Five ways to feel generous

Want to give but don’t have the money to donate or the time to volunteer? 

The good news is that you don’t need to be wealthy – in time or money – to give. Instead, you can behave generously to feel ridiculously good – and rich. All you have to do is make someone’s day. It can be the simplest of simple acts. Here are our top five picks.

1. Compliment a stranger

Compliment a passer-by, the person serving you in a shop or someone in your workout class. You can congratulate them on something specific – “Hey, I love your top, that colour suits you!” – or enquire about them and their day, then truly pause and listen to their response without interrupting. Or just simply look in the person’s eyes and smile as you walk by.

2. Let someone in

As I drive in peak-hour traffic amongst others with the same agenda – to get to work on time should they face the wrath of their boss if they’re late – I let in the odd person who’s turning into my lane. Or if I’m standing in line to pay for groceries and I see that the person behind me only has an item or two, I’ll ask them if they wish to go ahead.

3. Leave fresh flowers

Pick some flowers from your garden (or the nature strip) and then leave them in people’s bicycle baskets or tuck them under windshield wipers on parked cars. Just imagine if someone did that for you – how would you feel? That’s how the recipient will feel too.

4. Scribble notes

Scribble kind words and affirmations on note cards or sticky notes. Then leave them for in between pages of books, in a pocket of their bag, in a drawer or on the mirror for friends, family, strangers or a lover. Your words could really change someone’s day for the better.

5. Give away your parking ticket

Have time left on your parking ticket? Why not give it to the next person parking in the car park? I’ve had this done to me and have passed on the deed whenever I have the opportunity. It’s a lovely feeling. If you don’t drive, you can give away other tickets that you may have received for free or no longer want, such as tickets to concerts, musicals, sports games or movies. 

A simple act of generosity acknowledges another person’s existence – even if it doesn’t cost you any time or money. Such neighbourly deeds are what make us feel – be – human. After all, we are all in this together. 

Have you been the recipient of a random act of generosity? Or have you made someone else’s day by doling out some kindness? Either way, how did it make you feel?

Written by leshka