Random Acts of Kindness from The Homestead
One of the reasons I started homesteading was to live a simpler, more down to earth lifestyle. Random Acts of Kindness from the homestead fits perfectly into this life I’ve chosen.
I don’t just reserve kindness for the holiday season. I try to live this way year round. One way I do this is to keep my mind open to the problems and suffering of others. Instead of focusing on the less than perfect aspects of my own life, it reminds me that I am very fortunate to be healthy and to have a family that loves me.
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Be Kind to Everyone, Even Those Who Don’t SEEM to Deserve It!
Those who are hardest to love often need kindness the most. Sharing a smile or kind word may be just what they need to turn their day around. Just don’t let them ruin your happiness if you get a sour response!
We have a neighbor who never seems pleased with our property. We don’t mow often enough, he doesn’t like the color we painted the house, and if a feather blows onto his property…well, I hear about it. I used to go over to visit him on a more regular basis, but it’s hard to do when I hear his negative comments. However, I’ve decided to suck it up and bring some home baked goodies over to him this week to sweeten his mood. It usually works, even if only for a little while!
Don’t Forget Your Friends and Family…
It’s easy to forget that the people around us need little acts of kindness too. Maybe we’ve had a spat with our spouse, or we’re annoyed with the kids because they won’t help with chores. Forgive, forget, and pitch in to help them do the dishes, clean their room, or muck the stalls. Put on some cheerful music and make chores fun to do together!
I try to be patient and accepting of my family. When you get annoyed about some little thing, stop and think about the many things they do to help you.
It’s important to be kind to those close to us, not just the stranger in line behind us at the grocery store!
We all fall short at times…if you do, fix the mistake, say “I’m sorry,” and really mean it.
Be Kind to Yourself…
Don’t forget to be kind to yourself, too…if you are constantly putting everyone else first, you’ll run out of energy sooner or later. You’re not super-human! So take time to soak in the tub, have a cup of hot tea, keep a journal, or read an uplifting book. Self care is important too.
Be sure to eat healthy, take care of your body, and get your vaccinations. Staying up to date on immunizations for diseases such as whooping cough (Pertussis) helps ensure that you don’t spread illness to people with compromised immune systems.
Part of being kind to yourself is remembering that you don’t deserve to be treated unfairly. If someone is being unkind to you, walk away. Forgive them, don’t hold a grudge because that only takes away from your good humor…but don’t let them continue to treat you badly. If this is happening at work it is more difficult to overcome, but talk to your boss or human resources, if possible.
Don’t let your desire to do good get you in trouble. If your instincts tell you to beware, listen to them. If you see someone broken down on the side of the road, call the police to help them. Remember that there are people who will take advantage, so stay alert for dangerous situations.
Say Something Nice
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all! That was one of my parents’ favorite sayings when I was a kid. Too often we say something and then regret it.
Random Acts of Kindness (RAoK) have been on my mind quite a bit lately. It feels like our society is very divided. We find fault with others on social media, look down on people, or close our minds to the needs of those less fortunate. So many people seem to be hardening their hearts to the problems and suffering of others. I have been guilty of this too!
It can be very difficult to hear criticism and mean words without taking it personally and reacting harshly. If the criticism is justified, work to change your behavior. If you are being attacked, keep in mind that the attacker is probably a very unhappy person.
So take a deep breath, calm your mind, and remember that you have no idea what another person is going through in their life…and how much a little act of kindness might impact their day.
At the very least, don’t add to the suffering and anger in another person’s life.
Simple Acts of Kindness
Here are some ideas for random acts of kindness from your homestead (even if you don’t have a homestead!) that cost little, or nothing, and will lift someone’s spirits:
- Make small heart shaped ornaments for seniors at nursing homes
- Read to children at your local library
- Help someone with their yard work or house cleaning
- Become a tutor for an English as Second Language student
- Visit a lonely neighbor
- Plant a wild flower garden or leave natural areas for wildlife
- Bring a healthy snack or comfort food to work
- Leave notes in public places with uplifting messages
- Knit or sew blankets, booties, hats, or clothing for babies in the preemie unit at a hospital
- Give compliments
- Become a tutor for The Literacy Council
- Hold the door for strangers
- Return the cart for someone in the grocery store parking lot
- Feed the birds and other wildlife
- Leave a quarter in the Aldi’s shopping cart coin mechanism
- Donate home grown veggies to a food pantry
- ‘Adopt’ a family and ask friends and family to help fill a food basket
- Knit hats, scarves, and mittens for the homeless or less fortunate children
- Foster a dog or cat from a shelter
- Baby sit, pet sit, or farm sit for someone
- Make home made dog biscuits for a pet shelter
- After you read a book, put it in a book exchange box or share with someone
- Put together a ready made meal for someone who is struggling
- Share positive messages on social media and in comment sections of websites
- Clean your basement or attic and donate gently used items that you no longer need
- Send a note or card to neighbors, co-workers, or friends who are lonely
- Adopt rescued horses or other farm animals
Homesteading Gifts To Share…
You don’t have to spend a fortune on your Random Acts of Kindness. Many things are free or cost much less because you raise them on your homestead. Here are some ideas for things to share with your neighbors, friends, family, co-workers, or people in need:
- Honey, honey butter, or honey candy
- Plant starts or heirloom seeds from your garden
- Maple syrup, Jack Wax. or Hard Maple Candy
- Fresh eggs
- Baked goods such as breads, muffins, cookies or cakes
- Jam, jelly, or fruit syrups
- Fruits and vegetables from your homestead
- Crafts such as cards and home decor
- Homemade hand salve
- Patchwork pot holders
- Homemade cheese, yogurt, or eggnog (pasteurize dairy products when giving as gifts)
- Handmade teddy bears
- Wooden blocks for toys or other wooden crafts
- Handmade jewelry or hair ties
- Knitted or crocheted hats, scarves, mittens, socks, or baby clothes
- Home cooked meals or ready to bake casseroles
- Yarn (from your sheep or alpacas) for someone who knits
- Homemade laundry detergent and dryer sheets
- Felted toys
- Lap blankets, baby blankets, or afghans
- Homemade salves, lotions, shampoos, soaps, or other personal care items
- Photographs in homemade frames
- Mason jar mixes
- Handcrafted candles
- Evergreen wreaths, sprigs of holly, or a Christmas tree from your woods for the holidays
- Home baked Challah bread or Rugalach cookies for Hanukkah
Those are just a few ideas for items to share from your homestead. I’m sure that you can come up with plenty more!
Sharing Doesn’t Have to Mean Spending
As homesteaders, we don’t always have a lot of extra money to spend on little acts of kindness. However, with a bit of creativity, there are many ways that we can share the fruits of our labor with those who are lonely, less fortunate, or maybe just need a little cheering up.
My parents had a little sign that hung in our kitchen when I was a child…it read, “We’re happy to share with you such as we’ve got, the leaks in the roof and the soup in the pot!” I’m glad to say that we didn’t have leaks in the roof, but there was always some ‘soup in the pot.’
Being kind doesn’t have to cost a dime…sharing a smile or kind word goes a long way in life.