"The more we practice kindness, the better we will be at it and the easier it will become. As American social writer Eric Hoffer said, 'Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.' Here are some practical ways that you can be kind to others.

• "Thank someone for something. Be sure that it is worthy of thanks and that your thanks is sincere.

• "Compliment someone on his or her appearance or attire (again, such a compliment should be based in reality, not simple flattery).

• "Compliment someone for an action, attitude, or ability (speedy service, good job, thoughtfulness, solution to a problem, patience in a difficult situation).

• "Write a kind note to the server at a restaurant (and accompany it with a generous tip).

• "Hold the door open for someone.

• "Send a card to someone to let him or her know how much he or she means to you.

• "Tip someone for a service and look him or her right in the eye as you express thanks.

• "Visit someone in a nursing home or hospital or a person who is homebound, and spend time listening to him or her.

• "Give a hand to someone who is struggling with a physical problem (after asking if he or she wants help).

• "Encourage someone who is having a hard time emotionally (but avoid giving advice).

• "Stop and help stranded motorists (if you are a man).

• "Generously allow someone to merge into your lane in front of you.

• "Forgive someone for something he or she has done to hurt you.

• "Do the laundry or wash the dishes for your partner.

• "Prepare a special dinner for your partner.

• "Offer to watch your neighbors' pets when they are away on vacation.

• "Show interest in something that excites someone else.

• "Buy a coupon for two dinners and invite someone to join you.

• "Buy tickets to a sporting event and invite someone to join you who likes the sport.

"You may also try doing random acts of kindness anonymously (so that the other person cannot figure out who did it and cannot return the favor).

• "Send a helpful book, CD, or tape as a gift.

• "Send flowers with an anonymous note saying something like: 'From someone who respects and appreciates you.'

• "Put money in a parking meter if it looks as if the time is running out.

• "Pay a highway toll for someone behind you or pay someone's grocery bill.

• "Send money anonymously to someone in financial difficulty (include a note of encouragement).

• "Tell an employer about someone who needs a job.

• "Clean up after yourself (so that things are clean for the next person).

• "Pick up someone else's trash and throw it away.

Try some of these acts of kindness. You may discover what reporter and philanthropist George Elliston did — 'How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it!' "