Good deeds have the double benefit of helping the intended recipient—and making the doer feel good, as well.
What is a good deed? Well, it's the simple act of doing something kind for someone else, an animal, or the Earth. I'm not sure how many people would add those last two in, but I know that a good deed does not stop at the person next to you.
So, to get right on with it. This is an article that will share ideas for good deeds to help you get started spreading around your goodness. If you have additional ideas to share, please leave them in the comments section below.
10 Ideas for Good Deeds
Sometimes, it can be hard to be kind to other people. Many people are so arrogant and self-centered that you may think, "Why would I ever want to do a good deed for them?" Well, even if you don't get any appreciation back, you will still feel good about the act. You will still be putting good energy into the universe - and that can only benefit you in the long run.
This list is meant to get the ball rolling on your own personal good deeds. Once you start thinking in 'good deed mode' you will notice that there are many things you can do every day.
1. Offer an Unexpected Smile - This is a simple act that can change someone's day. If a grumpy, angry, or upset person offers you a frown, offer them a smile. Often, this simple smile can cause them to feel better. In fact, many people mirror other people instinctively, and if you offer a smile they may instinctively smile, as well. And we all know that a smile can make us feel better, no matter what kind of mood we are in.
2. Give a Compliment - I find that many people are hardwired not to give compliments, even to their best friends or family members. It's as though a compliment will detract from their greatness, but this is not true. If you give someone a compliment for a job well done, you will not be detracting for the awesomeness that is you - instead, you will be adding to it and making someone else feel good at the same time.
3. Recycle What You Can - There is no excuse not to recycle anymore. Everywhere you look there are bins and bags to recycle in. Plus, every day that you recycle, you are doing a good deed for the Earth and EVERYONE and EVERY LIVING THING on it! You can't reach too many more people with one good deed than that! Maybe you are even impacting people in other words...just saying - you don't know!
4. Spare Some Change - Almost every day you will have an opportunity to do good deeds involving money. The homeless man or woman on the street, the old woman in the grocery line who is short 60 cents, and the kid who wants that extra piece of candy but doesn't have the extra few cents to buy it. If you got some extra change doing nothing in your pocket, you might as well do a good deed with it.
5. Let Someone Else Go First - It seems that we as a society have become so rushed that we are constantly trying to cut each other off with our cars and with our bodies. And not many of us give way to someone else when they are trying to cut us off.
But think of it like this, if someone is trying to get ahead of you, then they may have a real good reason like:
- A sick loved one that they are trying to get to.
- An important meeting that could make or break their career.
- Something else that they don't have time to stop and talk about with you.
Letting people go ahead is a good deed that becomes addictive, because not only do you give others a chance to get on with their day, you also feel more relaxed because you are not in such a hurry with yours.
6. Help Someone Getting Bullied - Bullying with kids and online has been in the news a lot lately, but bullying happens all over the place including the workplace and even just out and about during the day. I've seen people being yelled at by bullies for stupid reasons - and I do mean stupid - as I'm sure you have as well.
The person being bullied likely feels alone in their struggle, and since bullies tend to have a dominant personality, you standing beside someone who has a less dominate energy can help dilute the energy and stop the bullying from happening.
This doesn't mean that you should become the bully, but it does mean that you should stand by someone who is getting bullied and take part in making their day better.
7. Give Your Pet Some Extra Love - Yes, I consider this a very good deed. Actually I consider this an excellent good deed. Pets need love and lots of it, and since you took on the responsibility of caring for their lives, you are the ultimate person to do a good deed for your pet.
You can take your dog for a walk, play some games with them, teach them a new trick and get their mind working, give them an extra treat for the day, or just hug them extra long for the day. Whatever you do, choose something that will please your pet.
8. Hold That Door/Elevator! - How many times have you been walking through a door with your hands full and had it slam into your arm? This happen to a lot of people every day.
