Be Thoughtful

I am officially trying to spread thoughtfulness, if it only it were as catchy as bad moods or the flu… let’s see what we can do to make that happen, shall we? Here is a list of 100 random things we can do to be thoughtful:

  1. Give someone flowers, anyone, strangers or someone you care about… near or far… pick them up at the grocery store, the florist, your garden or FTD them to a long-distance friend
  2. Write an unexpected letter for no other reason than to say hello and ask someone how they are doing
  3. Ask questions and listen, really listen, to the answers
  4. Participate in StoryCorps even if it unofficially done at your own home with a $7 microphone on your computer or tape player. (Ask a friend or family member to join you!)
  5. Offer to do the dishes when everyone is tired
  6. Pick up trash in your neighbor’s yard or in your apartment courtyard
  7. Help someone with their groceries
  8. Clean up after yourself
  9. Fold the laundry
  10. Ask if anyone else would like anything while you are up or out
  11. Order or bring enough lunch for two and share
  12. Make a lunch and bring it to leave in the fridge at work with “THIS LUNCH WAS MADE FOR ANYONE WHO IS HUNGRY — ENJOY” (add a nice quote or note inside!)
  13. When making a sandwich for someone, cut it into fun shapes, even if they are 92 years old, they will love it
  14. Offer to run errands for a sick or elderly family member or just someone who is super busy
  15. Paint a picture for a friend
  16. Draw people pictures
  17. Sing aloud bravely, it will encourage others to do the same
  18. Dance with anyone who will dance with you even if there is no music…hum it!
  19. Decorate a gift box for holidays
  20. Make your own greeting cards, personal and appropriate for the person and the occasion
  21. Cover for someone so they can sleep in just a little while longer
  22. Invite friends or family over for tea or water and a chat
  23. Call someone you haven’t called recently
  24. Laugh heartedly and encourage others to do the same
  25. Give out Smile Cards
  26. Give a waitress or barista an extra generous tip — 35%, 50%, 75% … 100%
  27. Pay your rent early
  28. Volunteer in your community
  29. Read aloud to someone
  30. Sweep the sidewalk in front of your apartment, house and your neighbors
  31. Plant flowers and share them
  32. Put up a tree swing
  33. Plant a tree
  34. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your outgoing letters and cards
  35. Send / share your favorite recipes with family, friends or strangers
  36. Make your favorite dish for someone else, bring it to them or invite them to your house to enjoy it
  37. Drop off the ingredients and instructions to your favorite dish with someone you haven’t seen in awhile
  38. Learn to knit and make a scarf for everyone you can next Christmas
  39. Pick your favorite songs and record them to a disc and give it away — or leave it on a park bench
  40. If you are not using a coupon, leave it on a public display board for someone else or go to the store where it can be used and give it to some random shopper about to make a purchase
  41. Start a coat drive for the coming winter, or a blanket drive, or a food drive, or a book drive
  42. Pack an extra lunch and give it to someone homeless
  43. Stop and say hello to homeless people, they are humans too, ask them questions… they have a story
  44. Smile at everyone you see today, a big, genuine smile, they are contagious
  45. Forgive someone, everyone (even if you cannot continue to be in their lives)
  46. Share your favorite book with a friend
  47. Donate just a little money
  48. Donate a little more of your time
  49. Share, anything with anyone
  50. Make a birdfeeder and hang it in a place others can enjoy watching the birds eat
  51. Invite a friend to the park
  52. Clean out your car and take someone on a drive
  53. Offer to wash a friend’s car or bicycle
  54. Clean out your closet and donate it to a local homeless shelter or YWCA for women and children who must leave everything behind to be safe from violence
  55. Keep a list of things you appreciate about someone you love and then give it to them for their birthday or Christmas or your anniversary
  56. Write your favorite stories / memories of one person in a journal and then give it to them
  57. Take pictures of something fun or beautiful and share them
  58. Find a dress or shirt or skirt you no longer wear, repair it, add a bird or some other felt decal to it and give it as an upcycled present
  59. When you rent an interesting movie, invite others to watch it with you: family, friends, neighbors
  60. Pay a small bill for someone else
  61. Listen attentively
  62. Write thank you notes and hand deliver them whenever possible
  63. Schedule mini-vacations with those you love, explore the local areas
  64. Find out the freebie days at local museums and art galleries and invite a friend
  65. Buy the food or drink for the car behind you in the drive-thru or the person behind you in line
  66. When you see someone crying, ask if they are ok, and listen when they respond
  67. Send postcards to someone who lives far away or cannot be with you wherever you go
  68. Build a snowman in someone else’s yard
  69. Play with the children in your life, listen to them, laugh with them, have fun with them, read to them
  70. Make a date with a child you know, ask them to read to you or cook their favorite meal with them — let them do most of the work
  71. Switch roles with someone in your life for a day or even half a day
  72. Turn your work in a little early, finish that project just a little bit early
  73. Go that extra mile for someone or something
  74. Share your favorite quotes or stories with people
  75. Tell the ones you love how much you love them and why, often
  76. Cut out giant colorful letters “WELCOME HOME” and hang it in a prominent spot
  77. Greet people enthusiastically
  78. Hug others often, offer hugs even more
  79. Pay for someone else’s fare (on the bus, to a movie, a concert, on a ferry)
  80. Let someone else take that parking spot, enjoy the walk, they may be in a hurry
  81. Allow others the opportunity to be helpful
  82. Be vocally and visually grateful
  83. Send good morning texts, messages, make the phone call or stop by just to say hello and wish them a good morning — do it often
  84. Donate your old electronics responsibly  (you can give your old cell phones to the local shelters for domestic violence victims, if you are not familiar with one — email me below with your city and state or country and I will find one or more options for you)
  85. Refill the ice trays or water bottles, change the paper towel or toilet paper roll
  86. Make scrapbooks of special times with your family and friends and give them to them
  87. Recycle, reduce, reuse
  88. Leave an encouraging note in public (i.e. “Everything is going to be alright, maybe not today, but eventually)
  89. Start a book discussion group in your local area or online
  90. Post genuine comments on someone else’s blog or webpage without linking to a product or a page where you hope to sell your product
  91. Think of 100 additional ways to be thoughtful and share them in response to this blog (
  92. Attend special events, even if you do not feel like it, we all need support and a cheering section
  93. Invite a friend or family member to take a class with you
  94. Apologize quickly and whole heartedly
  95. Play 20 questions at dinner or what if questions (i.e. If the house was on fire, what one thing would you want to take with you and why?) and listen to the responses, engaging in conversation about each answer
  96. Learn another language
  97. Buy a snack or soda from a vending machine and leave it behind
  98. Donate blood and sign up to be a bone marrow donor — go a step further and sign up to donate your organs in the unlikely event of your death, you don’t need the organs once you are dead but someone might
  99. Do some research for someone else, for anyone else and share it with them (a simple guide to recycle properly, safest ways to invest, how to plant a tree, make a family book with stories from all the living people and pictures, if possible, and get it printed for each member of the family for their birthday or Christmas)
  100. Share your books, movies and games with others at sites like and

Let’s be the change we hope to see in the world… please, share your list or ideas with me as well…

Read part 2 here (Persnickety’s list) and/or read part 3 here (nephew’s list) and/or read part 4 here (Madhattress’ list).

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