Post by Daniel Collinsworth.
Photo by Lori Paquette
Valentine’s Day… it’s a mixed bag for many folks. For those who are single, or who don’t agree with the over-commercialization of the holiday, it can bring up some negative feelings.
Today, I propose an alternative. A new way of celebrating Valentine’s Day that isn’t centered on romance, flowers, cards and chocolates. I propose making it a day of random acts of unconditional love — small gestures of kindness for all the people you interact with throughout your day.
Doing kind things for folks can sometimes be the defining moment of their day, turning a bad day around or setting the tone for a great day. And it makes you feel good in the process. So let these acts be your gift, without expecting anything in return, and have fun with it!
Here are some ideas to inspire you:
1. Send a text message to a friend, letting them know how amazing you think they are.
2. Give a genuine, heart-felt compliment to the barista who makes your coffee, or the store cashier who rings up your purchase.
3. If giving compliments isn’t your thing, let them know you appreciate them.
4. Hug someone
5. Going out to dinner tonight? Let your waiter know how much you appreciate them. Be patient and kind with them. Leave them a generous tip.
6. Do something thoughtful for a co-worker you don’t usually get along with — something that will make their day a little easier or more pleasant. Do this without expecting any particular reaction in return.
7. Say “I love you” to a family member who you haven’t said those words to in awhile, even if you aren’t sure that they’ll say it back to you.
8. Be extra courteous and generous to other drivers while you’re on the road. Let folks get in front of you. Create space for them.
9. Be extra warm with your customers/clients today. Smile more than usual, engage with them in a meaningful way, make them feel special.
10. Give your animal extra hugs and back scratches.
11. Make a cup of tea for someone.
12. Is someone in your life working on a project? Give them a special word of encouragement.
13. Be a listening ear for someone who is reaching out to you. Don’t judge, just listen. Let them know they are supported.
14. Smile warmly at a stranger.
15. Let someone get in front of you in line at the grocery store.
16. Hold the elevator door for someone, even if you’re running late.
17. Tell the person delivering your mail and packages that you appreciate them.
18. While you’re paying for your coffee or meal, give the cashier a few extra bucks for the person in line behind you.
19. Leave a thoughtful comment on someone’s blog.
20. Make a homemade dinner and share it with your roommates.
21. Write a hand-written letter to someone special.
22. Know someone who was there for you when you really needed support? Say “thank you” in a very special way.
Let’s make Valentine’s Day more than just a day for lovers to lavish extra affection on each other. Let’s make it a day that will open our hearts and the hearts of others to kindness. And then, let’s keep it going! Every day is a good day for random acts of unconditional love.
What ideas would you add to this list? Share them in the comments!
|Daniel Collinsworth is a teacher and cloud watcher. He has a blog called Metta Drum where he shares insights on compassion, oneness, healing and freedom. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.|
To read more of Daniel’s guest posts on Kind Over Matter click here!