2020 has been a year like no other. As we’ve grown weary, depleted, and drained, the power of kindness to transform a moment, a day, a life has only grown. When people are asked to recall a kindness they received, they often recall a time when they were at their most fragile and a small generous act had an outsized and memorable impact.
We’re all a bit fragile now. It’s been turbulent. The amazing thing is – an act of kindness leaves a lasting impression on both the giver and the receiver, healing both.
Short on time? Short on funds? Quarantined? No worries. You already have the most valuable kindness resource of all – the warm beam of your attention. And, there are many ways to spread kindness right where you are. Here are four kind acts that are tailor-made for a year that’s been anything but kind.
See others, really see them. Smile at strangers (with your eyes if masked). Make contact with people you usually don’t acknowledge. Give a chance to someone that you might dismiss. Slow down and pay attention to people. Tell someone you’re thinking of them. Listen intently. Follow up. Smile some more.
People will soften, straighten, and blossom under your gaze.
Be a positive force. Spread positivity online. Check your judgment; try being curious instead. Don’t repeat stories that spread fear. Forgive. Unite. Find common ground. Assume good intentions. Share beauty. Send encouragement to those who need to hear it.
You might just find you start to feel more positive too.
Show appreciation. Thank the people who care for others. Give someone a compliment; maybe a stranger! Tell someone how they make your life better. Tip generously. Send a card or letter. Notice all the people who make your world work. Pay everything forward.
Gratitude is proven to make us feel good, just like kindness.
Provide relief. Help someone who needs a break (meals, shopping, support). Let someone go ahead of you in line or in your lane. Volunteer. Relieve the planet of some litter. Share your gifts and talents; you know you have them! Reach out to someone who might feel alone.
Sometimes the small things are really the big things.
Take care of yourself. Yup, that’s right. Kindness starts with being kind to yourself. Talk to yourself as you would a friend. Rest. Drink lots of water. Be patient with yourself. Unplug. Give yourself a treat. Let someone help you (it’s a kindness to them too).
You’ll be in a much better position to be kind to others, plus you deserve it.
“If we think our job here on earth is to fix ourselves, we will keep looking for the broken places. If we believe our job is to be kind, we will keep lavishing love on ourselves.” – Geneen Roth
Let’s close out the year with kindness, grace, and love Let’s start a ripple of kindness that ripples us right into 2021.
– Amy Giddon