When you think of what you look for in a friend, what’s the first quality that comes to mind? For many people, it’s kindness. While it’s wonderful to have friends who are spontaneous, hilarious, or smart, all those things don’t mean a thing if your friend is someone you can’t rely on. And conversely, you can’t get away with not being kind just because you have those other qualities.
Why else should you be kind? For some, kindness is a religious or spiritual virtue. Actions are associated with consequences; some people attribute kindness to a universal moral code. But whether or not you believe in karma or some other form of retribution, it’s important to prioritize kindness in life.
Kindness can mean a few different things, depending on who you ask. It can mean acting selflessly, expressing affection and care for others, or simply being a little more thoughtful about your actions and their consequences. It can entail hosting an event to bring people together or raising money for charity. It can mean consoling a friend when you’re needed or giving people space when you’re not.
But there are some attributes of kind people that are relatively universal. These 50 small ways to become a kinder person are a good place to start.