Be kind, be gentle, for everyone you meet is fighting a difficult battle.
I love that there is a World Kindness Day – a day in the year to celebrate and remember the power of kindness and the transformational effect it can have on people’s lives.
According to Aesop, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, will ever be wasted.” Because of the fleeting momentary nature of kindness its easy to underestimate its power for we rarely get to know how our kindness can change someone’s day or even their life.
I’m sure we all have stories about kindness. These moments often come when someone maybe feeling down – for a kind person shows us that we are worthy of love. They are the moments when a frown may turn into a smile and when a lack of confidence transforms into self belief.
It warms our hearts to receive kindness. I remember my godmother encouraging me to fulfil my dream of becoming a storyteller. At the time I was unable to embrace this heartfelt dream. I felt unworthy. Yet she believed in me and that was enough. Through her kindness and encouragement I was able to muster enough courage to take the next step. I enrolled on a storytelling course for beginners and since then my life has transformed. In finding my voice I am now able to do something I love and to share it with others.
So how do you practice kindness? According to a recent study in the Journal of Social Psychology there are four types of kindness:1. Direct kindness towards people we’re close to (i.e., friends and family)2. Direct kindness towards people we’re less close to (i.e., strangers or people they didn’t know well)3. Self-kindness4. Observing acts of kindness carried out by other people
The true essence of humankind is kindness. There are other qualities which come from education or knowledge, but it is essential, if one wishes to be a genuine human being and impart satisfying meaning to one’s existence, to have a good heart. Dalai Lama
Acts of kindness inspire a feeling of happiness. It’s the most heart-warming form of connection. So lets infuse the world we live in with kindness - here are some ideas, or add your own:
1. Write a gratitude letter – Express your appreciation with a thank you note
2. Send a text or message to someone you haven't seen or spoken to this year.
3. Ask the next person who serves you in a shop about their day - smile and thank them for their service.
4. Make a pledge to volunteer at a local charity–Give a helping hand to your community.
5. Donate to an animal rescue centre or favourite charity - they need our support now more than ever.
6. On your next walk to the park, beach or in the countryside - pick up some litter.
7. Phone an elderly neighbour or relative - ask how they are.
8. Take the time to really listen and be present when your child, or when someone you love is talking to you.
9. Give time to yourself - for one hour today, be kind to you.
10. Allow someone to help you – allowing others to help us is a win-win when it comes to kindness!
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