Chances are that if you are walking through a door, then someone else will not be too far behind you. Take a second to be aware of the people around you and hold the door open for all people who coming in.
Same goes for the elevator. If you are one of those people who hits the 'door close' button over and over while someone is running towards the door, then try a change and hold the 'door open' button. You will make someones day, and you will feel better about yourself if you do. It's such a simple good deed!
9. Spread The Word - This applies to online and offline business and organizations. Most of them require people to spread the word about them in order to succeed. Even articles (such as this) can benefit greatly from the share buttons that Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest provide. If I like something, I share it. I want them to succeed, because - hey, I like them!
Don't hide all the good things for yourself or deny people your approval because you are jealous of their success, share the love!
10. Have Patience With Stressful People - This is not only a good deed for the person you are exhibiting patience towards, but it is also a good deed for yourself! Imagine that, a good deed for yourself!
For example, when someone is purposely trying to push your buttons by doing something annoying, stupid, or rude, you can choose to act with patience and understanding instead of anger. This will benefit you by keeping your blood pressure low and your stress levels low, as well, which we know are two health issues that many people are suffering from today.
Really this point on patience could be a whole article in itself as to why it is a good deed to you and others around you. I will let you come up with your own reasons for now.
Questions & Answers
Question: Would a good deed also be like donating to a charity?
Answer: Absolutely. Imagine being on the other end of the charity and how blessed you would feel that someone gives a crap to help out.
Share Your Good Deed Ideas!
Leonard on April 24, 2020:
if we're doing good for some imagined reward. then we're not really givng but making a bargain for service rendered.
slimani on August 24, 2018:
Only God can reward the good deed
phoebe on August 21, 2018:
i am very happy about this site because it has given me the courage to do at least 3 good deeds a day so thank you very much
-phoebe(an 11 year old girl)
Aryan class 1 on August 03, 2018:
Kari (author) on April 23, 2018:
@Bherulal - True on both counts. Doing good to parents and seeing them happy is a very rewarding experience, and reading books and becoming more aware and knowledgeable, helps us write our lifebook and create a better person who is happier and kinder all around.
Bherulal jat on April 23, 2018:
I am very happy by seeing this information
It very useful to me but i have two doubts that are
1 can you do good to parents and what can we do by seeing it they feel very happy?
2 we can do good deeds with by reading books and what we learnt from it
Kari (author) on April 05, 2018:
@Mystery - Yes, that's so true. When you are feeling down, one of the best things you can do is be kind to others. I needed that reminder today.
Mystery girl on April 04, 2018:
When I feel upset, doing something nice for others makes me feel better.
BillGammon on March 13, 2018:
Pick up a single piece of trash; water a single plant; plant a single tree (put an acorn or other seed in your pocket when you start your day); listen to someone; project love
sonu on July 17, 2016:
really gud ideas!!!!!
Letha on April 03, 2016:
Great article! I really love the one pertaining to patience. I've had to use that a great deal lately. I was very encouraged by this article. The dog picture is hilarious.
Kari (author) on December 16, 2014:
According to Kenan Thompson, there is a Sump'n Claus - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWnP2jO06gc Unfortunately, you can only watch it if you live in the United States, so I guess he is a little biased no matter what he says...
peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 16, 2014:
Better start smiling andgive way before santa comes
Kari (author) on December 03, 2014:
@aesta1 - Then you should read Motivation Manifesto by Brendan Burchard, it will help you get the motivation to move past your fears and make this world a better place. Here's a review of the book: http://behappytips.com/motivation-manifesto-can-br...
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on December 03, 2014:
My husband does this often. I am more hesitant because of my fears. Great reminders.
Kari (author) on September 26, 2014:
Mark: I find, too, that when my ego gets in the way, it is time to do a good deed - especially when I feel mad or upset towards someone. Doing a good deed towards them helps me to feel better and it works much better for a relationship than pouting or shooting angry glares.
