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“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” There are endless benefits to being kind.  Small acts of kindness on a daily basis can change the trajectory of your day, as well as someone else’s.  A kind act can result in seeing a smile or making someone feel important and understood.  Performing kind acts directly correlates with an increase in happiness. A study done in 2018 showed a direct positive correlation between acts of kindness and happiness. It didn’t matter if the recipients were family, friends, or strangers.  Being kind benefits both the giver and receiver. Sharing kindness is shown to give people a greater sense of meaning and purpose in life, as well as increase self-esteem.  


Back in Fashion

Chances are, you’ve seen messages on t-shirts, bumper stickers, and Instagram posts about how cool it is to be kind. Kindness has become a popular focus, and for very good reasons. The world around us can feel pretty crazy and unpredictable at times. Kindness is the one simple way that we can make the journey of life better for ourselves and for those around us. We may not have the power to remove someone’s heavy load from their shoulders, but there is always something we can do to lighten it. Maya Angelou beautifully said “Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”  Discovering the strength of kindness can revolutionize the way we live, bringing purpose, positivity, and happiness to our lives.


What is Kindness?

Most of us think of “Kindness” as doing actions to help others, to show them love and care. But it is also so much more than that.  Kindness begins with the realization that others are not different from us; that we are all connected, as one shared humanity. As an example, we can think of humanity as one body. If there is pain in one part of the body, the rest of the body feels it, because all parts are connected. This awareness brings realization that someone else’s pain is also our pain, that their joy is our joy. This understanding then translates into our thoughts, words, and actions.


From Thoughts to Actions

Thoughts are the foundation of everything.  Thinking kind thoughts by feeling and knowing we all are connected will lead to speaking and acting in kind and compassionate manners towards everyone we meet.  This can also foster empathy when we see someone struggling.  True kindness starts from our thoughts and is executed from our heart.  As a result, our heart grows even more.  These thoughts form roots that go deep to strengthen, stabilize, and give purpose to our words and actions.

When our heart is full of loving kindness, then our words naturally blossom forth with sweetness. When someone is having a bad day, we can take the time to talk and share kind words to lift them up. When we notice someone doing something brave, difficult, or amazing, we can make it even more wonderful by telling them how much it is appreciated. Our words create ripples of kindness that radiate outwards. We have no idea how far they will go, or how deeply they will affect others.


Becoming Better Participants

When practicing kindness from the core of our being, seeing others struggle becomes difficult to simply observe. Reaching out and providing help becomes a natural response. The wonderful effect of kind actions is that the more we show kindness by helping others, the more energy we get to give even more.  As a result, we begin to see more opportunities to help that we may not have noticed before. The joy of practicing kindness becomes its own motivation when we realize how good it makes us feel! 

The amazing reality is that the strength of kindness isn’t measured by the grandness of the act. As the Dalai Lama has said, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Challenge yourself to go out into the world and spread kindness through your thoughts, words, and actions. A smile, a touch, a door held open, a phone call, a coffee, a compliment, an offer of help – the smallest expressions of kindness can have limitless reach.

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