“Ultimately, spirituality and self-development have the same end goal… be unapologetically loving toward yourself and others, as often as you can manage it.”
– Jordan Gray
Nobody is perfectly loving all of the time. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t aim to be.
We never know whether the people around us are hurting or happy, or some combination of the two. Either way, the only way of being that makes sense in this world is to be unreasonably kind and loving, to everyone that we meet.
How do we do that? Well, all we can ever influence is our thoughts, feelings, and actions today, in this very moment.
With that in mind, here are 31 ways to spread more love, kindness, and compassion into the world. Pick your favourite, and start with that.
1. Let someone drive into your lane of traffic
Life’s too short to be so prideful. Just let them in.
Let them in even if they’re driving like a bit of a jerk… maybe they’re stressed out because they’re late for their first day of work… who knows?
2. Plug parking metres for people
Walk around with loose change in your pocket with the sole intention of putting it into people’s parking metres that have run low on time.
I’ve dedicated a corner of my dresser to be where I put my “metre money.” It’s my way of tithing to humanity.
(Side note: it’s illegal in some major cities to put coins in other people’s metres so you might have to do this carefully and/or watch out for parking attendants)
3. Speaking of parking metre attendants, thank them
Parking metre attendants have to have one of the most difficult jobs. People are basically never happy to see them. I’ve seen so many of them being yelled at for simply doing their job.
To counteract some of this negativity, the next time you see one of them on-duty, sincerely thank them for doing their job. A simple “Thank you so much for the work that you do – I appreciate you,” will suffice.
It’s such a rare occurrence for them that they will likely remember you for months.
4. Meet up with one of your parents, on their terms
Are one or both of your parents still alive? Great!
Phone them up and tell them that you want to hang out with them, one on one, doing something that they enjoy. Leave the ball in their court and see what they come up with.
Or, if decision making stresses them out, suggest something that you know they’d enjoy and simply do that.
Get your parents at their best, and the conversation will flow. You never know how much longer you’ll still have your parents around, so make the most of the time that you have.
5. Offer to buy a homeless guy whatever he wants from the store he’s sitting in front of
This is one of my favourite things that I do on a semi-regular basis.
If you see someone who appears to be homeless sitting in front of a store asking for change, ask him if he wants anything from inside of it on your way in. And don’t just lob the question over your shoulder as your feet keep moving. Really commit to it. Stop, look them in the eyes, and say “Hey, I’m just about to head in here to grab something. Did you want me to pick up anything for you? Anything at all?”
And just in case you’re worried that someone might try to take advantage of your generosity, I’ve done this at least once a month for the last year (whenever I’m in my hometown) and the biggest request that has ever been given to me amounted to a whopping $8.
Make the offer, gift them whatever they ask for (within your financial means), have a quick chat and/or shake their hand after, and be on your merry little way. It’s so easy to do, so just try it out.
6. Smile at a stranger
Politely smile at a stranger as you walk down the street. Whether they smile back or not is irrelevant. The task is complete when you have spread love with your smile.
7. Bear hug!
The next time you see someone that you know, greet them with the biggest, warmest, most sincere hug you can. Let them feel how much you love them.
8. Create a gift for a friend
Paint a painting, write a poem, record a song, make cupcakes… whatever way you enjoy creating, make something awesome and pass it on to someone who you think would most benefit from it.
9. Go out in public with ‘Free Hugs’ signs
And then hug people that come to you for hugs. Also, bring friends.
10. If you notice someone fishing for a compliment, give it to them
Can you tell that someone is fishing for a compliment about their outfit/body/hairstyle/car/profession/etc.? Take the bait!
Feed their egos and be all like, “Yes! You look like a total boss in that new car. I’m so jealous. It fits you so well.” Or, “I know! I can’t believe that profile picture only got sixty likes… you look so good in it!”
Obviously, the more sincere the compliment the better it will land. I’m not suggesting that you lie to people with your praise, just be more generous with it when the opportunities present themselves.
11. Pay a table’s restaurant bill without telling them
Just pay and leave. Bonus points if you do this for a table that is clearly celebrating an anniversary, a birthday, or some other major celebration.
12. Do a 30-day forgiveness meditation for someone who you feel/felt has wronged you
Even if you never talk to them again in real life, the world will be a better and more loving place if you have let go of whatever resentment you may have held/be holding towards them, and you will further free yourself emotionally in the process.
