How Every Random Act of Kindness Makes the World Better

However big or small, every act of kindness can ripple through the world and cause unimaginable goodness.

Feb 25, 2019
Special Collections: INSPIRE THE GOOD

This bumber sticker on Amie Mickey's car spread more happiness than she would have ever imagined. (Amie Mickey)

An act of kindness doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Even the small acts of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s day. That was certainly the case for Amie Mickey when she put up a bumper sticker on her car reading two simple words: You Matter.

At first, Amie wondered if people would even notice. Then, to her surprise, she began seeing a flood of attention every time she hit the road. Driving around, people would roll down their windows, throwing thumbs up, waving, and smiling. Suddenly, she would find sticky notes left on her windshield saying things like “You matter, too!”

Driving down the highway, she once became startled when a man driving “the coolest hot rod ever” pulled alongside waving and mouthing, “You matter!” Then this past year, someone pulled up alongside her car and said “seeing this made me feel special and feel good about myself.”

Amie first put up her bumper sticker several years ago. Although the wind and rain over time wore down the sticker, it’s message remains clear. Those two small words seem simple enough, but they really resonated with many, reaching into the hearts of complete strangers who happened to catch a glimpse of the sticker along their commute. The 10 seconds it took Amie to apply the sticker continue to spread kindness and warmth every time people see “You Matter.”

Amie isn’t the only one demonstrating the power of simple acts of kindness. It seems Juan Mann had the same inspiration in mind when he started his Free Hugs movement. The Aussie-native has dedicated his spare time to giving out free hugs.

Juan’s simple acts of kindness campaign started out when he decided to hold up a sign in the streets of Sydney saying “Free Hugs.” All it took was a piece of cardboard and a marker to write a positive message and help lift the spirits of those who just needed a hug. One woman, who recently lost her dog, felt a sense of comfort after a difficult loss. For another woman mourning the loss of her daughter, a small hug was enough to help her smile through the pain.

Stories like Amie’s really inspire the rest of us. Sometimes a kind word or gesture is all we need to lift our spirits and they don’t cost a thing except for a little extra thought. Maybe it means giving a friend a hug or hanging up a bumper sticker. Those gestures, small as they seem, show kindness to people that might need it and could make a positive impact on the world in a big way.

If you also want to spread kindness and need some acts of kindness ideas, we’ve previously put together lists full of great ideas. Whether it’s something as simple as giving a compliment to a parent on how well behaved their child is, volunteering at animal shelters or homeless shelters, or helping someone out at the grocery store, acts of kindness are waiting everywhere.

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ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.

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