Mark Tulin from Santa Barbara, California on September 26, 2014:
I really like this topic. The act of good deeds creates kindness and it also accumulates good Karma for you. Just the simple act of moving to the side to let someone pass you on the sidewalk is a good deed. Thinking before you speak and asking yourself: Are my words going to be helpful to this person or make them feel bad?
Dr. Gary L. Sidley from Lancashire, England on July 31, 2014:
Interesting hub - voted up.
Research has shown that spontaneous acts of kindness promote positive mental wellbeing in the person doing the giving. Western society's would do well to end their obsession with "treating" dubious "mental illnesses" and focus our resources on enhancing mental wellbeing within our societies. Spontaneous acts of kindness would be one element to this approach.
Kari (author) on November 20, 2013:
I see more and more people engaging in good deeds everyday; I think we are taking a turn back towards the way we were because as a whole, society is realizing that we have to care for each other and look out for one another. Thanks fo the comment Avinesh!
Avinesh Prahladi from Chandigarh on November 19, 2013:
WOW !! I really enjoyed reading this hub. The points that you have mentioned are certainly the good deed ideas, but sadly nobody wants to follow these. I don't know why but people have stopped being nice to each other. It's hard to believe that how jealousy have gained prominence in our modern society. According to me the main problem is the EGO that is hurting our society.
Kari (author) on March 25, 2013:
I agree hellboy. It is better to give without expectations.
Hellboy on March 25, 2013:
i often do my bit for people who really need help But Don't ask for it. helping someone and expecting nothing in return gives me immense happiness :-)
Kari (author) on March 08, 2013:
That's sweet Robert!
Robert on March 07, 2013:
I randomly give out flowersit makes the girls feel really good it makes their day I like doing good deeds
Kari (author) on December 13, 2012:
@ienjoythis - It's so true! There are the grouches who don't smile back (I seem to pass them on my walk everyday); however, I would rather smile at them and be a positive part of their day than give them a dirty look or ignore them.
M Carnahan from Nevada on December 13, 2012:
Your writing is difficult to stop reading - very nice! And I love this! Especially the unexpected smile. More often than not, if you smile at someone in passing, they will smile right back. What better way to be kind and show good will.
Kari (author) on October 15, 2012:
Exactly gg! Thanks for commenting!
Kari (author) on August 30, 2012:
iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on August 30, 2012:
I like this hub. Life is short, so we should make the most of it by doing good deeds. :)
FullOfLoveSites from United States on August 30, 2012:
Great hub and great tips. Certainly this will lighten most anybody's day.
Kari (author) on August 28, 2012:
Thanks Mel - Your right, a good deed can be a HUGE thing in someone else's day even if they don't express gratitude or a positive emotion up front. Like you said, we just never know!
Melanie Chisnall from Cape Town, South Africa on August 28, 2012:
Terrific advice you've listed here! Making someone else's day with an unexpected smile, or letting them go in front of you at the traffic circle or even in the queue at the shop - is such a small thing. But, it can be a big thing in someone else's day - we really don't know what everyone else is going through, and if a few seconds can make a difference, why not?
Thanks for this - great hub! Voted up and sharing :)
Kari (author) on August 28, 2012:
Thanks (times 5) for leaving your comment and sharing if you did. These really are so easy, and the more you do them, the more of a habit the become.
Mary Strain from The Shire on August 28, 2012:
Good advice and a public service. Pay it forward!
Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on August 28, 2012:
Awesome--Most of these are so easy! There's no excuse not to do them. I voted up and everything but funny. Great hub. Sharing!
Deborah Neyens from Iowa on August 28, 2012:
What great ideas. I try to do at least one good deed a day. I will share this.
DK from London on August 28, 2012:
Pinned, voted and shared :) A good feel good hub!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 28, 2012:
Great suggestions, ones that should happen naturally, but everyone needs a reminder. Love the picture of the dog. :)