- Compliment the barmaid
- Buy a round for your friends or buy more friends with a round
- Talk to that weird guy, all alone, and make him feel like one of of the group
- Order some chips for the table near you
- Help clean up some of the glasses left on tables
- Buy a few packets of pork scratchings and hide them in various places for people to discover
- Write a nice review of your pub online on somewhere like FourSquare
- Pull out a chair for the ladies in your party, and the gents if your feeling extra chivalrous
- Put some Journey on the jukebox (everyone loves journey)
- Listen to your friend’s boring story (or stories depending on how boring they are) and act interested.
1. Take a photo of a beautiful flower garden and upload it to your friend’s computer as a screensaver when they’re not looking.
2. Plant some seeds in a communal garden (or anywhere else they’ll grow).
3. Put some flower bouquets in your office to brighten it up a bit.
4. Send some flowers to a friend who has a sad face in their Facebook status.
5. Make someone laugh with this classic joke: How do trees get on the Internet? They LOG in.
6. Turn your tip in a restaurant into an origami rose. The extra effort will show how much you enjoyed your evening.
7. Make a message out of flowers in your front garden so everyone that passes your house gets a nice boost.
8. Flowers always make good painting subjects. Paint a bunch of flowers in a portrait to give to your friend to hang in their house.
9. Make some home-made potpourri for someone.
10. Make a sunny flower-power playlist.
11. Help your mum in the garden. Or anywhere else. You should always help your mum
12. Put some flowers on a lonely-looking grave
13. Plant an apple tree in a public space so people can have fresh apples in Summer
14. Mail some seeds to someone who like gardening
15. Steal someone’s weeds from their garden without them knowing. It’s the stealthiness that makes it special. Also, if you take flowers by mistake, no one will know.
While this is a useful defence mechanism, it can be (and often is) misinterpreted by our consciousness, meaning that horrific experiences are recorded more securely than pleasant ones and consequently our accumulative world perceptions are shifted towards terrifying. It is particularly nice then when an idea like Handprints comes along to throw some counter-balance onto the scales of perception.
Handprints is an idea dreamed up by Gregory Norris. While the infamous Carbon Footprint is available everywhere, the concept allows people to measure the positive aspect they have on the world. By logging on to the Handprinter.org site, users can calculate their carbon footprint, find and create new ways of being more environmentally friendly, and share those ideas with friends. For each action a person takes to reduce their footprint, their handprint increases. Each action affects your handprint in a different way.
The great thing about this site is that it allows you to measure the positive impact you are having on the planet. People need to know about the consequences of their actions, but those aren’t necessarily the best method to promote them into action. This site uses juicy feedback to stimulate action, and provoke pride in their social conscientiousness.
Almost as important, it promotes sharing. When people refer their friends to Handprinter, their handprint increases with each recruit they recruit, and each recruit their recruit recruits, and so on.
Finally, some good news worth listening to.
My english teacher used to tell me off for saying ‘nice’. Apparently, it’s a word you use when you’re too lazy to think of a more inventive way of describing something, and should locked away in a proverbial closet with other indifferent words and phrases such as OK, and the infamous like.
But sometimes things are nice – they make your stomach feel all warm and cosy. It’s difficult to describe but you know what nice is when you experience it. It’s just nice.
Say Something Nice
This is something that is very nice. One of my favourite organisations in the world right now, doing what they do best: bringing the unexpected. In this case, providing a platform for New Yorkers in Times Square to say nice things to their fellow man. It’s very simple but so many great ideas are.
What an inspiring way to start your day. Kudos to Impro Everywhere for enabling those messages to be shared.
Honest and Smile
Speaking of messages, this sentimental idea is one from Honest and Smile. They sent out USB sticks around sunny Spain with the idea being: take something off of it, put something on, and leave it for someone else to find. The something could be anything, photos, a song, a picture, anything they wanted to share. It’s such a sweet way to connect people and share with each other.
Afterwards, all the stories were collected on the Honest and Smile Facebook page as everyone told the tale of how they found their USB stick and how it influenced their lives.
30 Gifts for 30 Strangers
This is my favourite of the bunch. This guy, Lucas Jatoba created one of the best Random Acts of Kindness projects I’ve ever seen. For his 30th birthday, he wrapped 30 presents and gave them to 30 strangers.
The best part if this is that it shows that you don’t need an exuberant amount of money or corporate sponsors to have a positive influence and brighten someone’s day. The guy’s a serial giver so there’s also this project as well…