After Giving Thanks, Why Not Spread Kindness?

The day after Thanksgiving is a chance to do unto others what you’re grateful they have done unto you.

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Posted in , Nov 20, 2018

An act of kindness

The day after Thanksgiving is famous—perhaps infamous is a better word—for the frenzied pursuit of steals and deals on the hottest holiday gifts. But in recent years, I’ve heard more and more voices calling for that day to be an extension of Thanksgiving itself, a day to continue the conversation about gratitude that was started over turkey and sweet potatoes.

One way to hold onto the positive, loving spirit of Thanksgiving is to pledge to do small acts of kindness after the dishes have been washed and the leftovers put away.

The great thing about acts of kindness is that they are completely portable to whatever situation you find yourself in. Even if you’re waiting in a long line at a megastore, you can offer a smile to the customers facing a long wait alongside you. You can offer your spot in line to someone who looks frail, exhausted or harried. You can even project kindness to others by staying calm and cheerful even if the store is out of the item you were looking for.

The website Good and Kind has a list of 100 Small Acts of Kindness, which include sticking a positive post-it-note (“You can do it!”) on a public mirror, buying an item from the vending machine and leaving it for someone to find and enjoy, and letting someone pull out of their parking space in front of you just because. All of these feel tailor made for what can feel like the busiest time of the year.

There are myriad ways to be kind and make the world a happier place. The website Action for Happiness has ideas for how to focus on your strengths, contribute to your community and commit to finding three things to celebrate each day.

Individually, none of these actions requires much time, effort or money. But collectively, they can make an enormous impact not only on those in your community, but also on your own well-being.

What would your emotional outlook be like if you made kindness a priority on the day after Thanksgiving? What if we all did?

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