I replied, “Alright, this is going to sound like a self pat on the back, which is not my intent. But here are a few ideas I have experimented with through the years and it was a lot of fun.”
Five Deliberate Acts Of Kindness
1) When you are out at a restaurant, leave an encouraging note for the server, but make it personal. Something you noticed. Just leave your first name. No phone number. (However, this will only be effective if you leave an appropriate tip.)
2) When out in a public place, and you notice someone helping others, jot a quick note on a piece of paper. Again, make it personal. Say something like, “I could not help but notice that you…(whatever it was that you noticed…Thank you. John” (I have gone up to people and handed them the piece of paper, and said, “Don’t look at this now, read it later.” Again, just sign your first name.
3) I like this one. Place two of something on top of your trash can next to the road on the day your trash is to be picked up. Put a note with it, that says, “Thanks for all you do.” Or something similar. About every two weeks, I place two bottles of water in a closed zip lock type bag for the guys on my route.
4) If you are in an office environment, after hours, make your way to a fellow co-workers office / cubicle and leave an encouraging note or quote on their whiteboard, or desk. Put the date and time on it. Again, make it personal. Not mushy, just something you have noticed about them personally.
5) Again, at the office, leave a note for the cleaning crew. I did this recently for my new friend Rosa. The first time I did it, I placed the card in an obvious place near the trash container at my desk. It said, “To the cleaning crew, I used to do what you are doing now. It is hard work and just wanted you to know I appreciate your efforts. John” The second time I did it, I left a package of Oreo cookies, again, in a zip lock bag. The next morning, I found a note on my desk that said, “John, thank you for the note and the cookies. Rosa”
Your expression does not have to be gigantic.
In fact, the smaller the better.
A simple expression is the best way to say, “I noticed your life.”