How to spread kindness in your community

Canadians are known for our cold winters, flavourful poutine and being polite. Whether we’re apologizing for something that wasn’t our fault or listening carefully and agreeing with a resounding “eh”, we’re a group of people who collectively believe in helping the common good. This belief is especially lived out right here in Calgary. We’ve heard stories of neighbours shovelling each other’s sidewalks, drivers letting others merge peacefully and coffees being paid for with the pay-it-forward mentality. However, we wish we heard these stories more often!

Here are a few ways to show your neighbours that you care:

  • Smile at a stranger. Whether you’re walking to the convenience store or taking your dog for a walk, a smile can go a long way.
  • Put change in an expired parking meter. Now, these aren’t very common anymore, but you do see them from time to time. Perhaps you let someone borrow your visitor pass or inform them where the free two-hour parking is.
  • Start an affinity group to share a hobby with others. Find a common interest you share with your neighbours and make it a weekly meet-up. Knitting, sewing, book club, wine night – find something that interests everyone!
  • Tell a friend you appreciate them. Make sure to thank your neighbours for watering your plants or watching your house when you were away on holiday!
  • Plant a tree. Give back to your community with the gift of life and future shade.
  • Give a friendly wave to a neighbour. A quick hello over the fence or a shout across the street can show someone that you care and takes two seconds of your time.
  • Walk instead of drive to experience your community. Too often we rush in and out of the house running errands and going to work. Enjoy your surroundings and get some fresh air today!
  • Ask someone how their day was and LISTEN. Take an interest in your neighbour’s life and invest time in getting to know them.
  • Give a plant to someone. Maybe your neighbour loves plants and can’t get enough of them, or perhaps you see a friend who doesn’t have any plants. Surprise them with a new one!
  • Sign up for a class at the local community centre and see who you meet. This can be a great way to meet your neighbours and stay active in the community.
  • Teach a group in your community about something unique you do or enjoy. Perhaps you’re a computer whiz or cooking pro – share your talent with others and host a free class at your community centre.
  • Send a motivational text to a neighbourhood friend. Sending a quick hello or motivational quote can really boost someone’s mood. Help a friend out and show them that you’re thinking about them!