An Act of Kindness

flickr photo shared by mkrigsman under a Creative Commons ( BY-ND ) license


Have you ever come across groups of people holding free hugs signs and offering free hugs to other people? Perhaps you have read the story of the Greek restaurant owner who opens his restaurant at night to let stray dogs sleep in it? The Canadian muslim who took off his shoes on a rainy day to give them to a barefoot passenger and walked barefoot home himself? The man who celebrated his 65th birthday handing 5 dollar bills and holding up a sign that read: “"I have a home and a car and a job. Do you need a few bucks for some coffee?” 

There are wonderful stories from all over the world where people have followed their inner guidance of goodness, joy, of right and wrong, rather than the imposed, often unconscious norms of society. We all love these stories, because just by hearing them, we can feel how something is changing inside of us, how we are resonating with the change-maker and want to be one ourselves. We all have the power to create the world that we want to live in, and we need to be reminded of that.

“The ripple effect starts with one. One person to hold open a door. One person to leave a note on someone’s car complimenting their awesome parking skills. One person to write a thank you letter to a teacher. One person to be a spark of kindness when another really needs it.”  And why not be that person? In this activity you’ll be encouraged to be the change-maker, the unsung heroine/hero, the breaker of stale norms that no one really wants. Think of your everyday life. Could a small effort from your part make a big difference for others? Could an act of kindness bring you closer to the world that you want to live in?

Activity Type

Group or Individual / Experiential


10 min

Learning Outcomes

  • To see how our behavioural patterns are restricting us

  • To experience how breaking out of those patterns can have a transformative effect on ourselves and the world


Required Materials and Tools:

An open heart

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Think about any way that you could be supportive for you community and your fellow citizens or even the world in general. The act of kindness you choose can go beyond your local community, it could be international solidarity. As long as your act would bring you closer to the world that you want to live in, you’re on the right track. If you need inspiration, browse the resources below or other sources on the internet. Or recall something that you’ve read in the newspaper long ago. It could be something very easy, such as saying “thank you” to a stranger holding the door for you; buying a flower from a street vendor that sells flowers and giving it to her/him as a gift; giving a kind note to a stranger; offering a hug to a homeless person...there are limitless ways to make a difference!

  2. Perform the action. It could either be a planned action or something that you do spontaneously from an open heart of kindness. If it’s possible, take a picture or video of the event.


Pay it forward - perhaps you have seen the film or read the book - the concept is quite simple: instead of having the person pay you back, they should be paying it forward. When you do something nice for someone, for example, leaving a kind note to a stranger, ask them to do an act of kindness for three other people The idea is to consciously spread kindness in the world.



  • How did the act make you feel?

  • What influence do you think that your act had on the world?

  • Do you think that these kinds of acts could have a substantial impact on the world?

Instructions for Submission

Submit an explanation of your action, your motivation behind it, and your reflection on the experience. Upload 1 photo (optional). Instructions on how to upload photos and how to submit things in Moodle can be found here: Instructions on Submission&Uploading

Instructions for Assessment

Provide feedback to at least one participant that has done this activity. Instructions on providing feedback can be found here: Instructions on Feedback

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