Inside: 7 small kindnesses poem pieces to remember that all of the little beautiful things count.
Kindness is everywhere you look, but you do have to look hard for it sometimes.
Sure, the world and society can tend to feel a little dark sometimes. No one’s denying the mean and unkind things that we see and experience day in and day out. But it does mean that you have to find the little things and remember that there is kindness when it all seems to be a little too dark and daunting.
Channeling kindness and good energy usually comes from things that are light hearted and soft, much like poetry. Poetry is someone’s inner words gently coming to the surface, and when kindness is a topic, there’s plenty of good energy coming with it.
Read these small kindness poem pieces when you need a little pick me up and a reminder that the world is good and lovely, even when you don’t really see it.
It’s the little text messages from someone saying they miss seeing you around, it’s the person behind you in line paying for your coffee. It’s when someone helps you pick up something you dropped or helps you reach something on the top shelf.
These things aren’t going to be the story you tell everyone like, “Guess what happened to me today!” but when you need it the most, these are the acts of kindness that make the hard days a little more bearable.
If you need a dose of a small kindness poem, you came to the right place. Find gentleness, peace, and most of all, kindness in each of these writings and fall in love with all the little kindnesses of humanity.
Small Kindnesses Poem: Small Kindnesses
This poem was featured in The New York Times to highlight the real and true kindness from strangers and what can happen if you give into the small gestures that really make someone’s day. Don’t neglect the power of small kindness!
If you want to be inspired to channel more of this energy into your life, read this poem by Danusha Lameris.
I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead — you first,” “I like your hat.”
By Danusha Lameris
Small Kindness: Collaborative
Also featured in The Times, because of the resounding awe of the response to Ms. Lameris’ work in the previous publication of The New York Times, enjoy this collaborative poem by teenagers from all over the world.
It’s a phenomenal piece put together by the magazine, and it really captures what small kindness means everywhere. And that it really looks the same to everyone. Simple and small acts that put someone else above yourself and help you see things a little differently.
Kindness is neighbors saying “Buenos Dias”
It’s the man in the red shirt helping the woman in the floral blouse cross the street
It’s the way my heart sings when I’m smiling at a baby, and their mom notices and lifts up the baby’s sweet little hand and waves it at me
A friend patiently waiting as you quickly tie your loose shoelaces, while everyone continues walking
Why Fly or Swim When You Can Jump? Ask the Springtail.
Love Comes and Goes, but a Screenshot Is Forever
A Low Point for the Monarchy, in a New Season of ‘The Crown’
A slight buzz in your jean pockets indicating messages from friends appearing out of the blue, questioning how you might be feeling that day, written in text abbreviations, the shared teenage experience
Getting woken up at my bus stop
Letting somebody have the last cookie and then they insist on splitting it in half
Chamomile tea, placed on my bedside table, sweet honey resting at the bottom of the cup
Kindness is a seed. It starts trivial and trifling
It’s the wheezing, ugly laugh that melts two people together
The crinkle in someone’s eyes behind their mask as they wave back
The warm smile that the old crossing guard gives when I greet him in the morning and wave goodbye in the afternoon
Swarming aisles at the grocery store with strangers letting you pass, a simple hand gesture saying “go ahead”
The crooked teeth gleaming through a wrinkled smile when the elderly woman next door nods her head
In elevators, it’s how one passenger seamlessly assumes the role of the old-time operator, pushing all our floors
It’s when you’re struggling with your hair, so the woman on the train offers to braid it and strand by strand, kindness by kindness, you think the world is not so bad after all
Kindness feels like a freshly bloomed flower in a field of lonely grass
A smile of sunflowers chasing the light, golden petals pressed forever in the pages
It’s when people I barely know give me nicknames
It’s matching my energy
Buying yourself flowers
Waving back to little kids in public
It’s when, in traffic, waiting with your blinker on for a safe time to switch lanes, someone waves you to go in front of them
The cafeteria lady saying “thank you” to each person as they buy their meals
Opening up a handwritten letter from your friend instead of a text
And sometimes, especially during the pandemic, the way you say a short prayer for whoever is in the blaring red and white ambulance, when you walk by
I feel your kindness in how you don’t mind when I look off while I speak
When my sister sets the table when it’s my turn
When I walk my dog and the people with bigger dogs cross to the other side of the street, smiling at me, avoiding a barking mess between our dogs, knowing how nervous my dog can be
When someone lets me know that the clasp of my necklace has rotated to the front
When I recommend my favorite book to someone at the library and they check it out because of how much I love the characters
When my sister taps me on the shoulder and says I saved my last fry for you
When I share little tidbits about my day, and your dark, loamy eyes widen with curiosity
I think about the girl in my history class who hardly speaks complimenting my shoes
Of how, during performances for my high school orchestra, our conductor will gaze around at all of us before each piece and if any of us looks nervous, make eye contact and give us a subtle nod as if to say “everything’s okay”
Of the soft-spoken singer who leaves her rusty blue window open when she sings
Of having someone compliment an article of clothing that you were maybe unsure of before
Of how the 6:42 a.m. nod from my train conductor in the dark, early winter mornings tells me in unspoken words that he wishes me a good day
How the guard at Fordham University’s station house knowing my name amongst a flood of students passing by him and fist-bumps me saying, “Take it easy today, Carmine”
I love when my friends include me in conversations when I go quiet.
