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What is Kindness?

Kindness is doing something for someone or for some cause without any thought of getting anything in return. It’s just you – one person, one act, one place, one movement, with one goal in mind. Sounds simple, but not always. Sometimes, it’s really hard. Sometimes it feels easier to be unkind, especially if we’re hurt or sad, or feel as though nothing’s going right.

Plato, a great Greek philosopher born in 428 B.C. said “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” That simply means that we don’t know what anyone else is going through. Someone who is smiling and laughing may be hurt and struggling inside. A small act of kindness on our part may make a big difference to them at the moment they need it most.

What’s funny is that a small act of kindness to someone else increases our own level of happiness too. Better still, research has proven that kindness is contagious and spreads, like a wave moving in all directions.

Here are some ideas:

  • Do something kind for yourself. Think of something you’ve done that you are proud of and congratulate yourself.
  • Smile at the next three people you see.
  • Invite someone to lunch.
  • Pick up some litter and put it in the trash can.
  • Let someone else go in front of you in line.
  • Hide a kind anonymous note somewhere someone will find later.
  • Volunteer to help a child learn to read, or tutor one of your peers whose having a difficult time.
  • Donate something you like.

Just so you don’t forget, set an alarm on your smart phone to remind you to stop what you’re doing to call or text or post a compliment or a note of thanks for something they’ve done.

Let me start – “I want you to know YOU ARE AWESOME.”

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