This post is part of the 30-Day Bloom Your Online Relationships Challenge. If you’d like to play along, you can sign up here (don’t worry — it’s FREE). We’re all working through these small, powerful actions together and sharing our questions, learnings and experiences in a Facebook group. And we’d love to have you join us!

The World is Hungry for More Kindness

Just before the BYOR project was ready to launch, Robin Williams died of suicide.

It touched so many of us, for so many reasons.

I processed my feelings about his death by writing this email to the folks on my list.

Words fail to describe what the responses meant to me. They were heartfelt messages and personal stories. And they left me sobbing at my desk. (In a good way.)

One of those replies was the inspiration for today’s challenge.

I was able to get permission from the woman who wrote it (Lisa Evans) to share with you here:

Precious is the right word. A good day is one to be celebrated and cherished.

A hard day is one to be shared, too, but more in an offering of strength, a hand to hold, or even to put yourself out there as a whipping post, if that’s what needed to get through the day. I know you know what I mean.

But that’s what we do for the people we love, isn’t it?

We know they love us back. Sometimes, they can’t say it, sometimes it’s even hard to believe, but it’s there just the same.

And we keep going. We have to.

As a person, and as a community, too.

My family lives 3 miles from where Sandy Hook Elementary once stood. We have tons of friends in Newtown, which is also where our favorite movie house, ice cream stand, and diner all live. My boys have friends who went to SHE, now temporarily moved to Monroe, and we see them as much as we possibly can.

The terror of that day has receded — to a degree — the pervading loss is still present, sometimes achingly so. Yet we go on.

We go to the ice cream stand. We go to baseball games, the school concerts, we say hi to friends in the local grocery store. We go on, as a group, but as you say, the loss remains. That stays with us in a million ways.

I know MANY people, myself included, who were forever changed that day. We were changed, in many ways, for the better.

You know what you don’t hear about in the news? Random acts of kindness. ALL THE TIME.

Right after the tragedy, families asked for people to perform random acts of kindness — just do something nice for for someone you don’t know with no idea of recognition or recompense. You know what? It hasn’t stopped. Not around here, anyway.

Nearly every day I hear about something great that happened to a friend, a colleague, the family of a friend. It can be someone buying coffee or lunch for all the cars behind them at the drive through window, picking up the tab for the family with the crying baby at a restaurant, or dropping off a big bag of groceries for a family that’s in difficulty.

I really hope these kinds of things are continuing to happen in the wider world because around here in CT, it’s become the norm, and that’s a VERY good thing.

Reaching out and touching someone, whether it’s via a movie screen or a phone call or a random act – it all works and it all helps.

Hang on. Hold on. Hug on.

— Lisa Evans, Bethel CT

Lisa’s email inspired today’s tip: Do something kind for someone.

I know you’re a person who already does lots and lots of kind things for people. But today, do just a little bit extra. And if you like what happens, try to start each day with MONKEY time (More ONline Kindness Everywhere). It’s a monkey on your back you might actually enjoy!

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • Send a small gift digitally: Tweet someone a coffee, send an iTunes or Amazon gift card, there are lots of gifts for $5
  • If you know someone’s hurting financially, you could send them a gift card for an entire meal (grocery stores have these on their website)
  • Send someone an ecard (got a favorite service? share with us in the comments)
  • Give a client an extra 10 minutes of your time
  • Drop an old customer an email, just to see how they are
  • Thank a vendor or contractor for their hard work via social media — let everyone else see how much you love them
  • Compliment a fellow solopreneur — either publicly or privately
  • Forward an email coupon
  • Leave a rich comment on someone’s blog post
  • Share a music playlist with a friend (you can build playlists with Spotify or even create a favorites list in Youtube)
  • Make a donation to someone’s cause or Kickstarter campaign
  • Send someone a bouquet of digital flowers by posting a beautiful picture to their Facebook wall or via private message
  • Send someone a digital book that you know they’d enjoy (Kindle books make great gifts!)
  • Send someone a link to an article that you think they’d enjoy
  • Open your friends list, close your eyes and pick someone at random – post something nice on their Facebook wall
  • Donate some of your time to helping a cause
  • Write a note to the boss of someone who’s helped you and made things wonderful
  • Buy something for a stranger from their Amazon wishlist
  • Promote your client’s awesome work online
  • Record a thank you video and send it off to someone via email

Need more ideas? Check out this list and this one.

Today’s Challenge: 

Pick One Person You’re Connected to Online and Do a Kindness for Them.

Once you’ve taken action, come visit us on Facebook and tell us what you did and how you felt about it. Was it easy for you to find someone to do something nice for? Hard? No right or wrong answers here — we’re all just experimenting!

Image credit: Leyton Parker