Small Gestures

Just Be Lovely


As some of you may know, I work in a bookstore. I love it there, and recently something kept happening that I thought would be worthy of attention.

I’m not sure how common it is now (I haven’t come across any), but a few weeks ago we kept finding surprises inside different books. This included a $5 note with a piece of paper attached. This paper had writing on it, something like, “You can get through this,” or, “Keep your head up. It’s going to be okay.” Basically, they were just filled with inspirational quotes and money.

I couldn’t believe this was happening — that someone could be so selfless as to give away their money to a stranger. This is just one of the many things you can do to make someone’s day. It’s not about watching them feel good; it’s knowing they will, and it makes you feel great too. I have compiled more ways that you can subtly help somebody out. Small things but lovely things.

1. Paying for the next person’s coffee.

This is such a simple gesture, and whoever receives it won’t forget it anytime soon.

2. Giving a homeless person your extra change.

It won’t affect your pocket greatly, but for them it means they get to eat that day.

3. Helping a person out if they need it.

For example, putting away something for them or picking something up that they dropped. This can also include offering to carry bags (if you work in retail or see someone struggling nearby). Once again, putting yourself out of your comfort zone can do a world of good.

4. If you see something out of place in a store, put it away quickly.

If you’re in a hurry, obviously don’t worry, but if you’re not, chances are that the workers there are. Putting one thing away can help even in the smallest of ways. And if someone sees you, they will appreciate you a lot, even if they don’t show it.

5. Not getting angry when something goes wrong.

If the employee stuffs up or gets stressed, it helps if you remain calm and genuinely nice. Why would you want to make someone’s day more difficult?

6. Leaving a tip.

It doesn’t matter if it’s five cents or five dollars; they will appreciate your thought.

7. Compliment someone.

This overlaps with my other article, but it is very important and easy.

8. If somebody gets cut off in a conversation, or everyone who was listening stops, lock eyes with them and smile.

There’s nothing worse than that awkward drop of speech or realizing you’re only talking to yourself. Seriously, it makes your whole body turn hot and embarrassed.

9. Hug often.

This one is pretty self-explanatory.

10. Notice things.

Notice the lost child. Notice the sad friend. Notice the small things.


All in all, guys, be genuine. Be a good person. Strive to be proud of yourself.

Hannah Green
Literature-driven Hannah Green is a sixteen-year-old student in NSW Australia with a passion for writing. This spark grew from before she turned four, and since then she has been reluctant to abandon her ambition. She also works at a bookstore, which is the best retail job she could ask for. Her creative flair yearns for books, photography, and drama. Hannah’s goal in life is to have a book published, no matter how successful, and she is currently working on her very own YA novel. Writing for Germ Magazine is a dream come true for her, as she aspires to follow in Jennifer Niven’s footsteps, slowly making the world a better place -- one carefully crafted sentence at a time. She is a strong believer of the fact that everybody is immensely beautiful and worthy, so if she can convince one person of this through her words, then she has fulfilled her purpose.


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