My poet’s heart has always been soft, and I tend to err on the side of being more kind than necessary. This has always been misunderstood and perceived as naïve, and even weird, by others. Quite frequently in a new situation my kindness was perceived as disingenuous, or as having an ulterior motive. Why would anyone be nice without expecting something in return? I had no explanation other than that it simply wasn't the way I was wired. Finally, as an adult I came to the realization that kindness is my superhero power.
Every day our lives serve as either a warning or as an example to others. My life at times has served as both. I now choose to have it serve only as an example. Kindness is my message to the world, and I’d like to think this message is gaining traction.
From my heart to yours, here are 25 ways to be kind:
1. Use social media to promote positive messaging and compassion. Stand up for kindness.
2. Give someone a genuine compliment.
3. Offer a hug or embrace for no reason.
4. Make peace with someone who has hurt you.
5. Help someone find a job.
6. Say thank you and please every day without fail.
7. Listen to a friend, or someone who needs it.
8. Help someone out in a practical way, such as offering help moving, cleaning up or babysitting.
9. Go on a complaint-free diet.
10. Encourage a friend or family member when they are uncertain or unmotivated.
11. Smile and make someone's day a little brighter.
12. Volunteer your time or give to charity.
13. Send a kind email or card.
14. Invite someone new into your tribe; alleviate loneliness for just one person.
15. Hold the door open for the person behind you.
16. If you see someone being bullied, stand up for them.
17. Strike up a conversation with a stranger.
18. Let someone into your lane while driving.
19. Be generous with words of praise and appreciation.
20. Pay for the person behind you in the coffee line.
21. Pray. Meditate on lovingkindness: May you be happy, healthy, peaceful and loved.
22. Give someone a place to stay.
23. Say "I love you" more often to your family and friends.
24. Serve as a mentor. Generously share what you know and make it easier for someone else.
25. Commit to consistent self-care for yourself.
I am dedicating myself to inspiring us to bring kindness to the forefront of the human condition. Let's be more active in our efforts — not because we have to, but because we want to. And not because we've experienced kindness from others, but because being kind is the way of the heart.
Kindness is always a choice. The more conditioned we are to respond with kindness, the more natural it becomes.
Today join me in starting the kindness movement! Our happiness depends on it.