FRIDAY FIVE: Simple ways to make a stranger’s day…
THE world would be a much lovelier place if we all did something nice for each other, every now and then, don’t you think?
So why not make a little effort today and make a stranger’s day by surprising them with a thoughtful gesture.
Stuck for ideas? Fret not my pretties! Here are five easy peasy ways to cheer up someone you don’t even know.
‘A smile costs nothing but gives much.’ If you don’t do anything else today, tomorrow or the day after that, then just smile. It really is that simple.
Next time you walk past someone in the street or catch eyes with someone in a shop or bar, just smile gently. It really can brighten someone’s day and you’ll be amazed at how many pearly smiles you get back. (Just make sure it’ a natural smile you give out, a demented grin is so not a good look.)
* Leave behind a book
If you’ve finished a fabulous book and are now wondering how you’re going to squeeze it into an already busting bookshelf, then I have just the solution. Leave it somewhere for a stranger to enjoy.
There are many times I’ve been sat somewhere, when a book would have been a pleasant distraction and I cannot be alone in thinking that. So share the wonderful magic of words and leave a book behind, where someone can marvel at the gift and enjoy it.
Great places to leave a book include on a train, at a station, in a cafe or on a bench in a park. Got two mins? Why not scribble down a comment or leave a little note inside.
*Note – you could also do this with magazines and newspapers too.
* Compliment someone
How many times have you seen somebody do something amazing or been left in wonder by somebody’s outfit or beauty or laughter or voice?
Next time somebody makes you sit up and appreciate something, take a moment to go and compliment them. Yes, that’s right. Go up to a stranger and tell them what you admire. Scary I know but it shouldn’t be!
Random strangers have complimented me on various things over the years and I have to say on every single occasion, the compliment has made my day.
So be brave, be polite and tell someone why you think their shoes, hairstyle, elegance or dance moves are just plain amazing. Then watch them walk away with a smile on their face and a spring in their step.
*Pay for a stranger’s cuppa or cake
Ok, this suggestion is a lot bolder I grant you, but can you just imagine how incredible it would be, if when you went to pay for a cup of tea or a slice of cake, that somebody had already paid for it, for you!
That some stranger, who wanted nothing in return but to make somebody’s day, had paid for your drink or food, just to cheer you up. How lovely would that be?
So why not go and do it, just for the hell of it. Next time you’re paying for your own cuppa or lunch, take a look around, choose someone who you think looks down in the dumps or a little stressed and treat them without them being none the wiser. Discreetly pay, then simply walk away, with the knowledge that you’ve done something really lovely. I guarantee you’ll feel amazing after.
* Leave a random note
I’ve said this often, but folk just don’t write enough letters these days. In my bid to get more people to take pen to paper, I’d like to encourage you all to throw caution to the wind and write an anonymous note for a stranger and leave it somewhere where it can be easily found.
I first came across this amazing idea a few months ago on the Guardian website. (You can read all about it here). The article covers the amazing initiative ‘The World Needs More Love Letters’ which was started by Hannah Brencher in New York.
The idea is that you write random letters for strangers that are acts of kindness or ‘love’, telling people you don’t know that they are remarkable and special, and then leave them somewhere public.
The wonderful initiative has since exploded and even has it’s own website, with 10,000 people across the world taking part. I don’t know about you, but I really do fancy being one of them.
Afterall, who knows how a few simple kind and inspiring words may change someone’s day or life.
What do you think of my ideas? Do you think I’m crazy wanting to spread some joy in the wider world? Have you or would you consider making a stranger’s day in some way? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Till the next time, do something kind today.