Why 15 Minutes Is All It Takes To Be Kind

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Having gratitude essentially enables us to not take things for granted. There are times when seeing the silver lining is a challenge, and I do not want to undermine real struggle and hardship. However, obstacles in life can lead to great rewards because we cannot come out of struggle without being inherently changed by it. Nevertheless, it’s up to us to make sure that change is good rather than bad.

Struggle can morph us into a bitter, angry spirit or we can become transformed by it. At the end of every quest to resolve the pain is the best solution: Gratitude. Let me be clear, suffering from depression is not lack of gratitude. I do not mean to say that people who have a mental illness need to just “snap out of it” and be happy with what they have.

However, in conjunction with therapy, exercise, proper sleep, and a support system—and, if all else does not work, medication—gratitude works wonders in lifting away the clouds of despair. The reason being that, if we take the focus off our own pain or problems and we focus on being grateful for something or someone, we can start to see the greater good in our lives.

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10 Simple Ways To Show Gratitude in 15 Minutes Or Less

  1. Reach out to a friend via text or a phone call just to say hi and to let them know you’re thinking about them. Find out how they are doing, but steer the conversation away from a pity party if they are down in the dumps and share the bright side.
  2. Call your mom or your loved ones. Ask how they are doing. Listen more and speak less.
  3. Make a thank you card and send to a friend, family or co-worker. You can also buy thank-you cards, or browse online one for the many free e-cards available. But a homemade card is more special because you took the time. It doesn’t have to be elaborate.
  4. Let someone else take a parking spot that you were aiming for. The extra few minutes of a longer walk to the mall or your office building is also good for your health.
  5. Practice complimenting someone in your life, Remind them of all the things they’ve done right. Turn the focus away from the bad if they respond with, “But…”
  6. Buy a bag of groceries for someone in need.
  7. Mow your next-door neighbors lawn free of charge.
  8. Help a friend or someone you know that needs assistance in organizing a part of their home.
  9. Volunteer to walk someone’s dog.
  10. Buy several $5 coffee gift cards and give them away, either to someone in your life who absolutely loves coffee but is having a hard time, or to a complete stranger “just because.”

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Think about being stuck in traffic for 15 minutes or waiting in line for 15 minutes at Disneyland behind screaming kids. If you are getting yelled at by a customer for 15 minutes at work, that’s a long time. How about waiting on the phone and being put on hold for 15 minutes?

I sometimes think I have no free time and practically beg for my 2-year-old to turn 3 so she can pass her whiny and clingy phase. But I quickly realize that I’ll only complain later when she’s grown when I want nothing more than for her to be a baby again.

In other words, time is often perspective, and it’s subjective. It’s not how much time we have; it’s how we spend it. The same goes for money and exercise. Some of us can do a workout in 15 minutes and still see great results. While others might try for an hour and feel like they’re getting nowhere. Anything, and I mean, anything can happen in 15 minutes or less.

In less than a minute, you can be playing baseball and the next minute be shot, as was the case this week with Congressman Steve Scalise.


In less than a minute, 2-year-old, Lane Graves went from making sand castles near the lake’s edge at Walt Disney World to an alligator ensnaring him. His father fought desperately to open the alligator’s mouth, but was unable to do so. The alligator escaped and dragged the boy under the water. Lane died shortly thereafter.

In seconds, we can turn our backs and, especially with children, encounter dangerous situations. God forbid someone kidnaps them, like in the famous case of Adam Walsh.

There is less than a 10-percent survival rate during cardiac arrest if a patient’s heart can’t be restarted within 30 minutes. David Lines was very lucky. He was technically dead for 55 minutes, but doctors saved his life after 13 electric shocks.

If your body is denied oxygen for 10 minutes; that’s long enough for most people to sustain permanent brain damage.

If you’re driving on the road and get distracted, it can take just a split second for you to end up in a head-on collision with fatal results. Just ask 20-year old Jack Dillon Young, who in March of this year collided with a church bus and killed 13 people. And how did this happen? He told a witness at the scene, “I’m sorry. I was texting.”

Don’t think 15 minutes is nothing because what happens in that span can be a matter of life and death.

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AesopThe Bottom Line:

Most of the suggestions listed here are more altruistic acts of kindness, but they also serve as reminders that we should be grateful for what we do have. Doing for others allows us to take the focus off our issues and ourselves. So, if you have 15 minutes to spare, why not do something good for someone else?

Acts of kindness and reminders of how abundant we are does not have to take long or require a lot of money. It is always the small acts of kindness that go a long way.

It doesn’t take long for bad things to happen, but it doesn’t take very long for good things to happen, either.









33 thoughts on “Why 15 Minutes Is All It Takes To Be Kind

    Roland Millward said:
    June 16, 2017 at 7:32 AM

    I love the ten tips! It is so easy for every one us to make a number of small actions make the world a much better place. As for those people addicted to their phones whilst driving this is the best advice – switch them off and put them somewhere out of reach. No call, text Facebook update is worth the risk. How did people live before mobile were invented? Come on get real – they are not required all the time.

