Twenty Ways We Can Show Kindness to a Hurting World

By Jennifer Hallmark

Our world can be a difficult place to live. kindness-1197351_960_720Terrorism, racism, weather-related catastrophes, and even everyday irritants can stretch us to the point of breaking. A small act of kindness might not seem like much in comparison to today’s headlines, but we can make our community a better place, one compassionate display at a time. Here are twenty ways to help us all get started in improving someone’s day…

  1. Pay for someone’s order at a cafe or the person behind you in the drive-thru line at a fast food restaurant. (Drive-Thru Difference)
  2. Send a card of encouragement by regular mail.
  3. Give at a back-to-school donation drive.
  4. Volunteer at an animal shelter or zoo.
  5. Pick up trash alongside the road in your neighborhood.
  6. Visit patients at a Veteran’s Hospital.
  7. Take a single mom/dad and her/his children to lunch.
  8. Donate to your local food bank during the annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.
  9. Volunteer to read to children at your community library.
  10. Give blood at the local blood donation center.
  11. Take snacks to the staff at the Intensive Care Unit of your local hospital.
  12. Offer baby-sitting services for a young couple or single mom/dad.
  13. Leave a gift card anonymously for someone you work with.
  14. During your shopping time, make a positive comment to each cashier you encounter.
  15. Sponsor a car wash, donation only, and donate to a local charity of your choice.
  16. Leave magazines or snacks in a hospital waiting room/Oncology Center. (Always ask permission first.)
  17. Donate a box of toiletry items to a women’s shelter.
  18. Take note cards, write encouraging messages on them, tape a pen/pencil/candy to the card, and then place them in a basket. Set it in a prominent place at work with a sign saying, “Free. Please take one.”
  19. Go to a nursing home in your community, make a list of supplies needed, and fill the need.
  20. Put together a help kit to give to any homeless people you may encounter.


Living in a World Surrounded by Kindness (Kindness Blog)

kindness_beachMore proof that there is still kindness in this world. Thank you, Kindness Blog!

By Carmelene Melanie Siani

A big, tough-looking man wearing a tank top and baseball cap took hold of the door at the Circle K that my shorter-than-he-ever-used-to-be husband was trying to push open.

The man stood aside, gesturing with a chin up nod that my husband should go on through.

That night I was sitting on the edge of the bed in our bedroom, when my husband came in. I could tell from the expression on his face that something was wrong.

“The hardest thing about this Parkinson’s thing is the pity,” he said.

“What pity?”

“The pity people give me. I see it in their eyes. When somebody helps me with a door they have that look–a look of pity.”

Pity? I had never seen pity in people’s eyes and told him that I thought maybe he was misunderstanding things.

Having always been a healthy, capable man—he’d never been in a position in which he needed help or one in which people could see that he needed it.

Maybe he was misreading the look in people’s eyes. Maybe he was confusing pity with love.

Not the kind of love that people who know each other give each other, not the kind with roles, expectations, attachments and stories attached, but the kind that strangers give to each other—the free, no strings, brief, but-nonetheless-love, kind of love.

The kind of love called kindness.

I suggested that he might consider that he was the one turning all that kindness to pity, because he was the one who was seeing it that way.

Slowly, in his soft Texas way of speaking, he retorted, “If I look at it that way–why, I’d literally be surrounded by kindness.”

It has always been my belief that if you offer people something tender and real, they will respond in kind–from their best selves. If they see that you are truly in need, they will give what they can and do what they can. Over time, I saw that my husband—with his frailness and trembling—called forth this stranger-love, this “kindness” from many people.

Again and again, I saw waiters help him on with his jacket or hold a chair and wait until he got settled. I saw store clerks carry a single grocery bag out to the car and I saw massage therapists button his shirts for him while the next appointment waited.

Since we had that Circle K conversation on the edge of the bed about kindness versus pity—I saw how my husband had changed.

Since he had let people respond to him from their best selves. I saw him accept kindness. I thought that as he allowed others to help him—allowed the neighbor to bring in the trash cans, allowed the bus driver to count out his change for him, allowed somebody else to cut up the wood we needed for the fireplace that winter—it quite possibly helped them as well.

Certainly I saw my husband’s change in attitude about such a simple thing as someone holding the door to the Circle K open for him, change the very world he lived in.

When he let it happen—when he didn’t see pity but saw kindness instead—everywhere he went, he was surrounded by it.

In fact, when each of us allows ourselves to see it that way, so are we all living in a world surrounded by kindness.

