Tomorrow — November 13 — is World Kindness Day. To help you get in the spirit, we’re posting a list of six ways you can show kindness. Learn about the day, and get more ideas, on the website of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.
This list is excerpted from Barbara Gruener’s keynote address to the National Forum on Character Education, which took place October 30 – November 2, 2014, in Washington D.C. In Barbara’s speech, which focused on the importance of teaching and modeling kindness, she showed a video with thoughts from students at her school in Friendswood, Texas, where Barbara is a counselor and character education coordinator. We’ve included that video at the bottom of this post. Read more about the conference in this recent blog post by CC! Director Jeff McMurdy.
6. Unplug and Plug In. In a 21st-century world where connectivity with a digital device seems almost mandatory to keep up, do yourself and those around you a favor and unplug from the battery every so often so that you can plug in to a heartbeat. Let that special someone know that they matter; you’ll be glad you did!
5. Serve With a Smile. Opportunities to serve abound. Share something you’ve baked. Offer to drive someone somewhere. Rekindle a friendship. Reach out to a new neighbor. Send someone a surprise in the mail. I got a package of fall foliage last week from my brother in Wisconsin that absolutely warmed my heart! (Photo at left.) Stand ready to serve and watch what happens.
4. Mentor Our Future. You probably know someone who could use your help. Why not offer to mentor him or her? Think about it in terms of a “prophet-sharing” opportunity. Sharing your knowledge and wisdom with someone is an excellent way to send your message into the future and help ensure huge dividends long after you’re gone.
3. Apologize and Forgive. Repeat after me: I did it. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Admitting a mistake and apologizing is such a critical part of a healthy relationship both for the giver and the recipient of this kindness. Following up an infraction with forgiveness is important, too. It’s actually a gift you give to yourself as well as to the person whom you forgive.
2. Express Gratitude. In all things. That’s the tricky part, because it’s easy to rock gratitude when things are going our way, right? What are you grateful for today? How have you shared that joy with someone? Here are a few kind ways to express your thankfulness: Write a thank-you note. Place a day-maker phone call. Send a kind text. Share a happy song. Affirm someone’s work. Compliment someone.
1. Live Generously. Consider the law of attraction. Good attracts good. Kindness begets kindness. So it follows that generosity spawns generosity. Try living life a bit more generously. Do you have an extra few dollars that you could spend on helping someone else, on helping to improve their life? Find a charitable cause and give it a try. I know that I find the more I give, the more I want to give.
Thanks, as always, to Barbara for kindly sharing this helpful list. More tips and useful information for character-building adults is available in her new book, What’s Under Your Cape? Superheroes of the Character Kind. Read more about the book and purchase it in the CC! online store.