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One small, thoughtful gesture can make someone’s day. How a simple kindness can change a person’s life.


Tim Sanders is a leadership coach and former Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo!. Sanders advises all of his employees to reach out to their workers and subordinates to show their appreciation for their work. He often tells the story of how he did just that, speaking to his staff individually, giving them positive feedback on their performance, and telling them that he appreciated their efforts. Sanders recalls telling one specific man how glad he was that the man came into his life.

Sanders was shocked when that man turned up a few days later and gave him an expensive gift, an X-Box console. As it turns out, this employee had purchased the X-Box by pawning a revolver that he had intended to use to kill himself. After hearing the words of praise from his boss, the man decided to keep living and seek help for his depression. Just a few kind words were all it took to help him out of his suicidal darkness.

“Sometimes people just need people,” Sanders said.


1. Say “Good morning” to a person standing next to you in the coffee line.

2. Take a minute to direct someone who is lost, even though you’re rushing.

3. Write a letter to a grandchild, niece or nephew, or a child you know who could use some extra attention. Kids love getting mail.

4. Bring a pack of Timbits to share at the office (or make it a dozen doughnuts – honey crullers for me, please).

5. Offer to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor, especially in extreme weather.

6. Say “I love you” to someone you love.

7. Help a mother carry her baby stroller up the stairs, or hold a door open for her.

8. Each time you get a new item of clothing, give away something old.

9. Bring your assistant his or her favourite coffee.

10. Out of the blue, send a card to a friend.

11. Say “please” and “thank you”—and really mean it.

12. When you’re on a crowded train or bus, offer your seat to an elderly, disabled or pregnant person.

13. Don’t interrupt when someone is explaining him or herself.

14. Let a fellow driver merge into your lane.

15. Offer to baby-sit for a single mom.

16. Put your shopping cart back in its place.

17. Call or write to a teacher who changed your life.

18. Listen with all your senses.

19. Write a note to the boss of someone who helps you, and explain how great a job that person is doing.

20. Simply say “I’m sorry” when you’re wrong.

21. Throw away your garbage—and someone else’s—after a movie, picnic or visit to a park.

22. Encourage someone who seems despondent.

23. Help a friend pack for a move.

24. Ask someone, “How are you really doing?”— and then really listen to her or his response.

25. Offer change when the person in front of you at the register comes up short.

26. Leave a generous tip for a pleasant waiter.

27. Pass along a great book you’ve just finished reading.

Use one of the above or think of your own creative act of kindness and do it today.

Kindly join the conversation by leaving a comment below and share this post. Thank you.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


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