Today is National World Kindness Day.
Mister Rogers, the famously friendly television personality, once said of Milwaukee, "It is the kindest city the world has ever known." Now, that might not be true (or maybe it is!), but if it were it would be incredibly high praise indeed and a lofty standard of compassion to which we should all rightly aspire.
Nevertheless, we don’t need quotes from Mister Rogers to be good and do good. Anytime is a great time to be kind. If you’re looking for a special occasion to do something particularly nice, though, now is your opportunity.
Certainly, some of the best things people can do are generously donate time, money and items to those in need and charitable organizations. But you can also be kind, brighten someone’s day and make Milwaukee a better place with the sort of smaller, more casual examples of thoughtfulness, caring and humanity for which the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation established the Day.
We thought we’d offer some ideas of our own just for your regular day. Go out and please be kind, Milwaukee! 1. Pay it forward
If you’re buying coffee or getting on the bus or buying groceries, pay for the person behind you. Maybe they’ll keep the deed going and pay for the person behind them!
2. Smile at a stranger
Just don’t be weird about it. If you see someone on the street, look at them like a human, smile and offer just a little more happiness to the world.
3. Tell a grownup you’re proud of them
Adults tell kids they’re proud of them all the time, but rarely do they tell other adults. Hearing a peer – friend, family member, coworker – is proud of you is a great feeling.
4. Hold the door
Seriously. It’s a small gesture, but it makes a difference. And then sanitize your hands. There's a world pandemic out there, people.
5. Be polite to servers
"May I please have ..." and "thank you very much" are much more pleasant ways to talk to human beings at restaurants than "Yeah, let me get the ..." and "(grunt)." The service industry is going through a particularly tough time right now because of COVID, so let's be nice to them every day, but ESPECIALLY today!
6. Call loved ones
Call your mom. Or your dad. Or your siblings or grandparents. Or the aunt/uncle/cousins you rarely talk to. Call them all! Tell them you love them and you’re grateful to have them in your life. Family matters, man.
7. Be a nice driver
This. This. This! Why can being in a car make people the ugliest versions of themselves? Let that slow driver merge on the freeway; stop so that family can cross the street; try not to swear at everyone for the day. Removing rage from the road is not only good for the road, but also your health.
8. Write to a mentor
Remember, back before you were a successful professional, that person who took a chance on hiring you or giving you an internship 10 years ago? Write them an out-of-the-blue letter or email and thank them for what they did to help you in your career.
9. Help your neighbor
Maybe their lawn needs a trim. Their sidewalk could use a shoveling. Think about how wide they’ll smile and much stronger you’ll get if you help!
10. Compliment a coworker
Make a point to casually – or more formally via an email – say something thoughtful and kind to a coworker today. I'm gonna do this right now. problem is, we have so many stellar folks at OnMilwaukee, it will be tough to choose.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.