Don’t Miss the Opportunity to Show Kindness

Written by Dr. Perry, PhD
Image Credit: Pixabay


This past weekend, I was out running errands that I wasn’t able to complete during the week. Between my work and personal life, I seem to be always running towards something. It feels as if my life is moving at a fast speed. I personally do not mind the pace but I still make sure to check in with myself to ensure that I am not mindlessly going through the motions. I think many of us are expected to manage our lives at a faster than normal pace, and at the same time process more information than at any other time in our lives. It can at times be overwhelming. We may get so caught up in meeting the next deadline or processing the most current news that we forget to interact with one another in any kind way. At times the only interaction we may have with a fellow human being is an unpleasant one.

During the weekend there was a point during my day when I had to enter a building. The person who was in front of me and about to enter the building looked back, acknowledged me and entered. As I was right behind them, when I reached the entrance I was met with a slammed door in my face. At that moment I was bothered and thought to myself what a rude gesture. Upon further reflection, I realized how unfortunate it was for this person that they missed an opportunity to show a simple kindness.

During our lifetime, we will be given many opportunities to show kindness. It may be an opportunity to do a big act of kindness, for example, giving money to a complete stranger who appears to be in need or it can be the simple act of holding the door for someone. Perhaps, a simple act such as holding the door for someone or giving someone a smile may seem insignificant but it should be seen as a catalyst that may result in an event that may have a larger impact. It should be seen as a seed that will sprout a tree with each branch being a new opportunity to spread kindness. Kindness benefits the giver as much as it does the receiver of the act. Expressing kindness feels good and should be shown as much as possible.

When was the last time you expressed unsolicited kindness and how did it make you feel?

Please note, I am unable to answer your mental health questions as I am unaware of the specific details regarding your concerns. If you would like to schedule a free 20-minute consultation with me to see if we would be a good fit to work together please click here to email my assistant, Isabel.

Kindly,
Dr. Perry


CREDENTIALS
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
M.A. in Clinical Psychology
B.A. in Psychology


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“I specialize in a solution-focused approach to treating depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and narcissistic abuse.”
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125 responses to Don’t Miss the Opportunity to Show Kindness

  1. Jill says:

    Hi Dr. Perry, I recently was aimlessly going down the aisle at the super market and almost bumped into a very old woman. I stopped and I helped her with some items she couldn’t reach. It was a simple act on my part and I was rewarded by the biggest smile. You made me think of her. Thank you!

    Liked by 12 people

    • It’s amazing how small things can make a person’s day brighter. I saw a video from The Samaritans charity about a woman who has planned to take her life… A stranger randomly asking how she was and taking the time to talk with her was enough to remind her that life was worth living! Thanks for the reminder to value each other.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Hello Dr. Perry, I experienced random kindness when I saw my aunt give the only $5 she had to a military veteran who was selling candy. My aunt told him that she didn’t want to buy any candy and just wanted to give him the money she had in her wallet. That alone made me think of that saying no random act of kindness is ever wasted. ☺

    Liked by 9 people

  3. Moonbeam says:

    My neighbor was mowing his lawn on a hot day and I went out of my way to give him a Gatorade. He was really happy and appreciative and it made my day. It’s true that when you are kind for no other reason than just being kind it feels really good.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. LVLV says:

    Not long ago I gave away $20 to a couple who seemed like they needed it more than me. It was my last $20 and a lot of money for me at the time. I did feel good knowing they likely needed it more than I did. Ultimately giving away the money made no significant difference to me in my life. It was nice to feel good about doing something nice for them. Wherever they are I hope they are doing well.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Hi there. Nice post. I think when people get caught up in the supposed buziness of life they forget these little moments that afford them a chance to be kind. I feel bad for the lost opportunity for that person but im sure the universe will redirect a whole lot of opportunities for him to learn that lesson.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. rashu2015 says:

    I agree… thinking of it, today I missed a chance of showing kindness to somebody. Hope I get to do something good for the stranger some other time.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Marlene Lima says:

    It’s sad that we have to face this sometimes. I had a similar experience to you, someone didn’t hold the door or ignored me. It makes me sad, but i will not do the same to others or to the person itself if i cross its way again (even if sometimes i felt like it!!)..because thats not how my parents educated me. They educated me to be kind with everyone even when the world is not kind to me as i wished..Have a good day!

