30 acts of kindness for a 30th birthday
On my 29th birthday, I decided to spend the next year doing 30 acts of kindness for my 30th birthday. Yesterday I turned 30 and I completed my 30 for 30 challenge.
30 acts of kindness:
1. Prepared a meal for families staying in the Ronald McDonald House at a hospital in London.
3. Sent e-cards to friends & family with donations to a couple of my favorite charities. (Extra kindness because it was via an app my sister’s organization was piloting.)
4. Taped 30p on the turnstile at the ladies room at Kings Cross station. (Paid homage to where I have been many, many times–penniless after a night out but desperate to “spend a penny”!)
6. Wrote an email to a manager telling him how very helpful one of his employees was. (Got a reply thanking me for taking the time to share positive feedback!)
10. Sent a care package to a soldier deployed in Afghanistan.
12. Found £5 on the street and instead of pocketing it, I dropped it in another spot so someone else could be as excited as I was to find it.
13. Wrote a letter to my favorite teacher, telling her all about where I am now and thanking her for her part in who I have become.
14. Sold items on eBay and donated all the proceeds to charity via MissionFish.
15. Put together a basket of cosmetics and toiletries for a women’s shelter.
16. Hid scratch cards and encouraging notes around stores, libraries, cinemas, airports, etc.
18. Bought a cup of tea and cough drops. Left them next to a homeless person sleeping on the street.
19. Prepared baked goods for people to sell at a bake sale raising money for young people’s charity, Rugby Portobello Trust.
20. Purchased cinema tickets for a 14-year-old girl as part of a holiday gift drive for a local charity.
22. Gave blood.
23. Volunteered my professional expertise to a local small business.
25. Posted a “hope you feel better soon!” package to a child suffering with terminal illness.
26. Organized a bra collection (83 and counting!) for Oxfam’s Big Bra Hunt.
27. Sent flowers out of the blue to someone.
Over the course of the year, I found, and returned, three Oyster cards, one credit card, and one wallet. I helped someone who got sick in public. I carried bags for people at train stations and supermarkets. I gave away paid parking tickets. I made banana bread for my coworkers. I sent cards and letters for no reason. I took time to speak to people. I listened closer. I tried to be patient. I let people go before me. I gave up my seat on the Tube. I said thank you and you’re welcome and have a good day and I’m sorry. I really meant it. I held doors longer. I smiled wider.
Good days or bad days, I told myself, just be kinder than you feel.
Even though I was making a concerted effort to do more than I’ve ever done before, I never felt like I was doing enough. So after my last act of kindness, I found myself crying in the car. Not because it was so hard to do these things. I cried because it wasn’t hard at all.
I hope you’ll think about celebrating future birthdays in similar fashion. Pass on the goodwill, spread kindness, pay it forward–whatever and however you think of it. (I like to think of it as sharing the cake. It tastes sweeter that way.)