Mural discovered in Budapest, Hungary.
Random acts of kindness don’t have to be complicated to make a difference in the world. Kindness is about love, connection and acknowledgment. It can feel dangerous, radical, and take you out of your comfort zone. It takes gumption to approach a stranger to give them a handout, a hand up, or some help. It’s empowering too. I write this at the traditional, heart-focused time of year, near Valentine’s Day in the US, but to focusing on more than platitudes, hearts, and flowers. After some searching, I found several ways you can practice random acts of kindness and some very deliberate initiatives for travelers.
1. Doing good
Acting kindly can make you feel different, charged, curious, and happy because there’s joy in giving to one another. The Give Love Project asks us, “to shift the cultural relationship that we have with giving.” You can see how to participate through their website or attend one of their events.
Give Love San Diego is set for random and creative acts of kindness
In San Diego on Saturday, February 10th, there’s a free AXIS event – Give Love San Diego – from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm in alliance with the Old Globe Theater. The Old Globe’s Arts Engagement program, AXIS, organizes free cultural programs which are led by local artists and craftspeople. Attend and be prepared for delightful encounters, flowers, for photos, sidewalk graffiti, dancing, dice and more. As things in Copley Plaza wrap up, you’ll have time to catch a performance of the Importance of Being Earnest, a classic tale of love.
2. Who inspires you to be kind?
In eighty-seven countries across the world, acts of kindness are being inspired and tracked by the Random Acts of Kindness non-profit, a global community inspiring hope and generosity through actions and words. How can you get involved? Become a Raktivist, a Random Act of Kindness
Answer the question: “Who is the one person that inspires you to be kind?” during the week of Feb. 11th to 18th, and share it with the community through stories and pictures. Sign up here
. Also, as a Kindness Ambassador, you can help organize monthly kindness missions or simply admire their stories, videos or pictures online.
Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.
3. Travel and do good.
Each week I seem to discover a new travel group or tour that is promoting kindness. Since so much has been written about volunteerism, I wanted to share a few other ways you can travel kindly through companies who structure random acts of kindness into their business plans. If you know of others, please let me know in comments below.
- Kynder Travel searches for kind, eco-conscious and community-based hospitality establishments around the planet. They only work with accommodations that care about guests, their staff, community and the world. Your first act of kindness can be to book a room in one of Kynder Travel’s unique destinations.
- Kind Traveler (KindTraveler.com) creates acts of kindness every day through established partnerships with hotels and charities. In 2017 they won the Best Ethical Travel Agency award from Eluxe Magazine. Every booking offers discounts below other booking sites upon a $10 nightly donation to a local charity that helps you leave a positive mark on the destination you are visiting, or to a favorite charity of choice. 100% goes to charity and there are more than 50 local and global vetted charities to choose from.
A Philadelphia volunteer ready to perform random acts of kindness with visitors and locals.
4. Work to help tourism impact the world positively
If you are involved in the travel industry, or know someone who is, you know how tourism can help or hurt. With more travelers exploring the world than ever, making tourism sustainable and positive for everyone, local and otherwise, is more important than ever.
The Impact Travel Alliance
is made up of thousands of industry professionals working towards transparency and much more. (I’m a member of their Media Network.) Find out about their initiatives and join one of the Impact Hubs around the world. Here’s a graphic about their goals:
Where do you go from here?
It’s amazing how intention can make things happen. Set the intention to practice more acts of kindness and they will appear. Take action and get involved in some of the initiatives in this post, create some in your hometown, and make kindness part of your adventures.
What can you do to make the world a kinder place?
Mural found in Chicago.
Enjoyed this post? Share it to keep random acts of kindness going and Happy Valentines Day! Here’s another post that features a review of the book, The Yellow Envelope about real life changes based in the practice of kindness.