Spreading Kindness and Reaping Joy

June 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Serenity Space

We all long to be happy and one of the best ways to feel happier and more positive about yourself is to share a little kindness…

Simply showing a little kindness to another can make a dull day brighter.

As we take our focus off our own woes, and turn our eyes outwards – we realise things aren’t so bad for us after all.

When we’re down in the dumps or barely have the energy to get out of bed, doing something for another – no matter how small – can raise our spirits and give our immune system a huge lift.

Unfurled by Amy Palko

Unfurled by Amy Palko

Our world is going through some tough times, and some think they could be forgiven for wallowing in self-pity and despair. But in the words of that catchy song “when the going gets tough, the tough get going…” and kindness is the act of choice.

When you feel in need of a lift, make kindness your choice of coping mechanism. Going out and spreading seeds of kindness not only makes someone else’s day – the very act can give you that lift you crave, and more. When you’re having a blue day, give freely of yourself.

Listen more than you speak.

Dare to see the glass half-full.

Say only positive things, to yourself and everyone else, for a whole day.

Smile freely.

Say thank you. Send a card. Make a call. Get in touch, and let someone know you care.

Give flowers, hugs and chocolate in abundance.

There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.

~Robert Louis Stevenson

Random Acts of Kindness

You’ve heard that famous line by Anne Herbert “Perform random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” – I’ve even seen it on bumper stickers. Every time I hear or read it, it gives me pause. How many random or senseless acts have I performed today, this week, this month…? How often have I turned my gaze outward and noticed another enough to be kind to them?

And I know the answer is – not enough. No matter how many times I give, share or listen to another, it’s never ever enough.

But it is always sufficient. For every act begets another, every thought or smile lightens a load imperceptibly and my load is lightened in return.

When I found that gorgeous photo above, I knew it was right. For the very act of showing a kindness – no matter how small or seemingly insignificant – unfurls a brightness not only in the recipient, but also in the life of the giver, and all the lives these two lives touch forevermore.

Isn’t that magical?

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

~Leo Buscaglia

Pay It Forward

In 1999, Catherine Ryan Hyde wrote Pay It Forward a story about a 12 year old boy and his school assignment to ‘Think of an idea for world change, and put it into action’. His idea?

Do a good deed for three people, and in exchange, ask each of them to “pay it forward” to three more. “So nine people get helped. Then those people have to do twenty-seven…. Then it sort of spreads out.”

If you haven’t read the book – do. It is still available today, 10 years after it was written! You’ll be inspired to go out and perform your own good deeds, and asking to ‘pay it forward’ in exchange. If you have read it, why not leave us a comment below and let me know how it affected you.

By the way – it’s very different to the movie it inspired. By all means see the movie, but do read the book.

Kindness starts right here

In order to give of yourself – your time, your energy, your gifts – you need first to fill up your own tank. Be kind to yourself – read Angela’s words of wisdom at Organising Space this month.

Kindness should also start at home. Once you’ve ensured you’re well cared for, that person you share your life with deserves to be the focus of your kind acts – be sure to take in Chris’ wise words at Relationship Space.

At Spiritual Space, Annie too shares the wisdom of being Kind not Right. A very powerful concept!

No better time

In life you can never be too kind or too fair; everyone you meet is carrying a heavy load. When you go through your day expressing kindness and courtesy to all you meet, you leave behind a feeling of warmth and good cheer, and you help alleviate the burdens everyone is struggling with.

~Brian Tracy

Sharing, caring, listening, giving. It’s the simple things that often mean the most.

There is no time like right now, today, to spread the seeds of kindness and watch them unfurl around the globe.

Comments

9 Responses to “Spreading Kindness and Reaping Joy”
  1. One by one people http://www.aunitedworld.org/programs.asp and organizations http://www.aunitedworld.org/movement.asp are creating their own Pass it Forward program based upon their gift. Everyone has a gift!

    The Pass It Forward Movement http://www.aunitedworld.org is the world’s largest mentoring (acts of kindness) movement.

  2. Karen,

    For your review, please take a look at http://www.aunitedworld.org/calm.asp.

    I encourage you to get back to us @ aunitedworld@gmail.com and let me know how we can further help you get what you want.

    I welcome your comments.

  3. karen says:

    Arlan – thank you so much for the page at A United World! I got a surprise when I clicked on your link.

    I appreciate you visiting us here – it was very kind of you :)

  4. Annie says:

    Karen my friend – I loved your piece this month. Just reading it made me smile and feel like I wanted to do/say something kind right away. It gives us such a wonderful feeling when we do or say something kind, Source must be eternally bewildered as to why we don’t do it more!

  5. Mands says:

    Dear Karen
    You write beautifully, thank-you!
    Your articles as well as your creative flow of words are an inspiration in my busy day!
    Thanks
    Mands

  6. Mands says:

    PS… I received the book ‘Pay It Forward’ as a gift from a customer when is was first published (many years ago) and actually did the ‘Pay It Forward’ exercise (also many years ago)… it was great fun and a miraculous blessing to watch how the process unfurled in peoples lives! *Smile*

  7. karen says:

    Annie – you’re such a sweetheart! Thank you for those lovely words. I agree with you – Source must be eternally bewildered as to why we’re not permanently kind, I know I am! Just this week I’ve been challenged and reminded to ask myself what the kind action would be, rather than go with an initial frustrated reaction. Good thing I had your ‘be kind, not right’ thought on my mind. Thank you!

  8. karen says:

    Mands – so lovely to take the time to pop by here and leave a comment! I am so thrilled to welcome you here, and hope you’ll come back sometimes and share some more.

    Your words are a huge gift to me today – thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    It is great fun to ‘pay it forward’ isn’t it? Whenever I hear of good and kind deeds being done, it restores my faith in the future of humanity – for each act is a miraculous blessing, isn’t it? What a great gift your customer gave you!

  9. Emil Madsen says:

    I don’t know what to say about these beautiful post. Kindness is sometimes hard to find in a person what when you give it to someone no matter how big or small, you knew that you were able to help and sometime without knowing it.

    Have a nice day!