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Ilka says:

    Kindness and helpfulness is a great feeling! Today at the supermarket checkout a man in front of me knocked over a large stack of chocolate boxes with his shopping cart. He was very embarrassed about that, but I thought it wasn’t his fault, because it was very tight through these stacks. So I laughed and immediately started stacking up the chocolate again. He smiled at me with relief. Bingo, one more smile comes into the world. It’s so easy! 😀

    Liked by 8 people

  9. sandymancan says:

    This post is so true I’m in Siem Reap Cambodia right now I brought two books from a guy with a little cart full of books he was blind in one eye both hands were gone from a landmine that blew up. Cambodia still has a countryside full of mines but he had so much energy hawking his books his little arms waving away with the two nubs at the end while talking to the passing tourist. I didn’t buy the books because I felt pity I was impressed I was positive and motivated by his positive energy. I’m putting something together on the Killing Fields of Cambodia the reason for the books and though I could have done the research over the internet but that was not the point after getting my books I handed him a twenty and as I made my way down the street I felt so energized and motivated he would never understand how He gave me so much more than what I had given him.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. AllyNikk says:

    Personally, I love holding the door open for people. I always look behind me when I walk through a door just to make sure no one is behind me. Most of the time, people are just as kind back to you and I just love when people show that kindness to strangers. You’re right, with so much going on around us, we often forget to be kind to ourselves. xo

    Liked by 6 people

  11. Jemagold says:

    I think the moral of the story here is… try not to let the actions of others offend you nor change the person YOU are. You really only have control over YOUR actions; not other people’s actions. When confronted with someone’s rudeness or “un-kindness”, I try to remind myself that everyone is fighting a battle I know nothing about. My response is to “kill them with kindness”. You just might change their outlook on life or how they treat other people?

    Liked by 8 people

  12. I couldn’t agree more! There are so many opportunities to show kindness to others and it usually takes but a moment. The effect can last a lifetime. “I’ll never forget that ….” and it warms your heart and offers hope that there are great thoughtful kind caring people out there as well.

    Liked by 6 people

  13. It is so rare in the southern US to be met by that kind of rudeness. I’ve been carrying some large packages into the post office lately, and people have gone out of the way to hold doors for me. Tonight, I saw a USPS truck outside my house at the bottom of the hill that is our front yard. The postman was just heading back down the hill when I opened the door to retrieve my packages, and I called out my thanks to him. I am sure these workers are under-appreciated, especially this time of year. I only hope it meant a little something, ’cause it sure did feel nice doing it! 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  14. You never know how you will impact someone’s day by a simple gesture of kindness. With the stress of the holiday, I find it especially important to take time to make eye contact and smile. It may change their entire day. I know I always appreciate it. Very nice article. 🌟

    Liked by 6 people

  15. nfocus4you says:

    I told your story to my staff at coffee break this morning. I manage 250 units of potentially Christmas crazed people. Sometimes they do and say things that we have manage positively in spite of negativity. Thanks for the reminder❤️

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Carla says:

    Great post! This is a great reminder for this time of year. Everyone gets so caught up on the consumerism of the holidays. They forget to be nice to each other!

    Liked by 7 people

  17. elhamzahra says:

    I completely resonate with your words…every year I would make handmade custom thank you cards for my friends and people think I am doing it for them but actually it gives me the greatest joy. Being compassionate I believe is the best way to be happy and stay happy.

    Liked by 9 people

  18. DkinhStudios says:

    Great post! Growing up, I’ve always been taught to be kind. You never know if someone could be having a bad day and a simple act of kindness can turn their day around. That’s why I try to be kind to everyone. You can’t get angry at someone who shows kindness.

    Liked by 7 people

  19. Loved this blog! It reminds me of the quote: “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” It’s a universal language and not just confined to humanity but other creatures too…the world today requires more kind and empathetic souls!

    Liked by 8 people

  20. Mike Hartley says:

    Enjoyed reading your post. Fortunately I was taught well from a youth about manors and kindness and courtesy. Had good examples. It just became habit. But as people take advantage of such things or not be appreciative its disappointing. I try not to let those negatives affect continuing to do the right thing.

    Liked by 7 people

  21. JR says:

    Thank you for the reminder, Dr. Perry. My father was a Holocaust survivor, and he was very big on kindness and politeness. Growing up, I didn’t really think about it, but later when life and depression got in the way, I noticed that little acts of kindness go a long way in making the giver feel better (as well). But it has to come from the heart, and you can’t expect a reaction from the other person. Nor, when I think about it, should you really.

