Step it Up!
Random acts of kindness anyone can do

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The world can be an isolating place sometimes. And in this fast-paced world of ours, mindfulness, and acts of kindness are ever-more necessary to brighten, beautify, and strengthen our human bonds with one another. Here are some nifty ways to get the kindness rolling:

Treat Someone to the Movies
The price of a NYC movie ticket is somewhat horrifying--even for a mantinee. Such steep numbers usually leave us saying, "I guess I’ll watch it on my computer screen."  Therefore, as a special act of kindness (both to yourself as well as whoever you invite), get tickets to go out to a movie and enjoy briefly pausing time, along with any concerns or stressors. Enjoy a laugh, and a little cry, at Woody Allen’s new film Blue Jasmine

It’s Pouring; Share Your Umbrella
We have all been in this situation: we simply forgot to check AccuWeather in the morning and, alas, it is raining outside. Now your blownout hair or newly pressed polo is in imminent danger of ruin. How amazing would it be if someone (hopefully cute!) came up to you and asked if you would like to share his/her umbrella? That’s what we thought, pretty damn amazing. So the next time you are stuck in a rain shower, check out who might be in need and help a sister (or brother) out.

Give Up the Gossip
It’s an interesting dichotomy: it's alright to talk about so-and-so’s ridiculous haircut or that pretentious t-shirt your roommate keeps rocking, and yet it is unjustifiable and distressing to think of anyone gossiping about us. We get it, we're not entirely innocent either--gossip seems to slip so innocuously into conversations we don’t even notice what we are doing. It is impossible not to discuss mutual friends and acquaintances in conversation, but this can be used as a perfect opportunity to be kind and feel good about yourself as well. Just say positive things; all of a sudden the tone of the conversation switches to a much more meaningful, fun, and *fuzzy* place.

Ask Someone About His/Her Culture with Genuine Interest
NYC’s immensely cosmopolitan population isn’t just advantageous for our cuisine selections; it’s also auspicious for expanding our cultural and historical knowledge (and bone up on our Jeopardy trivia while we are at it). Asking someone about themselves in a non-superficial way—not that “where’d you get that cute dress?” is superficial, per se—but discussions about a person’s family and traditions will make them feel special, interesting, and bring up those nostalgic memories of family traditions. Aren’t you kind?

Public Poetry for the Brave
This is a little bit of a controversial one, but we bet you’re a bit of a rebel anyway, so here we go: read a poem or two out loud on public transportation vehicles (i.e. bus, train). Here us out: us New Yorkers are all too familiar with the, uh, outbursts of opinions on the train, but what if someone (read: you) were to deliver a mini poem for your cart to hear? How delightful! And ok, public speaking is not for everyone, isn’t that right Bashful? But we have an adorable solution for you: consider bringing sticky notes with you and posting a couple poems or just nice quips in random places like a public bathroom mirror, car windshield, or a Duane Reade shelf. Nothing beats happening upon an anonymous love quote in this whirlwind city.

Leave a Used Book in a Public Domain
We are guilty as charged of pursuing this kindness with books we have read and really enjoyed. Instead of lugging these treasures around, why not donate them or be a little sneaky and leave them on a bus/train for someone else to enjoy on those long commutes? They will have an emotional journey while on their physical journey: Got ‘em!