Our challenges for the first three weeks have been: self-kindness, find kindness, and generate kind energy towards others.
Week #4 was to be kind by demonstrating some or all of the following:
- Make eye contact and greet people around you
- Hold the door for the person entering behind you
- Compliment 5 people
- Say “please” and “thank you” often
- Address a stranger by their name (server, barista, cashier, janitor, etc.)
- Take something special to your coworkers (bake a breakfast, offer snacks, etc.)
- Leave a bowl of water out for stray animals
- Make a few care bags for the homeless (mini toothpaste, toothbrush, hand wipes, lotion, tissues, chapstick, a bottle of water, soft snacks, etc.)
- Be a listening ear for someone, listening in earnest and not just to reply
- Mow a neighbor’s lawn
- Give someone a handwritten note letting them know you appreciate them
- Volunteer a couple of hours of your time to a cause you care about
I’m happy to say that I do some of these suggestions on an everyday basis. I always make eye contact, greet people, hold doors, say “please” and “thank you,” be a compassionate listener, and address strangers by their first name.
Unfortunately, I’m not employed yet, so I can’t take treats to work and with the concerns over a potential outbreak of the Zika virus here in Florida, standing water isn’t a good idea.
The rest of the ideas are good ones and I’m definitely going to write some thank-you notes to a few select people that have supported me when I needed it most.
Some of my acts of kindness for the week consist of:
- Turning the other cheek
- Helping my son with some yard work
- Making a small monetary donation to a local fundraiser
- Giving someone the benefit of the doubt
It’s amazing how good it feels to do these acts of kindness, particularly the ones that require self-control over runaway emotions. I used to respond to other people’s inconsiderate behavior in a very negative way, but now I have a much greater level of self-awareness. I’m able to pause and think before I react, which is very empowering!
When it comes to helping someone there’s an immediate feeling of goodness. Just knowing that our time in this life is limited makes those moments all the more special. I remember the kindnesses shown to me by people who have passed on, particularly my dad and grandma. The memory of their many acts of love inspires me to do the same. I want my family and friends to remember me with a warm heart and a smile.
Kindness serves a wonderful purpose while we’re living and makes a great legacy after we’re gone.
What kind of legacy will you leave?