    I’m back in Finland now, and guarding your private sphere is a huge thing. People not extending a greeting, so as not to invade someone else’s private sphere, is the norm. Invading privacy is seen as impolite. Or being drunk. It’s such a stark contrast to being in high school in the States, where not saying “hi” in the hallways was (practically) akin to social suicide. By the same logic I’m told people don’t rush to your side when you’ve fallen, because “being seen in that position could be embarrassing to you.” But when you go up to people and ask for help, they’ll go above and beyond. My mother was looking for a laundromat once, before I moved into my new apartment, where you could not fit a washing machine. A lady she asked on the street told her there were machines in her building, and gave her access codes and everything. I found another solution soon after, but I was floored.

    I applied to join your FB group, but my phone didn’t show any field to fill out. My cover photo is almost identical with the one from my last post (Thanksgiving Memories) on my Jayaare page, if that helps identify me (though I realize you read many posts, and Isabel might not be reading this even).

    Liked by 7 people

  22. JR says:

    My phone seems to have swallowed my reply, which also included information about having asked to join your FB group but being unable to provide additional info. So I’ll use this reply to add the last act of kindness I remember. Which, odd as it may sound, is compassion and kindness towards myself. Still a work in progress some days, but when I do remember, I find that it carries over, I hold doors open, give up my seat on public transportation, let people with fewer items get in line ahead of me. Because of my Hungarian background, I automatically say “thank you” and “please,” and I’ve been told a few times that it makes such a difference to people, because they don’t hear it enough.

    Liked by 7 people

  23. Katiedash says:

    This is so true. We are made to help each other. It is this society that changed this. Telling us that we need to take care of number one above all else

    Liked by 6 people

  24. An act of kindness…some times all it takes is a smile, a “hello” or common every day courtesy. As it is the crazy shopping season, I feel for the store clerks who have to handle the crowds of people – no matter what their personal mood is or the mood of the customers. I like to take a moment and let them know how much I appreciate the good job they are doing. The response I receive, “Thank you” and a wonderful smile.

    Liked by 5 people

  25. Sue Love says:

    I am an introvert by nature. I like people, and I enjoy talking with people, but I don’t always think to do it. I also don’t multitask like I used to, so I have a difficult time focusing on what I am doing and trying to notice other people, too.

    For example, I can go through a grocery line and get my groceries checked and bagged, and that is what I am focused on, and I can totally miss that there is a real person behind that cash register who maybe is having a bad day or who could use a little cheer, and so I have to make the effort, not because I don’t care, I do, but because I am focused on something else and because I am just not naturally an outgoing person who begins conversations well with people.

    But, no excuses! So, this is something I am working on doing better at, noticing people, talking with them, though not too much because they may be working, and just being friendly and smiling and being warm and congenial instead of just focusing on what I am doing.

    Liked by 6 people

  26. Madhavi says:

    I hope you haven’t let the incident leave a mark on you. It’s sad the society has becoming so untrusting. Kindness should be our innate trait, not the one to be cultivated . My family always believed in being kind to the less fortunate , it’s something we practise everyday in our own small way, whether its offering tea or water or food to the man who irons clothes outside our house or providing financial help to any of the domestic staff working with us.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. We really never know what people are going through – perhaps acts we construe as rude are perhaps the result of that person’s preoccupation with an issue in their own life. We all miss opportunities to be kind or thoughtful sometimes. I like to think of myself as a kind person, but I also realize I am a mere human and as such make many mistakes and miss the opportunity from time to time to time – mostly through said preoccupation with my own stuff. And, since I know I am this way I try to cut others a break when I consider their actions rude or downright mean. This is a wonderful post. Kindness does have a ripple effect that can lead to better days for us all. Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. Featherstone says:

    Great post! I try to be kind when I drive. I let people into the Car lane when possible. I see so many aggressive acts while driving especially right now during the holiday season. Wish more people were kinder while driving!

    Liked by 4 people

  29. Killthemwithkindness says:

    There are just people in the world that believe they have a right to dump their woes, pains or anything else onto you and society in general. I believe if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all. This should apply to if you don’t feel well or happy keep it to yourself or you close friends. There is no need to make everyone feel miserable!

    Liked by 4 people

  30. Aw, this is an amazing write-up. You never know what people are going through, and seemingly simple actions can make someone’s day brighter. I’ve realized that kindness isn’t second-nature to as many as I once thought, which is why I appreciate it that much more when I come across someone who is truly kind.