(This article originally appeared in a different form under a different title in

Author Bio: Carmelene Melanie Siani

Carmelene Melanie Siani

Carmelene writes stories from every day life and how life itself offers lessons to help us grow, expand, and put our feet on higher ground.

The Kindness of Strangers

I’d gone to the reading of The Same Life Over at Centre Stage in Greenville, SC. The actors read the lines, and one person indicated each scene change so the audience could picture it in their minds. Because there was no scenery on stage, I could visualize how it looked and enjoy the scenes and acts I imagined them.

Centre Stage has stadium seating and the stairs are steep.  Since I sat one row from the back, I waited for most people to go ahead of me before stepping into the aisle.

I carefully stepped down the first stair. I did same with the second but my foot slipped. The next thing I knew I was tumbling into people ahead of me. “Aaah” I cried. When I landed at the bottom, my first words were “Did I hurt anybody?”

“No, everyone’s ok. Are you ok?”

“No, I hurt.”

“Can you move your ankle?” someone asked. I nodded and did so, despite the pain.

I looked around to see that five or six people had stayed with me to see whether I would be ok or not. I started to get up, but couldn’t.

“Stay there. There’s no hurry. Wait till you’re ready.”

“We’ll drive you home,” one man said.

“No, I’m ok” I answered.

“Are you sure?” he asked, unconvinced.

“Yeah, I think so” I said, hesitatingly. About ten minutes later I got up and realized how dizzy I was. And weak.

“I think we should drive you home,” he said again, recognizing that I wasn’t truly ok.

“Yes, I think so” I said, realizing I was in no shape to drive. Pride went straight out the window.

After walking through the lobby at a snail’s pace, they walked me out to their car. Hugh drove my car and Kathy took me in hers as I directed her where to go.

They lived in the opposite direction, but took me home anyway. I’m so glad God used them to meet my need. They were blessed by helping me and I learned that sometimes we need to trust others to help us out.

We’ve since seen each other at the theater and around town and it’s nice to be able to say hi. All because they stuck around to help me after a fall down the stairs.

Small Acts of Kindness: Bridal Shower Bliss

BridalBy Jordyn Redwood

At the time I was getting married, I was living in the suburbs south of Kansas City, KS. I hadn’t grown up in Kansas and in fact one time boldly proclaimed that I would never live there. It’s not that I had anything against Kansas per se—other than the flat lands and humidity. Of course, God and His sense of humor had to prove me wrong and it was the first place I was able to find a nursing job—far away from the family and friends I had known in Colorado.

Now, I had friends in Kansas City but they were not the close, endearing friends that I had grown up with. All of my bridesmaids were out of state: Colorado, Wyoming, Illinois, and Texas. Seriously, could I have spread them further apart?

Because of this distance, these close friends of my youth didn’t really get to be a part of the normal wedding preparations like wedding dress shopping and making scrapbooks (there was no Pinterest then) of ideas for decorations and centerpieces.

Also, only two of four of my bridesmaids really knew one another, but we agreed to get together the night before my wedding for a shower at a local hotel after the rehearsal dinner.

I will never forget what those girls did. They gave me what they called a “Blessing Shower”. To this day, I haven’t heard of this being given to other brides, but I think it would be awesome to replace the “normal” bridal shower (as in gifting of lingerie and other things) with this concept.

Each of my friends shared a very poignant letter of how I had blessed each of them in their lives. It was emotionally overwhelming but so touching. Certain instances where I did things for them that I never considered important ended up being significant events to them for different reasons. I honestly was surprised at how significant some of these moments were for them and having them share that with me became a profound moment in my life.

I think we don’t do this enough—just take a person close to us, sit them down, and tell them face to face what they mean to us.

We need to stop reserving these words and moments just for funerals.

Jordyn-35eJordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. Her first two novels, Proof and Poison, garnered starred reviews from Library Journal. Proof was shortlisted for the 2012 ForeWord Review’s BOTY Award, 2013 INSPY Award and the 2013 Carol Award. Her latest novel, Fractured Memory, released July, 2016. You can connect with Jordyn via Facebook, Twitter,Pinterest and her website.

Fractured MemoryFractured Memory

United States marshal Eli Cayne saved Julia Galloway’s life once…and he’s prepared to do it again. But his task would be easier if she could remember him—or the murderer who almost put her in an early grave and seems to be hunting her once more. To protect Julia from the latest threat against her life, Eli has to consider the possibility that he put an innocent man in jail. Julia has no memories of the serial killer called the Hangman, though, and no reason to trust Eli. But with the killer getting closer, she must work with Eli to confront her past—and the feelings growing between them.