I, like many people, try to be as good a person as possible. But is it just me, or do “good deeds” always seem so difficult and / or expensive to do?
Most lists I’ve found include things like “pay for someone’s groceries” or “make something for someone.”
Well, what if you can barely afford your own groceries, let alone someone else’s, and you don’t have a creative bone in your body?
Here are my ideas for some good deeds that anyone can do.
Call People By Name
This is one thing we do often at work. I still need to work on doing it more often, but I really like the idea. Rather than simply saying “hey, how’s it going?” say “hey Corey, how’s it going?”
Just adding the extra bit of personal touch really makes people feel good. Just, you know, make sure you know their name beforehand. Using the wrong name makes it worse.
Send Snail Mail
This one technically costs money, but not much. With so much of our lives taking place on the internet, snail mail has become a bit of a novelty. We typically only receive bills and ads in the mail, so it’s fun to get something personal.
Whether it’s a letter (handwritten or typed) or a fun card, sending someone a surprise in the mail makes them (and you) feel good. I personally really like A Beautiful Mess’s Happy Mail, because different cards remind me of different people. But you could also use a piece of notebook paper or a card you find at the store.
It’s on my 101 in 1001 list to send a card in the mail once per week for 3 months, so I’m excited to put this one into practice.
Treat Strangers like Friends
I’ve heard it said many times that the best way to tell someone’s character is watching them interact with waiters. It’s a big pet peeve of mine when people ignore or are rude to people in the service industry.
They’re people, too, and just want to get through their shift. Treating them like actual people (or maybe even like you treat your friends) is an easy way to help them get through their day. And if you can, leave them a big tip. That’s how they make most of their money, so it could be a big help to them.
Hold the Door + Give Up Your Seat
This good deed is easy and free! If you’re going through the door and there’s someone behind you, hold the door for them. It’s really not difficult and takes about five additional seconds.
And if you’re taking public transportation and see someone who needs a seat, give yours to them. Or give them the seat your bag is in. Basically, be conscious of other people’s needs.
Turn Off and Unplug Your Electronics + Recycle
This one is for all of you antisocial do-gooders out there. If you want to do good deeds but don’t want to interact with other people, do something positive for the environment. We all have to live on this planet (for now, at least), so it’s important that we keep it going strong in the future. Turn off and unplug your unused electronics, and recycle anything and everything that you have. Easy enough, right?
If someone you know is going through a hard time, be supportive of them, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you. This could be something as grandiose as making them dinner or babysitting for them, or it could be something as small as listening to them and letting them vent.
Donate Extra Stuff You Don’t Need
I’ve talked before about creating a capsule wardrobe and living simply in general. So while you’re cleaning out, donate the stuff you no longer want or need any more. Whether it’s to a family you know or a local homeless shelter, your trash can be someone else’s treasure. Plus, living with less is better for the environment.
What are your favorite good deeds to do? Let me know in the comments!
Jenn @ Business, Life & Design says
I like these! Particularly the whole concept of antisocial good deeds. Lol!
I’m the same way! 😉
Angela Morales says
Yes! All of this is so so important. It’s amazing how being kind can really turn someone’s day around.
So so so true. When I worked at a movie theatre, it was crazy how my whole day could be ruined by one person being rude!
Randi M. Shaffer says
I love these suggestions Caitlin! (See what I did there?) Speaking of snail mail, I found your birthday present I never shipped (whoops) while cleaning and packing (and actively working on your last suggestion), so that’s going to get to you soon. I promise.
Randi with an i
Hah! Way to hit almost all of the points in one comment.