We recently participated in international Random Acts of Kindness week. Our plan to participate wasn’t extensive or complicated – it was actually quite simple – have our team members perform random acts of kindness in their local communities, and try to brighten someone’s day.

The cause is one close to our hearts – as kindness is one of our main company values. We like working WITH kind people, we like being kind TO people. We see it as a prerequisite to good business. So naturally, we wanted to join the international effort to raise awareness to this event.

And as with almost everything in life, reflecting back on this left us with some unexpected takeaways. We know it’s important to be kind, but what we weren’t anticipating, was just how inspiring it would be. After speaking with those on our team who participated, we saw a few reoccurring themes. Here’s a few notes and lessons we took away from celebrating:

It doesn’t take much

One of the greatest things about being kind is that it’s So. Dang.Easy. It’s one of those things in life that requires hardly any effort. One of our team members handed out chocolate at her local co-working space to fellow remote workers. The chocolate had a small inspirational note attached. She was shocked at the difference it made in some people’s demeanor. That it absolutely highlighted their day. She was surprised that a tiny piece of chocolate would mean so much. And that’s what’s so wonderful – kindness can be a very, very small gesture, so really, there’s no excuse NOT to be!

People no longer expect kindness without a catch

One of the eye-opening lessons we learned is that people really no longer expect kindness – especially from companies or brands – without a catch. It was surprising to us how many people were genuinely surprised by receiving random acts of kindness, without, of course, trying to be sold something, or having to give their contact information. Many, companies have been doing “nice” things for customers for years, but is it truly coming from a place of kindness? If you choose to make kindness part of your company culture, just be sure it’s a value and a theme – not a campaign. We recently wrote an article on some of the companies who have really gotten this right – you can find that post here.

There’s goodness, literally everywhere

At first, it’s somewhat of a sad thought that we even need a dedicated Random Acts of Kindness week on this planet. Can’t we all just pledge to be better humans everyday? But then, when you see how willing and excited people are to have an excuse to be kind, or have a reminder to be kind, it restores your faith. Across the world on this day, people were thrilled to be kind, to give, to put others first. This is something that should make all of us a little warm and fuzzy – there’s goodness everywhere, not just this past week, but always.

In the spirit of that, on our team we’re going to remind each other how fantastic it felt to celebrate kindness, and work that into our daily interactions everyday. It’s a company value that will never cost you much, but will produce huge returns, even if only in smiles, trust earned and a little more happiness in your day!