    Liked by 6 people

  31. Kindness doesn’t cost you anything. We need more kind people in our world. Those simple things in life may be small but can make a big difference in someone’s life. Thank you Dr Perry, I love reading your posts. Right on target!

    Liked by 4 people

  32. Jamie Joseph says:

    This post is fantastic. I believe a kind word or act can change someone’s day, and in some cases, lifespan. It can open the door to hope for some that have lost all hope. Thank you for shining a light on the issue!

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Patty H says:

    Even though I am an introvert, I do extend small acts of kindness when opportunity comes up. It feels great! Usually it is to hold a door open if someone is right behind me. One time there was a cashier who was apparently having a bad day. I said “have a good day” as I left the counter. The comment evidently cheered her up because she responded with a surprised “thank you!” and had a huge smile on her face.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Viola Bleu says:

    Loved reading this … I know how good it feels when a stranger might hold the door open for me, whether they are male or female. I always look back when walking through a door and never mind waiting a couple of seconds if someone is approaching but not right behind me.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Wonderful article! Thank you Dr.Perry. I think we should spread love and kindness on this planet. Let’s make this world a wonderful place! Thank you for your thoughts and inspiration.

    Liked by 3 people

  36. Love this. Yesterday somewhere (I wish I could remember who said it and where!) I heard a suggestion to try and leave each person we encounter feeling better (or at worst, the same) after we’re gone. Simple things like smiling, holding a door, etc. were mentioned. Gosh! Maybe it was here on Your blog! Sounds like You!!! Anyway…that tool helped me at work yesterday. Lots going on in my world right now and I was feeling anxious. The moments I was able to be mindful and practice that completely melted all my fears away. It’s pretty amazing isn’t it? Thank You for this reminder!!! Cheers! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Norah Vayle says:

    Thanks for taking the time to look at my blog and liking my post. Your encouragement is a big boost for amateurs like me. Hope to create better posts and receive more feedback in the future.

    Great post. Reminds me of “Love and the Cabbie” by Art Buchwald which I read almost twenty years ago. It made a strong impact on me then and the idea is, still, so relevant now.

    Best wishes,
    Norah

    Liked by 2 people

  38. I experience acts of kindness everyday I think now because I show kindness and draw this type of energy towards me. If someone is ever unkind or rude I usually say something if like, Have a nice day, if possible or I move on. I never let someone’s unkindness steal joy or happiness. Love this post. You always make me think. 🦋

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Kendra says:

    I am learning that besides showing kindness to others I also have to be kind to myself. This is a wonderful article. Thank you so much Dr. Perry.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Sunsetkiller says:

    This is so true! I enjoy being kind to others. It just feels so good. During Christmas everyone was so stressed out and I went out of my way to be extra kind and actually gave up my parking spot a few time! Thank you Dr. Perry

    Liked by 4 people

  41. Howard says:

    This is a beautiful sentence “It should be seen as a seed that will sprout a tree with each branch being a new opportunity to spread kindness” Everyday I try to treat people with respect and kindness. Most days I succeed.

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Great post ! A friend of mine just made a post on her FB page promising a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) during the year for the first 12 people who agreed to do the do the same by posting the same offer on their FB page. I thought this was so wonderful that I immediately joined in. You will basically receive a guaranteed RAK if you’re willing to extend the offer to12 other people yourself. Granted there is an incentive for you to participate, but hopefully it will start a wave of kindness.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. ROSE ANDRIES says:

    How true! It does not take much to show simple kindness. I think if you can brighten someone’s day by smiling and saying a simple “hello,” it would be a very simple kind gesture (as long as it is genuine). I know that there have been times someone has genuinely asked me how I am and it definitely lifted my spirits when I needed a lift.

    Liked by 4 people

  44. 5amt3n says:

    Reading this instantly brought back a memory of a young girl huddled against a wall on a main street here where I live. She wasn’t clothed well for the cold temperatures of the day. She was begging for money for food. I looked at her and for the briefest of moments wondered if she really was in dire straits. Then I thought: It doesn’t matter. She was so young, possibly fifteen or sixteen years old. Something in my gut said just do it. I reached into my purse, grabbed a ten dollar bill, and gave it to her. She looked at me for a second with this incredulous look on her face and thanked me profusely. I watched as she ran straight to the door of a farmer’s market nearby and went in. I’ve never forgotten that moment. Even as I write this I can feel my heart open wide for that young woman. Thank you for that. And thank you so much for touching on something so important.

