Random Acts of Kindness Day is upon us — February 17th — and Mark Twain said it best, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” That’s why participating in this national day of kindness is so important! It reminds us all that we need to give without expecting anything in return, once in a while. Although we should always be mindful of one another, here are 11 ways you can be randomly kind today.

Leave positive sticky notes in public places

A simple “you’re beautiful” or “you can do this” is all it takes to turn someone’s day around. Conjure up some positive messages, jot them down and stick them between two library books, in a bathroom stall, on the seat of the train — the sky’s the limit.

Remember a former teacher

You’ve long since graduated, but an educator’s impact can last a lifetime. Remind your favorite teacher how much she means to you by baking something special and paying her a visit. Knowing she had such a positive impact on a student’s life will brighten her day.

Keep the compliments flowing

This suggestion costs nothing and is guaranteed to bring a smile to every recipient. Note a coworker’s job well done, tell a stranger you like her outfit or let your barista know he makes your drink just the way you like it.

Leave a gift for your garbage collector or mail carrier

Make little goodie bags of snacks and water bottles to place on the trash cans and inside the mailbox. Just make sure you clearly label who the treats are for!

Donate floral arrangements to a nursing home

A bar mitzvah, a baptism, a big birthday — the special occasion will only last a few hours, but the flowers will be good for at least another week. Give the bouquets a second life while providing the residents something beautiful to look at!

Order lunch for a coworker

If you’ve noticed a coworker overloaded with work or having a rough week, surprise her with lunch! Food is always a welcome gift.

Feed the meter

Nothing ruins a day faster than an expensive parking ticket. If you walk past someone’s car and notice the meter is expired, put a couple of quarters in.

Pay for someone’s coffee or tolls

Pay it forward by paying for the next person’s coffee or tolls. More often than not, this will cause a chain reaction and before you know it, your small gesture has turned into a movement.

Give the gift of conversation

Prepare an extra sandwich to give to a homeless person on your way to work and ask him or her how his or her day is going. Food is always appreciated, but a little conversation goes the extra mile.

Wave when someone lets you into traffic

Road rage is contagious, but so is courtesy. If someone feels gracious enough to let you in during a traffic jam, give a wave or a smile. If this feels more like good manners to you and less like an “act of kindness,” good for you! You’re already kinder than 90% of drivers.

Give someone a lift

It could be holding a bag of groceries at the store or pushing a stroller for a struggling mother. While some people might feel uneasy about a stranger holding their personal belongings, the offer is almost always appreciated.

How was someone kind to you today? How were you kind to someone else? We want to hear your RAK stories.

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