Jackie Turner wanted to raise her spirits during the holiday season by hiring a set of parents on Craigslist. What she ended up getting was a whole new family – for free.
Perhaps, there’s an idea there that we can follow – invite people without families into our homes for festivals and holidays. I know that was always done in my grandparents’ home – there were always some people in for Christmas and Easter who were without family for the festivals.
When Claire Lemmel saw that people in her San Francisco neighborhood weren’t connecting as they walked by each other on the streets, she decided to put kindness in action … and her smile on a giant poster! Her kindness and smile are now inspiring hundreds of people on her daily walks.
Well, you don’t have to have a poster – smile away at strangers – you never know how much of a difference you might make to another life.
(This video has been removed by the uploader) but if you click on the link above, you can read the ‘story’and watch this news story.
3-year-old Kate has Autism, her mother Shanell Mouland, was very much worried about this journey, because long journeys are very hard for Kate. When Shanell get into the plane with her little girl, she was prepared for the worst. A well-dressed business man sat down next to them, Kate’s mom was expecting the judgement, until that stranger did the most amazing thing.
I’ve often seen children wandering off in malls etc and it’s important that we take the time to find their parents. Or take time to pull funny faces at a child who looks bored. There’s plenty you can do to make harried parents’ life a little simpler when they’re out.
Remember, a simple act of kindness creates an endless ripple!
Sometime last year, I received a very generous gift and a note from someone. It read:
‘I may not say it always, but I mean it whenever I say it : Thank you for all the things you’ve done for me.’
As much as I liked the present, the note is what really touched me. No, I hadn’t realized or remembered exactly what I had done for this person, but apparently she did.
Watch this video to see what a difference a note can make to someone’s life.
Find Someone Note Worthy Today
As we approach World Kindness Day, I’d urge you to take the time today to write a note (or several) to someone (or many) who has touched your life in some way. While a handwritten note is the best, don’t wait to buy stationery – send an email, a Facebook message or even a text message.
Appreciate someone. I plan to write a few notes to people I tend to take for granted, appreciating them for all they do.
Encourage someone. You never know when your words might help someone who is feeling down to pull themselves out of depression.
Send someone a ‘remember when we….’ note, talking about a shared memory. I’ve been thinking about some great laughs a colleague and I used to have and I plan to reconnect with her with a ‘remember when…..’ message on Facebook since I don’t have her email.
Surprise a vendor or a supplier with a note of appreciation. Even a fantastic online review would be a great act of kindness. A restaurant owner called me recently to thank me for a mention and pictures I shared in a blog post. He was most grateful.
Write a note of forgiveness. Write a note asking for forgiveness. A few months ago I wrote an email asking someone to forgive me and although I didn’t deserve a response from that person, she was gracious enough to accept my apology and reconnect with me.
Find note worthy people today!
November 13th is World Kindness Day! A global 24-hour celebration dedicated to paying-it-forward and focusing on the good.
November 13 is World Kindness Day. To celebrate this, I will be blogging about kindness over the next few days.
Kindness Begins With Me
There are two ways of interpreting this – one, that kindness must start with me being kind to others and two, I must start with myself. Today, I’m choosing to start with myself.
Inspired by this post, I decided to write a letter to future me. While I’m sharing it with you today, I’m also archiving it on the FutureMe.org website, to receive it on 1 January 2017.
I am so happy to be writing to you. I’ve seen people write letters to their future selves before, but never quite had the inclination to do this. However, when I read that this was an act of kindness to you, dear Me, I just had to do it.
This letter will find you entering into a new year, and will be the year you complete 52. I am certain, that as I’ve found out by reaching 50, that life has become more interesting! 😉
I can see that you’ve grown in self-acceptance and have resolved the issues of the past that tended to cloud your mind from time to time. Your relationships with José, your family and your small group of friends have only got better and more meaningful. And in a few days, José and you will be entering year 10 of your marriage. Time does fly when you’re having fun.
Congratulations! You’ve actually managed to stick to your health goals and look so much healthier than you did at the end of 2015.
How lovely that you, José and Pablo have settled into your new house and have made it into the home that you all love. I’m happy to see the flowers blooming and the trees starting to grow.
I love the ‘creativity den’ you’ve made for yourself in your new home. Your writing, your painting and all your other creative pursuits are giving you so much joy.
You’ve also managed to find a lot more people to reach out to in a way that truly makes a difference to them and brings joy to you.
Ah! And you’re driving around too. I’m sure you’re loving the sense of independence that gives you.
You enter 2017, being wiser, happier, fitter, more generous and much more grateful for all that you have. I’m proud of you, dear FutureMe.