The respectful muffled voices we find in the library, only found as we walk through that large, rough wood door
When a stranger asks, “Which floor are you headed to?” as you walk into the elevator
When a woman goes to the animal shelter and makes small talk with the dogs
When the random couple at Walmart warns me, “Your shoes are untied”
When you walk into your friend’s house and hear their mother say “hi” like you are their own
When someone whispers to you that your mascara is smudged, or your shirt is buttoned wrong, to save you embarrassment later in the day
When you say something so sweet and plentiful it makes me want to cry it makes me smile and want to stay awhile longer makes my heart want to beat stronger
When I buy ice tea with 4 quarters 12 dimes 4 pennies and the man at the cash register thanks me for the extra change
When a woman pays for the BBQ chips that me and my friend could not afford
When guards in my apartment building hold the door for me and say “morning”
When the barista at the coffee shop remembers my name
When I’m buying something and I’m a few cents or a dollar short and the cashier lets me go
When, instead of speeding down the street, you halt at the bright red sign and let me walk by, nodding your head as a sign of recognition
When a stranger holds open a door when I still have a long distance to cover before I enter, yet they continue to smile while I speed-walk to the door
When a stranger compliments my smile, not knowing I hide it
What kindness can do to help this ruined world
It’s been five days that I’ve been driving to school and I still go five under the speed limit and I haven’t been honked at by all the people who could and should have honked at me
Through the poisonous social media, those two taps on a glass screen little as a thumb twitching the tiny but powerful empty heart glows pink
No one is forcing that person to hold open that door, they just are. And they’re doing it for me
Walking to the bus on a gloomy day, someone compliments me and emboldens me with the flame to take on the day
Here’s to the kid who takes everyone’s soccer bags and stuffs them under the bleachers when it starts to rain so they don’t get wet. Bless you
To the little conversations between dog walkers, the unspoken words: “Hello! You can pet my dog if you like. They’re very friendly. We can trust each other.”
To the person who stood up for me in first grade. To the person who tipped extra on that lemonade
To the driver of the purple Toyota sedan who waved our car at the stop sign to go before them, and we waved back to say thank you
To the stranger who said the color purple looks good on me
The friendly neighbor who always waves, rejoices when they manage to etch a grin onto your face
To the shopper who gave me their shopping cart outside the grocery store, so I saved a quarter
To the cashier who checked the bottoms of my strawberry packages to ensure I wasn’t getting any rotten ones
To my friend who hums lightly while hugging me. Her raspy voice cracks but she keeps singing. She doesn’t ask me questions, she doesn’t talk. She just sits there quietly humming
A small act of kindness is giving someone a high five, even if they didn’t do something awesome
Paying for the person behind you can create a chain stronger than metal
Someone out there cares about your well-being, Even if it’s just for a second, they care
I find such grandeur, in milliseconds of joy
Perhaps kindness works best when it goes both ways. Like when you reply “You too” after somebody says “Have a nice day”
The smallest of things can beget colossal change
Kindness comes back within hours
Pessimism, sadness, gloom. Then someone tells me, “After you.” They will not think of it again, but I will.
A Collaborative Poem
If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking
Emily Dickinson says simply what we all wish we could accomplish. To ease the pain of anyone we could. And she mentions doing so through being kind.
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
By Emily Dickinson
In My Own Shire, If I Was Sad
Missing home. And how he would be kind to himself when he was sad in his own homeland. His remedies for sadness.
In my own shire, if I was sad,
Homely comforters I had:
The earth, because my heart was sore,
Sorrowed for the son she bore;
And standing hills, long to remain,
Shared their short-lived comrade’s pain
And bound for the same bourn as I,
On every road I wandered by,
Trod beside me, close and dear,
The beautiful and death-struck year:
Whether in the woodland brown
I heard the beechnut rustle down,
And saw the purple crocus pale
Flower about the autumn dale;
Or littering far the fields of May
Lady-smocks a-bleaching lay,
And like a skylit water stood
The bluebells in the azured wood.
