Practice Intentional Kindness
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in feeling creates love. (Lao Tzu)
When tragedy strikes or disaster occurs, people often join together to help one another and exhibit kindness. However, a few days later, they typically return to life’s normal routines and that extra dose of kindness sadly disappears.
Kindness shows others that they count. Originally associated with Anne Hebert, who is said to have coined the saying “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty,” this concept has become an organized celebration around the world. You don’t need to wait for a special day or week to practice being kind. Making it a round-the-clock occurrence creates a generosity of spirit and action and is essential to healthy relationships.
Asking, “Am I being kind?” is one simple way to create awareness and healing. Here are a few more ideas, or you can get creative and discover even more!
- Before arguing, complaining, yelling, littering, or even eating unhealthy food, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you are being kind—to others, to yourself, and to the planet.
- Perform anonymous acts of kindness. “Pay it forward” by paying the toll or buying coffee for the person in line behind you. Leave flowers on someone’s porch, shovel their snow if they can’t do it themselves, or leave your newspaper or magazine neatly folded on the bus or train for another person to enjoy.
- Be a friend who listens. Just listen to someone without saying a word, judging, or giving advice.
- Clean up graffiti or help someone with their yard work. Help beautify your neighborhood or a poorer nearby neighborhood.
- Donate your books to a library. Many people can’t afford new books or access to them.
- Give care packages to the homeless. Provide blankets or toiletries such as toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, and deodorant.
- Hold the door for someone or let someone go in line in front of you.
- Read to a child or the elderly.
- Write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life.
- Make technology a tool for kindness. Post praise and gratitude on social media sites.