Dear reader, have you ever written a letter to your future self? Would you like to do this with me today? I can assure you it was a lovely exercise and I’m looking forward to reading my letter in the future.
November 13th is World Kindness Day! A global 24-hour celebration dedicated to paying-it-forward and focusing on the good.
While someone might define success as being able to achieve great heights in one’s chosen field, another might define a successful person as someone who ‘has left the world better than she found it’. No matter what your definition of success may be, does it have kindness factored in?
I believe that self leadership calls for us to be kind. Kindness is certainly not weakness. Instead, it empowers us to go beyond ourselves, to broaden our view of life, to look at situations and people from different perspectives. Kindness to others must not come out of a sense of guilt or an attempt to seek the limelight.
Is kindness an inherent quality? I think not. We learn kindness from the people we grow up with. And if we didn’t, we can always develop kindness.
Philip G. Zimbardo, a giant in the field of social psychology, a professor at Palo Alto University, a professor emeritus at Stanford University, is the president of the Heroic Imagination Project. Giving a commencement address at the University of Puget Sound he said, “You will be more likely to notice someone in need if you have developed the daily habit of opening yourself to other people by routinely noticing what others are doing and imagining what they are feeling.”
This is seconded by Stefan Klein in his book Survival of the Nicest “The willingness to do something for others is an attitude that one can practice until it is as natural as riding a bicycle. In time the fear of being exploited fades, and with the courage to give grows the feeling of freedom. The journey begins with curiosity. By experimenting with generosity, we have nothing to lose and much to gain, for selflessness makes us happy and transforms the world.”
While we learn kindness, we must also remember to be kind to ourselves. Without self-compassion, our practice of kindness will be a sham.
Keep it simple. The Buddha taught the virtue of making the “seven offerings that cost nothing”: . . . a compassionate eye, a smiling face, loving words, physical service, a warm heart, a seat, and lodging. — Jiko Kohno in Right View, Right Life: Insights of a Woman Buddhist Priest. I guess we now call these random acts of kindess. Surely we can do all these over a week.
Write yourself a letter expressing kindness and understanding towards your weaknesses. It could be one letter or a series of letter focussing on different areas.
[Tweet “Choose being kind over being right #atozchallenge”]
Remember, on the 20th of February, a wonderful initiative called #1000Speak kicked off? It was during this that I reconnected with Galit Breen, a wonderful blogger. In her post for last month’s #1000Speak, Galit mentioned her experience with being bullied online and how indirectly it resulted in her writing a book. I had read about Galit’s terrible experience earlier and admired her approach and the equanimity with which she dealt with the situation.
When I heard that the theme for #1000Speak this month is ‘Building From Bullying‘, I knew I had to interview Galit and share my review of her book.
Expected publication: April 7th 2015 by Booktrope Publishing
If kindness wins, accountability rules. The need for this mantra is never clearer than when scrolling through posts and comments left online.
Approximately four out of ten kids (42 percent) have experienced cyberbullying. When we were young, our bullies weren’t usually strangers. They were the kids who passed mean notes about us in class, the ones who didn’t let us sit at their table during lunch, and the ones who tripped us in the hallway or embarrassed us in gym class. Cyberbullying isn’t all that different from the bullying of our youth and nightmares. But with social media, our bullies have nonstop access to us–and our kids. In fact, we’re often “friends” with our bullies online.
When freelance writer Galit Breen’s kids hinted that they’d like to post, tweet, and share photos on Instagram, Breen took a look at social media as a mom and as a teacher quickly realized that there’s a ridiculous amount of kindness terrain to teach and explain to kids –and some adults– before letting them loose online. So she took to her pen and wrote a how-to book for parents who are tackling this issue with their kids.
Kindness Wins covers 10 habits to directly teach kids as they’re learning how to be kind online.Each section is written in Breen’s trademark parent-to-parent-over-coffee style and concludes with resources for further reading, discussion starters, and bulleted takeaways. She concludes the book with two contracts –one to share with peers and one to share with kids. Just like we needed to teach our children how to walk, swim, and throw a ball, we need to teach them how to maneuver kindly online. This book will help you do just that.
Interview With Galit Breen
Galit Breen and her lovely family
What genre is your book? Is this your favorite genre?
Kindness Wins is a non-fiction how-to focused on parenting, tweens, and social media. I read more fiction and YA than I do non-fiction, but I love every single one of the genres and topics that Kindness Wins falls under.
Does this have relevance in your personal life?