    Liked by 4 people

  45. heatherjo86 says:

    This is so true! I’ve always believed what is said at Acts 20:35 “there is more happiness in giving than in receiving”. It always feels better to do the right thing in helping someone else than to do the selfish thing of helping yourself. In a long line of traffic that was moving very slowly, one man couldn’t merge in and it seemed as though he’d been waiting a long time. I stopped, allowed him to merge in and he thanked me with a wave. I didn’t think anything about it until reading your post. I’ve realized that our acts of kindness can be the tipping point in someone’s life. We have to be careful how we treat people.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. neilsonanita says:

    absolutely, the simple acts of kindness are what bind us all together as a human race. if we fail to show kindness, we are indeed missing an opportunity for soul growth. nice post, Dr P.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Nadine says:

    Something nice happened this morning for me at the grocery store. There is another mom I know who works there. We don’t know each other well, but our kids are friends. I had a feeling she was having hard times.

    I am quite shy normally and tend to avoid small talk, and I had a feeling she was a bit the same that way, so to save us both the discomfort I had the impulse to go to a different till than the one she was working at.

    Then I saw some yellow roses in stands near my lineup, far from her till, and I thought they were beautiful. I remembered a time when I had not the extra money to buy flowers nor would I ever have dreamed of buying them for myself. (Both those things have changed since then.) I imagined myself buying them for this other mom, and giving them to her to add a bit of cheerfulness for her day.

    But I was afraid. Would she think I was odd? (I am already odd, in our town, yet I like to fit in.) Would it be embarrassing for her to receive them there, at her till, in front of the other customers? Also, how would she care for them while working?

    Then I thought of all the times I would have loved if someone showed me that they cared, when I was feeling down, and they way it felt when someone did. So I swallowed my fear. I picked up the roses, along with the bucket of water they were standing in (to solve the problem of how she would care for them at work), and went to stand in line at her till. I told myself that what I was doing was from the heart, on positive instinct, and if people thought it strange then that was their thing; not my responsibility. “The universe made me do it;” that kind of thing.

    We exchanged the customary greetings, and she checked through my items. When it she picked up the roses in their bucket I said very quietly, “those are for you,” still not sure if she I was doing the right thing.

    But her face lit up. “That’s so sweet!” She exclaimed, thanking me graciously.

    I felt very grateful to this other mom, for receiving such an awkward gesture so kindly.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. Thank you for your article…
    It is so true that kindness perpetuates kindness, and we can look at the world today and feel that it is nowhere to be found.
    I regularly go out of my way to be kind, for myself as much as others. It helps me to feel connected to where I live and to the people in my town.
    As you said, we sow seeds for others to go and be kind. When someone is shown a kindness, they sometimes feel as though they should ‘pay it forward’.
    As I’ve heard it said (not sure who it was), “Be the change you want to see in the world”. It begins with us…

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Marytresa says:

    Food for thought. Kindness is really an important requirement in anybody’s life. I don’t call myself a kind person at heart. I realised it most recently and I felt really bad on the realisation. I vowed that I will change and do random acts of kindness in my everyday life. Just being polite to elders, subordinates. It does matter. I do believe in karma. What you give is what you get in return.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Nice! I need to be reminded. Often I get caught up in my thoughts and people ask me, “What’s wrong?” with this look of concern. I always look up surprised and say, “Nothing, I’m thinking. This is my thinking face.” I need to be more aware of my body language. I need to smile more at people no matter what I feel I need to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. nicolaw810 says:

    This is an amazing post, thank you for writing and sharing this. I attempt to make expressions of peace, kindness, and warmth a daily practice in my own life and this exhibition reaps such enlightening benefits for the soul. Additionally, the more your practice this act, the more it becomes a reflective essence of your experience on this earth which makes life so much more beautiful. Thank you for providing a mental and spiritual visual for this vibration Dr. Perry.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. corcoran0841 says:

    I think sometimes we get so caught up in our lives that we forget to express small thoughtful gestures that may make the days of people next to us. I’ve read quite a bit on taking advantage of “empathetic moments,” and this post connects the two in many ways. It is relatable, powerful and is a good reminder of the positive contributions we can make in this world.

    Liked by 1 person

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