In honor of Valentine's Day (and the long, murky winter), here are a dozen easy ways to make the world brighter—both the world in general and your own world in particular.
Everyday Acts of Love and Kindness
- Use your turn signal. Ah, the things that are common sense but not always common practice.
- Let someone into your lane. Even if they don't acknowledge you, smile and say "You're welcome."
- Smile and hold doors. This has to be one of the easiest gestures on this list—and the most appreciated.
- Don't step on someone's moment. If someone steps on yours, consider the source. It may help you to bite your tongue and let it go.
- Meet deadlines without being nagged. Bonus points if you don't even need to be reminded.
- Fill the office copy machine before it runs out of paper.
- Do what you say you're going to do, when you say you're going to do it. So many people just don't—which means if you do, you'll stand out.
- Clean up after yourself in the lunchroom, bathroom, and any other shared space. The same rules that make for good roommates make for good officemates.
- Communicate. If you're behind on getting back to someone, send them a quick note letting them know you haven't forgotten them.
- Call or text if you're going to be more than five minutes late.
- If you have to rebuke, do it gently. The other morning I sent my next-door neighbor a text—something like, "Dude, I can hear your Willie Nelson through my office wall." My neighbor and I know each other well. He turned it down immediately, and later we had a good laugh about it.
- Offer to pitch in, even when it's not your job. The higher your level of authority, the more appreciated this act of kindness is.
Don't step on someone's moment.
— Gina DeLapa