It’s Been a Crappy Week—Here Are 22 Nice Things to Do for Somebody Else Today

Spend five minutes brightening someone's day, and maybe we can start to turn this week around (even just a little bit).

I think we can all agree that this wasn’t such a banner week. With Boston on our minds, of course, and now the victims of the factory explosion in Texas, everyone I’m talking to just seems a bit … down.

I think we could all stand for something good to happen today. That’s why I’m proposing that everyone who reads this post does one nice thing for someone else today. Something completely out of the blue. Something unexpected. Something—anything—to make them smile. Because if there has ever been a week where humankind could really stand to pay it forward, it’s this one.

Here are my 22 suggestions, but by all means, feel free to add to this list in the comments. If you do something unexpectedly nice for someone—or if someone does something nice for you—share that, too.

1. Pay for the coffee of the guy behind you at Starbucks.

2. Smile at a stranger.

3. Give someone waiting to buy SEPTA tokens one of yours instead.

4. Compliment a coworker on his or her outfit.

5. Hold the door for someone in the lobby. Or better yet, hold the elevator door for someone who’s in a hurry.

6. Give up your seat on the bus or train for someone else.

7. Give your cab to the next person waiting at the cab stand.

8. Tip your waiter or bartender extra just because.

9. Buy an extra sandwich at lunch and give it to someone who’s homeless.

10. Offer to help a mom or elderly person load groceries into their car.

11. Donate blood.

12. Surprise everyone with treats at the big staff meeting this afternoon. (After all, Friday afternoon meetings are the absolute worst.)

13. Write a letter to somebody, just because.

14. Write a nice Yelp review for a local small business you really, really love.

15. Be a courteous driver; let someone in front of you merge without laying on the horn.

16. Give money to a good street musician.

17. Take your neighbors some homemade cookies. (If you’ve never introduced yourself, here’s your chance.)

18. If you come across one, buy a drink from a kid’s lemonade stand.

19. Write a private message to a friend on Facebook whom you haven’t seen in at least a year, and tell them you miss them.

20. Wave to a kid in the car next to you.

21. Pay for gas for the person at the next pump.

22. Give a tourist who looks lost directions to wherever he or she is trying to get to.

>> What other ideas do you have? Share ’em in the comments!