I love random acts of kindness and the idea of paying it forward. There are few things better than doing something for no other reason than the pleasure of making someone feel good.
What’s even better about being kind, is that it makes other people want to be kind also. Your one small act will spread like the seeds of a dandelion.
Here are a few ways to practice kindness that you might not have thought of, and they don’t cost a thing:
Listen without judgment or the need to give advice. This isn’t as easy as it sounds! Most of the time when someone is telling you a story about their life, what they really want is for you to “bear witness” and simply listen. Be...
At my last job, everyone thought our maintenance guy was horrible. He was consistently the gruffest, crankiest person I’ve ever met. He was also one of my favorite people. I know a secret a lot of people don’t know about grouches; they can be the kindest, most loyal people around. I also understand that their meanness isn’t about me.
Most people aren’t cranky as a personal choice. We assume that they don’t care how their behavior affects someone, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are very few people who wake up in the morning thinking to themselves “Today I’m going to be a jerk.”
There could be a multitude of reasons why someone is ill-temper...
I volunteer quite a bit. When I mention it to people, I feel strangely uncomfortable when they say things like “How wonderful to do such a kind and selfless thing.” I was never really sure where my discomfort came from until recently.
There is a man at the soup kitchen that I occasionally volunteer at, who has been there for many years. When a volunteer mentioned to him that his kindness was an inspiration to her, he said “Don’t be inspired by me. It’s not kindness that motivates me to serve- it’s guilt.”
That statement stopped me in my tracks and made me think. Could guilt also be the motivating factor behind my kindness, and is that the reason behind why I a...