Let’s be honest, society today is a lot different to that of the past. It’s fair to say that one major change is how generous we are to each other these days. Entire communities used to get together, neighbours really knew one another and generally, people were a lot more giving of their money, resources and time. I can’t help but look around and see a society that has lost touch of its generosity.

Can we be blamed? I mean, so many of us are now rushing around from one activity to another, we have 101 tasks to do in the space of an hour, the phone is constantly pinging, the emails are coming in fast and rapid & the last thing on your mind is generosity. I know a lot of people send monthly donations to the favourite charity and sometimes you might even get a “That’s my good deed for the day” in a conversation with a colleague or a friend, but most of the time, service and generosity often get left behind to make way for all of life’s responsibilities.

You might be reading this now and wondering how you can perhaps give the generous behaviour a great kick start, you’ll be happy to know that below is a list compiled of some very practical but small steps you can start implementing to encourage more of the same behaviour around you.

  1. Say good morning to everyone.
  2. Hold a door open.
  3. Bring the office coffee. Or donuts, bagels, or fresh fruit.
  4. Say please and thank you all the time.
  5. Give up your seat.
  6. Really listen.
  7. Don’t interrupt.
  8. Return your shopping cart.
  9. Use driving etiquette. Let people merge. Yield at traffic signals appropriately. Don’t tailgate.
  10. Say I’m sorry when you’re in the wrong.
  11. Throw away your rubbish.
  12. Pick up someone else’s waste and throw it away.
  13. Volunteer to walk the neighbour’s dog.
  14. Send words of encouragement to someone who’s struggling.
  15. Help a friend who is super stressed.
  16. Leave a generous tip when eating out.
  17. Drop your spare change into a tip jar.
  18. Pass along a book, especially if it’s a really good one.
  19. Send a handwritten note.
  20. Do your best to locate the owner of a lost phone or wallet.
  21. Make eye contact with people and smile.
  22. Compliment others for jobs well done.
  23. Let people jump in front of you in lines.
  24. Treat a friend to a night out—for no reason!
  25. Praise colleagues when they complete difficult tasks.
  26. Send your boss or manager a letter of gratitude.
  27. Leave an interesting article on the train for someone else to enjoy.
  28. Invite your neighbours over for an evening of preparing freezer meals.
  29. Take a meal to your neighbours.
  30. Offer to mentor someone.
  31. Tell your spouse you love them and a reason why.
  32. Call your mom. Thank her for doing her best.
  33. Put a surprise note in your kid’s or spouse’s lunch.
  34. Send a “thinking about you” text.
  35. Take a meal to your aging parents.
  36. Volunteer time at a local homeless shelter (See Volunteering for more information)
  37. Become an organ and blood donor.
  38. Offer shelter under your umbrella to others headed in the same direction.
  39. Do something around the house without being asked.
  40. Submit a positive online review of a business.
  41. Praise an employee’s service to their manager.
  42. Return books to the appropriate spot on shelves.
  43. Donate your items around the house.
  44. Give someone the benefit of a doubt.
  45. Donate £1. You never know how much it could help another.
  46. Open an email address for your kids and fill it with memories, quotes, and special things that take place in their childhood.
  47. Check in with someone.
  48. Offer to babysit free of charge.
  49. Return items left at your house after parties or events.
  50. Invite someone to dinner.
  51. Offer to carry someone’s groceries to their car.
  52. When upset, take ten minutes before responding.
  53. Print extra coupons to pass along to friends.
  54. Give directions.
  55. Offer to take a tourist’s photo.
  56. Write a note of encouragement and leave it between the pages of a library book.
  57. Coach a sports team.
  58. Help a classmate prepare for a test.
  59. Bring in your neighbour’s bins.
  60. Forgive someone.
  61. Work on a community flowerbed.
  62. Complain less, be grateful more.
  63. Send a care package.
  64. Help someone with bags or luggage.

I believe that a generous heart is essential. Let’s work together to bring back the art of generosity by applying some of these simple activities to our daily routine. This list should just be the start, obviously, there are endless ways to become generous.

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Thank you

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