The days of looking up, staring into someone's eyes, and offering a smile — or hell, even an exchange of words — can sometimes seem nearly extinct. There's always an extra email to send, project to finish, or, if we're being real, another load of laundry to do. Modern life leaves little time or energy to step back and appreciate the lives we lead and the people who have helped us along the way. But this Thursday, you have an excuse to step it up: November 13 is World Kindness Day, which gives you a full 24 hours to make someone's day.
Not only are kind deeds always welcomed, but they have the added benefit of making the do-gooder feel great as well. Whether it's helping a new neighbor haul their boxes into their apartment, thanking your parents for taking care of you when you were sick as a kid, or giving a stranger the eight cents they desperately need to pay for that dirty chai, random acts of kindness are like the warm fuzzies you used to get from being loaned your friend's favorite jelly roll pen in middle school. Why not pass it on?
We took to the streets to ask New Yorkers what the kindest thing someone has done for them is. The answer was usually a small, random, even recent act — more proof that it really is the little things that make the biggest difference.
Marian, 59 and Samy
Stefanie, 34 and Sandra, 30
Alyona and Fayzah
Gina, 25 and Mike, 33
Gay, 44 and Stephanie, 46 (sisters)
Amy, 35 and Delphine, 34
"While living in the U.K., on Thanksgiving my European friends surprised my homesick heart with a Thanksgiving feast—with her (Delphine, right) 15 years ago!"
"My cousin texted me that she missed me and that it was good to hear my voice! (I'm from Holland)."
Ashee, 23 and Freya, 7
Kindness is contagious — pass it on!