Yonder, lightening other loads,
The seasons range the country roads,
But here in London streets I ken
No such helpmates, only men;
And these are not in plight to bear,
If they would, another’s care.
They have enough as ’tis: I see
In many an eye that measures me
The mortal sickness of a mind
Too unhappy to be kind.
Undone with misery, all they can
Is to hate their fellow man;
And till they drop they needs must still
Look at you and wish you ill.
By A.E. Housman
Wilfred Owen is finding peace and healing through writing a mournful piece about a greater love, after having experienced war. A place that seems to lack kindness, he found its meaning there. See how in this small kindnesses poem.
Red lips are not so red
As the stained stones kissed by the English dead.
Kindness of wooed and wooer
Seems shame to their love pure.
O Love, your eyes lose lure
When I behold eyes blinded in my stead!
Your slender attitude
Trembles not exquisite like limbs knife-skewed,
Rolling and rolling there
Where God seems not to care:
Till the fierce love they bear
Cramps them in death’s extreme decrepitude.
Your voice sings not so soft,—
Though even as wind murmuring through raftered loft,—
Your dear voice is not dear,
Gentle, and evening clear,
As theirs whom none now hear,
Now earth has stopped their piteous mouths that coughed.
Heart, you were never hot
Nor large, nor full like hearts made great with shot;
And though your hand be pale,
Paler are all which trail
Your cross through flame and hail:
Weep, you may weep, for you may touch them not.
By Wilfred Owen
Almost laughing at kindness at the end of her life, Sylvia Plath points out what kindness is really all about through the writing style of irony.
Kindness glides about my house.
Dame Kindness, she is so nice!
The blue and red jewels of her rings smoke
In the windows, the mirrors
Are filling with smiles.
What is so real as the cry of a child?
A rabbit’s cry may be wilder
But it has no soul.
Sugar can cure everything, so Kindness says.
Sugar is a necessary fluid,
Its crystals a little poultice.
O kindness, kindness
Sweetly picking up pieces!
My Japanese silks, desperate butterflies,
May be pinned any minute, anesthetized.
And here you come, with a cup of tea
Wreathed in steam.
The blood jet is poetry,
There is no stopping it.
You hand me two children, two roses.
By Sylvia Plath
Small Kindnesses Poem: Is This Thy Kindness To Thy Friend
A more spiritual take on the concept of kindness, he relays the way that Christ showed kindness to all of mankind, and his ultimate sacrifice. He compares it to showing the same kindness to a friend in ways that we normally wouldn’t, since Christ died for all mankind, not one person. But is this the same kind of kindness that we should all display to everyone around us?
Poor, weak and worthless though I am
I have a rich almighty friend;
Jesus, the Saviour, is His Name;
He freely loves, and without end.
He ransomed me from hell with blood,
And by His pow’r my foes controlled;
He found me wand’ring far from God,
And brought me to His chosen fold.
He cheers my heart, my wants supplies,
And says that I shall shortly be,
Enthroned with Him above the skies;
O what a friend is Christ to me!
But ah! I my inmost spirit mourns,
And well my eyes with tears may swim,
To think of my perverse returns;
I’ve been a faithless friend to him.
Often my gracious Friend I grieve,
Neglect, distrust, and disobey,
And often Satan’s lies believe,
Sooner than all my Friend can say.
He bids me always freely come,
And promises whate’er I ask:
But I am straitened, cold and dumb,
And count my privilege a task.
Before the world that hates his course,
My treach’rous heart has throbbed with shame;
Loth to forego the worlds applause,
I hardly dare avow his name.
Sure were not I most vile and base,
I could not thus my friend requite!
And were not he the God of grace,
He’d frown and spurn me from his sight.
By John Newton
I love to read about the little things that made someone’s day in these small kindnesses poems! It really makes me think about the small things I do in passing and hope that they go above and beyond to make someone’s day. Even if I don’t realize it at the moment.
Practicing kindness becomes second nature when you intake kindness and make a conscious effort to make it a primary practice. Choosing to show kindness and to be kind is a learned behavior especially when we all get so caught up in our own schedules and what else we have going on that we need to rush to. You have to be intentional! So intake kindness with a small kindness poem and start creating habits now that will become second nature.
If you want more life poems, here are 11 poems about reason, season, and a lifetime to inspire you to live life intentionally and without fear and anxiety. Living mindfully and peacefully start with the content you intake.