Yes. I had a post go viral this fall about comments I received about my weight on an article I wrote about marriage. Not too long after that, my daughter and her friends began asking to be on social media platforms like Instagram. When I looked through some of the kids’ profiles , I realized there’s a lot of kindness terrain to cover. After my experience with unkind comments and fat shaming, I knew I wanted to do something about cyberbyulling. This book is my “something.”
Why did you write Kindness Wins?
I wrote this book to create a guide for parents, teachers, youth groups, etc. to use for teaching our kids how to be kind online. I think this can and should be taught. I used my work in social media to inform what needs to be taught and I used my background in teaching (I have an MA in education and I was a classroom and reading teacher for 10 years) to guide the how-to portion of the book.
We’ve read enough of real-life stories of children being cyberbullied. And it’s awful. But what of the bullies? They are somebody’s children too. Perhaps their parents don’t realize that their children are bullies. Perhaps these bullies were not taught online behaviour and don’t realize the consequences of what seems to be harmless and sometimes anonymous activities.
This is where Kindness Wins offers a solution. Galit Breen has created a most necessary guide for parents to teach their children digital kindness. In a very practical and gentle manner, using real-life examples, and some great graphics, Kindness Wins can help parents to discuss healthy online behaviour with their children and teach them how to be polite, kind and considerate in the digital world.
I would recommend this book to all parents whose children are starting to use social media.
Last Monday, while walking Pablo, José tripped and fell on the road. This resulted in him breaking a part of his hip bone. On Wednesday, he underwent surgery to replace part of his hip. He’s back home now and partially mobile. Still a long way to complete recovery.
Surrounded by Angels
As you can imagine it was all rather sudden and shocking. But you know what? At the end of the week, we’re left with a feeling of gratitude and the knowledge that we’re surrounded by angels – who came in different shapes and sizes. More about them in my next post.
I recall the words of one of my favorite hymns:
To His angels He’s given a command, To guard you in all of your ways, Upon their hands they will bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Truly what we experienced.
An angel is someone who helps you
Believe in miracles again.
An angel may not always come when you call
But when you have a need, ah yes, one will come then
– Jon Bratton 2004
Surrounding you are angels,
They are there to guide your path,
If weakness overcomes you,
They’ll give you strength if you will ask.
They are your protection
When life seems too hard to bear,
And though you feel alone at times,
The angels … they are there.
Their faces may be hidden
And their voices you might not hear,
But they are ALWAYS with you,
Through your laughter or your tears.
They’ll walk along beside you,
They’ll guide your steps along the way,
They’ll comfort you and hold you,
Protect you night and day.
They’ll hold to your hand tightly,
They’ll not ever let it go,
And they’ll gently lead you forward,
Taking each step very slow.
For even as you slumber,
They watch closely over you;
They are there beside you
In each and every thing you do.
When life is overwhelming,
And your spirit has grown tired,
Know they’ll be there for you,
To uplift and to inspire.
And when you’re torn and lonely,
And you see no hope ahead,
Know that they will nourish you,
Your spirit will be fed.
And if there comes a time in life
That your heart has been broken,
Hear the words, “I’m here, my child,”
And know your angel has spoken.
For even in the darkest hour,
When all of hope seems gone,
They’ll give you strength to live your life,
And desire to go on.
And if your faith in Heaven,
Should ever fade away,
They’ll help renew your spirit,
And help you find your way.
Even though you’re ever filled with doubt,
About the life you live,
Know that they are there to give you
All that they can give.
They’ll help you in your times in need,
They’ll wipe away your tears,
They’ll show to you compassion,
They’ll calm your raging fears.
They’ll hold your hand and direct you,
Should you fall from your path,
They’ll lift you up to steady you,
All you need do is ask.
For you see, the Father sent them,
Because to Him, you mean so much,
That He sent them “just for you,” my friend,
And your life, they will touch.
For when you were within the womb,
The angels were selected,
To guide you through your lifetime,
To ensure you were protected.
They will always be here,
They will “never” leave your side;
And upon their strength and guidance,
You always may rely.
For even when the time comes
For you to say “goodbye,”
The angels will be with you,
They will lift you to the skies.
From the time you were conceived,
Until the time of death,
The angels, they are with you,
With each and every breath.
And nothing is too difficult for you,
My friend, to face,
For you have been presented with
A gift of our Lord’s grace.
He has given unto you
A protector that is there,
To share your burdens with you,
With Heaven’s utmost care.
And no one knows you better,
Than your angels know you, dear,
For every day that you have spent on earth,
They, too, were here.
Take comfort in their guidance,
Draw strength from up above,
And know that their sweet presence,
Is God’s precious gift of love.