Random Acts of Kindness
‘You might not expect a company with fun product names like Mural of Flavor and Arizona Dreaming to be aggressive about anything, but during President Trump’s impeachment trial and the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, Penzeys Spices founder, Bill Penzey, stepped forward in a way that inspired me to be even more unapologetically political. Penzeys is America’s largest independent spice retailer, with 53 stores around the country and headquarters just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since its beginnings in the 1980s, Bill has been vocal politically and socially, writing opinion pieces for a column in their catalog, which was historically mailed to half a million customers. Penzeys branding is political activism and kindness. They trademarked the phrase “season liberally,” and they hire staff who “believe that cooking is kindness and that kindness can change the world.”’
-lisa wise, Self-Elected: How to Put Justice Over Profit and Soar in Business
Everyone's familiar with random acts of kindness, but how often do we actually put them into practice, making small gestures that can change someone’s day and that also have the potential to change the world? In the spirit shared by Bill Penzey, we've curated a list of some of our favorite and easiest acts so we can all work together to season our days with some much-needed kindness.
1. Add some change to someone's parking meter.
2. Buy the order for the person behind you in line at the coffee shop and pay it forward.
3. Lend your favorite book to someone you think would enjoy it or pop it into a Little Free Library.
4. Get involved at a local animal shelter by donating used supplies or taking a dog for a walk. (Shoutout Humane Rescue Alliance!)
5. Bring in your favorite local treat to the office to show appreciation for your coworkers.
6. Head out a little early to make some time for picking up litter on your commute and keep the streets clean!
7. Reduce your plastic usage or plant a tree!
8. Tuck your neighbor’s mail/newspaper right by their door, so it isn’t sitting out.
9. Support your local business owners by shopping in your own neck of the woods!
10. Practice some self-care! Being kind to ourselves is equally important.
The smallest efforts can truly make the biggest impact. We can all choose to be more conscious about being kind in our day-to-day. While this list focuses on individual actions, the activism championed by businesses like Penzeys is something that lisa argues is necessary. A business ethos that puts people first is a win, and it’s profitable, too. Read more about her journey and the mission behind Flock DC in her new book, Self-Elected, which can be purchased online here.