How Are You Practicing Kindness?

I bashed Uzzi in the butt last week when Mom brought out cookies to share. Mom got cross. She said I wasn't very kind to my best friend. Uzzi

by Dani Yokhna
How are you practicing kindness on your farm and in your community? Photo by iStock/Thinkstock (
Courtesy iStock/Thinkstock

I bashed Uzzi in the butt last week when Mom brought out cookies to share. Mom got cross. She said I wasn’t very kind to my best friend. Uzzi and I looked at each other. Goats don’t tend to be kind to one another, but humans do? That made us think, so we looked up kindness online.

Did you know that in February, people celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Week? This year it’s Feb. 10 to 16. Random acts of kindness are when humans do nice things for each other for no reason at all. Mom and some friends decided that they’ll perform at least one random act of kindness every day beginning Feb. 1 and continuing through Feb. 16. Maybe you’d like to do that too? Uzzi and I visited lots of random acts of kindness web sites, collecting ideas. These are some of the best.

  • Plan a sharing section in your garden this year. Plant yummy things to share with food shelves, neighbors and co-workers. Plant some flowers, too.
  • Be a good neighbor, especially if you have elderly or disabled neighbors who have trouble doing things like yard maintenance and shopping. Shovel their walks when you shovel your own. Mow a neighbor’s lawn next summer. Ask if you can pick up items your neighbor needs when you head for the grocery store. Invite a new neighbor over for a meal or to munch cookies and sip coffee. Gift a neighborhood shut-in with a homemade loaf of bread or a plate of brownies. Cook extra portions of your favorite meal and take it to a neighbor who’d enjoy them.
  • Gather books and magazines you no longer need and take them to the library, a hospital waiting room or a shelter where others can use them. Gift a friend with an inspirational book you think they’d like. Buy extra copies of your favorite children’s books for a women’s shelter.  
  • Print extra coupons when printing coupons for your own use. Take them to the grocery store and leave them near the product they’re for.
  • Buy or make dolls or stuffed animal toys to leave with shelters, emergency services, police and fire departments to distribute to children in times of need.
  • Smile at strangers, and say hello. If they’re wearing a shirt you like or they have beautiful hair, say so.
  • Call or write a note to a person from your past that made a difference in your life, even if it was long ago.
  • Take flowers to a hospital or a nursing home to distribute to people who haven’t had many visitors.
  • Listen when someone needs a sympathetic ear. Don’t interrupt and don’t try to fix things, just give the person your undivided attention.
  • Wave to kids on the school bus. They’ll love it!
  • Learn the names of people you interact with on an ongoing basis like the mail carrier, your veterinarian’s assistants, waiters at your local cafe and the people in checkout line where you shop. Smile and greet them by name.
  • Teach someone. Show the neighbor’s little girl how to knit. Offer to teach the kids in your daughter’s 4-H group how to train their lambs. Help the struggling beginner at your boarding stable clip her horse.
  • Don’t ignore the next homeless person you see. Smile, stop and converse. Buy gift certificates from nearby restaurants to those who ask for money. Think outside the box. Mom and Dad knew a person who drove around Minneapolis and distributed donated shop blankets to homeless people on bitterly cold nights. It feels good to help people in need.
  • Stop at kids’ lemonade stands and buy a drink, even if you’re driving down the road and have to go back.
  • Clean up litter wherever you go. Pick up trash that other folks drop. Volunteer to pick litter along a stretch of highway or at your favorite park. Recycle anything recyclable. Ask your friends to help.
  • Take time to leave a comment at your favorite blog or to review a product or a book. Leave a kind note when you sign guest books.
  • Ask your kids to get involved by making handmade valentines to hand out at a hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility. Give some to a Meals on Wheels volunteer to distribute.
  • And always accept others’ acts of kindness. Everyone loves to give. Allow them share their joy with you.

What additional random acts of kindness do you suggest? Leave a comment. Uzzi and I want to know!

Ask Martok!
Do you have a livestock or wildlife question you want me to answer? Send me your question! 
Please keep in mind that I receive a lot of questions, so I won’t always be able to answer each one immediately. In the case of an animal emergency, it’s important to reach out to your veterinarian or extension agent first.

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