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 17, 2017 at 5:08 PM

      Roland, I hear you on this one. As a matter of fact, I am guilty. I once got a texting while driving ticket. And guess what, I absolutely deserved the ticket. What did we do without cellphones or heck, social media? I mean…wow. I am so guilty….so, so, so guilty of being glued to my phone. I did the research for this post and was horrified when I read about that 20-year-old. I realized I can’t judge because I’ve done the same. I have to remind myself of the dangers of texting and driving and being absent and on my phone without being aware of the world around me. I have to remind myself to take the focus off of “me” and be aware of others who are in pain or just need someone to listen to them. Thank you for your input, so appreciated. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    realryangray said:
    June 16, 2017 at 11:52 AM

    We all can do so much for others and it really doesn’t take that much time at all. We need to slow down and appreciate not only others but how we can make a difference. There are opportunities every day and all around us.

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 17, 2017 at 4:59 PM

      So very true, every day we can make a difference. All we have to do is take the focus off of ourselves. It is refreshing actually, to not think about our own wounds once in a while and be there for someone to heal theirs. ❤


    PureJoy bynina said:
    June 16, 2017 at 12:05 PM

    Really love your blog and your energy. Looking forward to following you. Thank you so much, you are amazing! 😉🌞🌞🌞

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 16, 2017 at 1:09 PM

      Ah…you’re thank you so much for such a great compliment. When I wrote an article about how it only takes 15 minutes to get fit. I thought…you know what, it also only takes 15 minutes to do a good deed too. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    Tanya Simone Simpson said:
    June 16, 2017 at 1:44 PM

    This is so lovely! Gratitude and kindness totally go hand in hand ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    YellowCable said:
    June 16, 2017 at 4:24 PM

    Well said. Have a little of gentle loving kindness to others once in awhile gives you a long milage.

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 16, 2017 at 9:13 PM

      I agree whenever you do something good for others, it helps you on the inside much more than you know. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    tiredmindtypingfingers said:
    June 16, 2017 at 7:46 PM

    Love this! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 16, 2017 at 9:14 PM

      I hope to now practice my own words and try to give and do acts of kindness. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    Harbans said:
    June 16, 2017 at 9:53 PM

    A wonderful write up. Being compassionate is a habit. A person with this trait cannot resist himself/herself doing good. He/she comes forward to render help. Regards

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 17, 2017 at 12:34 AM

      Thank you for your sweet comment. I find that love and kindness is harder to give than criticism. So, we should try to push towards altruism. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    Rayne said:
    June 17, 2017 at 12:36 AM

    This was lovely. I always enjoy your posts. Kindness really can go a long way, and like you said, it doesn’t take much time to help make someone’s day a little bit brighter.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 17, 2017 at 5:12 PM

      No, it doesn’t take much time at all. We don’t have to be extravagant at all. All we need is a little bit of awareness of the world around us. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    myhearinglossstory said:
    June 17, 2017 at 3:19 AM

    Hi Sonyo. You have given me lots to think about in this post. I love the line: ‘It’s not how much time we have; it’s how we spend it.’ This is so true! And yes, good things can happen within seconds, as well as bad things. I will try and focus on the positives today 🙂 Lets see what good things happen!
    Have a lovely weekend.
    – Carly

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 18, 2017 at 8:36 PM

      Thank you Carly and it’s true both good & bad things can happen in seconds. So, it’s about making the good count and being aware that giving even in a very small way goes far. Have a great week ahead! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    mamaboss9091 said:
    June 17, 2017 at 4:42 AM

    Love this…sometimes all a person needs is that quick knowing that someone thought of them today. It doesn’t have to be this huge elaborate event…something as simple as a little text or voicemail can make someone’s day! Thank you for the article

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 17, 2017 at 4:57 PM

      YES! Exactly, you’re so great at summing things up Mamaboss! Love how you’re able to just get it all in one paragraph. It’s so true, that all we need is a simple recognition that we have been heard or listened to. Quality time is often the best gift to give someone. Thank you for commenting, much appreciated! ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    Mira (@mindoverlatte) said:
    June 17, 2017 at 4:46 PM

    I love your # 1, 2, and 3 the most. I find that offering your time is sometimes much better than offering money. And since I don’t mow my own lawn, there is no way I’d mow someone else’s :p

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 17, 2017 at 4:51 PM

      Ha ha…so true. I think time is the best and just listening to someone else. This is the HARDEST for me. I have to bite my tongue and say “Sonyo, just stop talking and just listen. Just LISTEN. Ask them how they are doing.” It makes a huge difference when we are active listeners. 🙂


    Lauren said:
    June 18, 2017 at 4:39 PM

    I really love the idea of buy a few $5 gift cards and passing them out at random. I would be SO excited if that happened to me!

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 18, 2017 at 8:27 PM

      I would LOOOOVE a free $5 coffee card. I would be so friggen excited if that happen to me also! 🙂


    Rachel R Ritlop said:
    June 18, 2017 at 5:50 PM

    YES! This is so true!! If only more people could practice this!

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 18, 2017 at 8:21 PM

      I know, I think we would all be a little less focused on our own problems. 🙂


    lindaluna583 said:
    June 19, 2017 at 9:57 AM

    Thank you for the motivation to put others first.


    ❤ TheMrsTee 👓 (@themrstee) said:
    June 19, 2017 at 5:16 PM

    This is so beautiful!! Kindness is such a simple way to have such a deep impact.


      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 19, 2017 at 7:46 PM

      It is so true, MrsTee. The little things make all the difference! ❤


    Ipuna Black said:
    June 20, 2017 at 10:40 AM

    Great tips! I think when we take the time to be kind, we feel better and forget our personal problems. Being kind puts you in a good mood too. That’s always a plus!


    celestialk1 said:
    June 20, 2017 at 9:52 PM

    Hi Sonyo! I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Sunshine Award on my most recent blog post 🙂


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