or cat food and bring it to an animal shelter.
  40. Find opportunities to give compliments. It costs nothing, takes no time, and could make someone’s entire day. Don’t just think it. Say it.
  41. Take flowers or treats to the nurses’ station at your nearest hospital.
  42. Keep an extra umbrella at work, so you can lend it out when it rains.
  43. Send a ‘Thank you’ card or note to the officers at your local police or fire station.
  44. Take muffins or cookies to your local librarians.
  45. Run an errand for a family member who is busy.
  46. Leave a box of goodies for your delivery driver.
  47. Tape coins around a playground for kids to find.
  48. Email or write to a former teacher who made a difference in your life.
  49. When you hear that discouraging voice in your head, tell yourself something positive — you deserve kindness too!
  50. Buy from a small business (because then a real person does a happy dance!) Use code RAOK on our website to save 10% this weekend.(yep, you had to read this entire list to get this discount :)

In a world where you can be anything, why not be kind?

Laura, Founder and Director of Snotty Noses HQ, Brisbane

T&Cs Apply: Code RAOK applies to retail orders only until 19.02.24. Can only be used by kind people :) Cannot be used with any other offer. Cannot be backdated or extended.