10 things you can do to bless strangers


Learn to carry a slight smile on your face all of the time. You’ll brighten up the atmosphere wherever you go by doing so.

Make using your turn signal an unconscious habit. Not at the last minute, either. It just might save someone a lot of grief, or even a life. Similarly, don’t drive below the speed limit in the fast lane.

Be done with leaving 15-20% for a tip at the restaurant; bump it up to 50%. If it’s an outdoor/carhop, make it 100%. When they say, “I’ll be right back with your change,” drink in the look in their eyes when you shake your head and, with a smile, simply say, “Keep it. That’s for you.” For the person busing the table (who usually receives no tip), stack your plates and cups. Collect your silverware into a single pile, too.

Put the Boy Scouts to shame with the frequency and natural ease with which you open doors for others everywhere you go.

When you’re standing in a checkout line, give up your place in line for the person behind you. Do this for whoever happens to be there, not just for the little old ladies.

Strike up a positive conversation when you chit-chat with someone. Don’t complain about the weather, government, other people, or whatever. Instead, deliberately point out something good or praiseworthy and express gratitude for such. Set the conversation’s altitude on “high.”

When in public, either mute your cell phone or turn the ringer nearly off whenever possible. Similarly, avoid phone conversations in populated contexts such as restaurants, post offices, stores, etc. If you must converse on the phone in such a setting, keep your voice down, keep it brief, and consider taking it outside.

Invite a co-worker you don’t know to join you and your cadre for lunch together one day. Don’t consider inviting someone who appears they could be the life of the party, but take in someone who appears to be shouldering a bit of a burden of some kind these days. Who knows what future friend wears the mask of a stranger today.

When a friend mentions in passing they have a friend in the hospital (whom you don’t know), find out where they are and pay them a brief visit. Even pagans visit their friends. What do you do more than they?

Attend the funeral of service of someone unknown to you. If possible, choose a service that might not have a large attendance. Sign the guest registry. You need not say a word to anyone; your presence will say more than your words ever could. If anyone asks you why you’re there say: “I’m here simply to pray for all who grieve. Though I didn’t know ___ (the name of the deceased), I know we shared in the life of this community together and so, their passing diminishes me and surely many more.”