Each morning, I take a few moments to reflect and be thankful before I get out of bed. I engage in a little “self-talk,” in order to set a positive tone for the day. My next move is to pour a cup of hot black coffee and grab the newspaper so that I can stay current on local, national and global news.
As a humanist who believes in the power of the human spirit, I ask myself what can we all do to affect and influence the mood in our country? Indeed, positive change starts with each of us. There is no stronger power to impact others (and in fact, ourselves) than kindness.
I define kindness as true concern and caring. Living each day accepting others as they are with a true sense of compassion, fairness and equality, in our hearts, minds and eyes.
Kindness is the foundation of positive relationships and is a source of true connection. Kindness is a smile, a touch, a helping hand, a wink, a hug or a pat on the back. Given the turmoil in the world today, it is often difficult to focus on being kind. As a world-class “people observer” I see people being rude on airplanes, in malls and parking garages. Of course, negative behavior and thoughts beget negative behavior and thoughts. It is our collective challenge to stop this pattern through daily acts of kindness. It takes courage to live a life of kindness – it leaves us open to be rejected and vulnerable but is worth the risk.
The question I pose is: Are we all fluent in kindness?
Granted, our lives are hectic and busy. We are all “time- poor.” Like the rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland,” “We are late!”
It is easy to miss or overlook an opportunity to be kind.
Kindness is putting yourself on the line. It enables us all to cope with the pressures of life. All gives us hope that things will get better. Kindness improves our resiliency and gives us a sense of peace and well-being. It is our moral compass.
Kindness can ground us and anchor us during the stressful times we live in. Our individual kindness can help reduce conflict in the world. I have found kindness to be addictive. Now that is a habit we should endorse.
All acts of kindness have lasting effects on people and are far-reaching. True kindness is unconditional – a sincere act of giving.
Finding ways to be creatively kind is exciting and lifts our spirits. This opens possibilities for others. Think of its potential! It can give life greater meaning. Kindness is a glue that can unite us.
We all belong to a community called humankind and have a responsibility to look out for each other. Kindness can help stop bullying and abuse; we all need each other, and kindness can and does change people’s outlook. Every action, word and interaction affects the life of someone around us. Let us work to change “Me first” to “We first.”
Kindness builds trust and reduces stress. We have seen stress’ effect on individuals and families. As we approach each day, and strive to balance the many pressures we confront, as well as our concerns for the negative and disheartening world events. I ask that you join me in starting a tsunami of kindness.
It starts with a ripple, effects of good deeds. It is a smile, a kind word, a compliment and showing we care. Let us all agree to be carriers of kindness!