I used to think that kindness was a word that wasn’t relevant in today’s adult world. It had been very important in elementary school and, as I got older, it seemed too simplistic. The adult world can’t be bothered with such childish concepts, I thought. As I grew into my 30’s, the complexities of the world and the struggle to truly do something meaningful pushed and pulled my head and heart, with very little common ground to stand on. About 10 years ago, I began to find common ground, built on Kindness.
I believe that Kindness is the root of so much that is good and beautiful. It is the one concept that everyone can agree on. It has the power to make progress in very difficult situations and with very difficult people. It is relevant and valued by all, including people of all ages, politics, personalities, cultures, and even the non-human world of animals. Its ability to surprise others, make an impact, and change the world is a clue to a greater power hidden inside.
I am committed to practicing Kindness as much as I can. I find myself drawn to actions that are often hidden, where the beneficiary doesn’t know who did it. I like kindnesses that are unexpected, spontaneous, or a bit wacky and creative. I also enjoy rather mundane kindnesses, such as picking up trash as I walk for exercise in my neighborhood. I have taught several classes on random acts of kindness to elementary and middle school students, and to retirees as well; the discussions and experiences we have had can’t be matched. Many people show great kindness to me over the years, and I find it a great, thrilling challenge to encourage and expand the reach of the kindness cycle in my community and beyond.