13. Buy your partner/best friend/mother in law a bouquet of flowers on a day that they wouldn’t expect it
Just because they’re awesome and you want to show your love for them.
14. Send 5 love letters/notes of appreciation to people in your life that you adore
Not sure how to write a love letter that will make someone teary eyed? Read this.
15. Send 5 gratitude bombs to the people who have deeply affected you throughout your life but that you haven’t told them how much they positively impacted you
Not sure how to write a gratitude bomb that will make someone teary eyed? Read this.
16. Make a home-cooked meal for a friend whom you know doesn’t like to cook
Consider any dietary restrictions, make sure that they’re going to be home that night, and then bring it over. Eat it with them if you think they would like company.
17. Invest in making your home environment that much more warm, inviting, and comfortable for yourself
If you’re happier when you’re home, you’re that much more likely to have the patience, and compassion to extend to other people in your life. Positive ripple effect for the win.
18. If you see someone holding a map in a city that you know well, go up to them and ask them if they need help with directions
Because being in a new place can be scary, and maybe they’re too nervous to ask for help.
19. Turn your phone off
The next time you’re on a date, or at a family function, or hanging out with a good friend, put your phone away and keep it on airplane mode. Be 100% present with them and give them your undivided attention.
Your genuine presence will be an appreciated and valuable gift to any recipients involved.
20. Do all of the dishes/laundry/chores even if it’s your room mate/partner’s turn to do them
Score-keeping is exhausting and it leads to resentment in relationships. So just do the damn dishes.
21. Go up to someone you’ve never met before, hand them a $10 bill and say “You look absolutely awesome/stunning/gorgeous/beautiful/handsome… that’s it! Have a great day!” and then walk away
This one is challenging for a lot of people in many different ways. It might feel confronting for your values around money, around beauty, around whether or not you should be approaching strangers… which is why it’s so great to do. Growth for you, and a compliment for them.
22. Do something romantic for your partner
Not sure what to do? Here are fifty ideas.
23. Be a proactive value creator
If you know someone who has a lot on their plate right now and might be feeling overwhelmed (i.e. maybe they just had a baby, or they’re depressed, or they recently went through a breakup, or they have a big exam coming up) ask them what you can do for them and then do it.
Bring them a meal. Do their laundry. Babysit their kids for an evening. Ask them how you can help, and then deliver on their request.
24. Give some money to a street performer who you’re impressed with
If their talent made you stop walking because you love what they’re doing, why not show your gratitude in a way that helps them pay their rent?
25. Purge your stuff
Go through your material possessions (books, clothes, movies, etc.) and donate as much of it as you can so that other people can benefit from the things that you no longer use.
26. Call your mom and/or dad and tell them that you love them
Because they’ll probably never get tired of hearing it.
27. Get drinks for people
Going to get your haircut? Call ahead and ask your stylist/barber if they want you to pick them up a coffee/tea/kombucha/coconut water. Work in an office and you’re going out for a coffee run? Ask your co-workers if they want something. And then give it to them. It could cost $4 to turn someone’s week around. Be the kind of person that gives.
28. If you follow someone’s business/website/blog regularly but don’t have the financial means to support them, ask them if there’s any way you can support their venture in another way
There are tons of people who are starting their own businesses/websites/blogs… now more than ever. Ask them if you can help support them in any way. They might be terrified of failing, or terrified of asking for help… so by offering it to them proactively, you might just make their day.
Ps. This isn’t a subtle way of me plugging my own website. If you’re reading this, you probably already support me enough. Thank you!
29. Set aside an evening where you focus solely on pleasing your intimate partner
Rub their feet. Make them dinner. Help them orgasm. Whatever they ask for, give it to them.
30. Help someone who seems to be hurting
Lend an ear. Lend a hand. Be of service to a friend or stranger in need.
31. Be lavish with your praise
Tell your friends why you love them. Tell your parents why you love them. Compliment your co-workers/friends/lover in front of other people regularly. Only say things that you mean, but say them often.
Pick Your Favourite One And Use It To Spread More Love
That’s it! Pick your favourites, and start with those.
Thank you so much for reading all the way to the end of this article. I love you, and you must be an amazing person to A) have even clicked on an article like this, and B) even more amazing that you read all 31 suggestions. GO YOU!
Dedicated to your success (and spreading more love into the world),