8 Random Acts for World Kindness Day

It’s World Kindness Day this week. In a society that offers so many ways to focus on ME it’s good to be reminded to think of others. It’s made me consider some ideas for little random acts of kindness…

Always be a little kinder than necessary
Image by PrintableSky at Etsy

Send a card just because – There are so many beautiful/amusing/adorable paper cards these days that I’m always coming across ones that make me think of recipients, even though there’s no particular occasion to mark. This week it struck me again that you really don’t need an excuse to reach out to someone; social paper correspondence is always well received.

To a lovely soul
Card by Our Heiday

Pick up an extra drink on your coffee run – With the new fall beverage options now available at Starbucks, you could make a point of picking up an extra drink for a work colleague. The Toasted White Chocolate Mocha is only here for a limited time over the holidays, so this would be the perfect time to try it.

Starbucks fall favorites
Starbucks fall favorites

Rake up your neighbor’s leaves – Instead of bemoaning the mushy, slippery leaves piling up on your street, you could take the opportunity to rake up your neighbor’s patch and get some exercise to boot. If you imagine they’re unable to take care of such chores you can foster a little empathy. Relaxing, rather than stressing, over the little things will help your wellbeing, and this simple act of kindness will leave you feeling good about yourself.

Take a meal to a friend in need – A no-brainer is cooking an extra dish and delivering it to a friend. My favorites are things that are complete meals in one dish (simple prep for the recipient) and can be placed in the freezer if they’re not used immediately. (I’ll share my go-to British recipes at a later date.) Most people won’t say they’d like you to bring them food, but a home cooked meal is always appreciated I find.

Pie by British cook Delia Smith

Offer to walk a friend’s dog – Taking a pal’s pooch to stretch it’s legs allows it’s owner the opportunity to stay late at work or go to the gym without having to rush home first. This makes a wonderful way to show you care. Similarly, offering a play date for a friend’s children, or offering your sister a night of (free) babysitting would also be well received. Me time is a precious commodity these days.

Make an online donation – If doing something physical is not on the books for you right now, you could try researching a new charity online and making a donation (however small). Even if you don’t find something that resonates, you’ll have broadened your outlook and may have an opportunity to share an organization’s mission with others at a later date.

Buy two tickets to an event and treat a friend – This is a personal favorite. Selfishly I get to go to something I’m particularly interested in, while I also get to the share the pleasure and have an interesting discussion afterwards.

Treat your mother to an exhibit –  In a similar vein, you could purchase tickets to something on someone else’s bucket list. If there’s an exhibit your mother’s been wanting to view, go ahead and get some tickets. She’ll be so touched by your thoughtfulness, while you also get to set aside some time to catch up with her at leisure.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner this seems like the perfect time to reflect upon your own gratitude, to observe the needs of the world around you, and to share a little kindness.



Celebrating our 5th Anniversary

Presents Prose Politesse was established 5 years ago today, in 2012. And while I’ve not posted anywhere near consistently (mostly taking a long on-off sabbatical from blogging to have three children), gift giving and sending cards have remained my passion. I believe in the premise that giving is the key to a fulfilling life.

Throughout this time I’ve still been spending inordinate amounts of time seeking out the perfect presents, carefully selecting the right words to share, and developing my own brand of etiquette around giving. As you follow along you’ll come to realize that I like to do things ‘properly’ (one should always be gracious), but with a modern twist. – I take pleasure in sending written thank you notes, but I also love to be imaginative and embrace the new opportunities that the digital era offers. I believe there really is no one right way anymore. But this only makes navigating ‘correct’ manners more difficult. Whereas before you could mail a handwritten thank you card and know that you were fulfilling expectations and sharing your gratitude in the only acceptable format, nowadays you’re afflicted with indecision as to whether a formal note is over-the-top for that small token or if an e-card is just too casual.

As I continue to take pleasure in what amounts to not just a hobby but a way of life, I plan to share those ideas for gifts and to offer suggestions for the words that sometimes allude us. Along the way I will continue to evolve my own brand of politesse. I hope you will join me here and that I inspire you in your giving.