Nine Ways to Pay it Forward in Ventura

ventura south seaward

by Visit Ventura

We all know kindness when we see it, and we all know the world is a better place when we see it a lot more often.

If you didn’t know February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day (we didn’t), let us just put it kindly. Your ignorance isn’t ignorance, it’s wisdom. For kindness should be practiced in every minute and every season.

As the Dalai Lama once rightly said,

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

We could probably just stop right here. Kindness doesn’t need to be explained. You know it when you see it — and you feel it when you receive it.

But, just because we can, here are a few fun kindly ideas for you to run with.

Please run as far as you can…

1. Next time you’re buying coffee, buy a cup for the person behind you in line…

Ventura brims (please take the pun kindly) with great coffee houses. Prospect Coffee Roasters, Palermo, Cafe Ficelle, Sandbox Coffeehouse, and on… So buy yourself and a new friend a cup.

Heck, why not throw in a fresh-baked croissant too?

prospect coffee house ventura

2. Send a random postcard…

How does getting an out-of-the-blue note from a friend feel? Yep. So why not turn the tables, and send a postcard to anyone who makes you happy to be here. And a postcard allows you to keep it Hemingway brief.

3. Thank someone for doing a sometimes thankless job…

Our wonderful Ventura Park Ambassadors would be a fine place to start. They rinse the stairs in the parking structure. They keep our parks clean. They graciously handle sometimes difficult situations. They answer every kind of question. Pretty much always with a smile.

4. Buy someone an inspirational book…

Ever read a book that changed the way you see the world? Maybe that book will change someone else’s outlook too. Plenty of book-buying options in Ventura, and no better place to start than Clarey Rudd’s Bank of Books — used, rare, out-of-print, they’re all there.

Added kindness to shop local.

ventura downtown shop local businesses ventura

5. Praise a deserving local business online…

Or a Ventura artist, or a writer, or a brewer, or a vintner, or …

If you’re lucky enough to live here in Ventura, you know exactly who deserves the praise. If you’re a visitor, well you’ll have so much fun discovering the riotous wealth of talent in this town. You can start your talent search anywhere in Ventura, and browsing the photography at Latitudes Fine Art Gallery or swirling a Chardonnay at Labyrinth Winery are both fine places to start.

6. Pick up trash on the beach…

No one ever said you have to wait for an official beach clean up day. Grab a hefty bag and head to the sea.

You’ll be a good — and serene — samaritan.

7. Treat your Mom to a Ventura dinner.

Or someone who is kind enough to be your Mom…

Your Ventura restaurant options are endless. You can read what we tell you (please click here), or just head to our handily walkable downtown and wander… and change your mind a dozen times.

Added kindness plus, many of our restaurants are locally owned and locally sourced — eating in those restaurants is kind to local farmers too.

ventura rumfish family

image by Tana Hayes

8. Leave a beautiful, unsigned card on someone’s doorstep…

We sell beautiful cards here at the Ventura Visitors Center, plenty of them with heart-stopping local photos on the front. You can write the heart-pleasing stuff on the inside. Just let your, well, heart do the writing. This works for Ventura’s residents and visitors both. Visitors, say you just got great service somewhere.

Buy a card, write it, and bring it back to the establishment. Feel the world feel better.

9. Buy a sandwich (or make a sandwich) and hand it to the first person who needs it…

If you’re buying a sandwich, Ventura offers dozens of delicious, and affordable (kindness doesn’t have to break the bank) choices. The Ventura Sandwich Company, LC Imports, Valentino’s Gourmet Pizza, and Meridians are all great options.

Kind to remember that not everyone gets three meals a day.

ventura pieranos sandwich restaurant

Be spontaneous — or not …

Spontaneous kindness is often the best kind — say, redirecting so you can help someone across the street. But planning works great too. Some folks set their phone alarm so that it goes off a few times a day. At that moment, they do something kind.

It makes you feel good just reading that, doesn’t it?

Remember, the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.

Thank you, Helen Keller.

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