This morning, as the sun was rising, with the glow coming over the trees on my land, at around 5:30 AM or so, I got to my desk, (which is common), and, equally common, started my day on Twitter.
Oh, I should know better. I then spend far too much time reading tweets, clicking links, (opening the treacherous rabbit hole), and watching videos that makes me feel like my head is going to explode. I give it shake and think to myself, ‘what is going on in this world’. Regardless of it coming from a bot, someone who’s been listening to too many podcasts, an influencer or celebrity with an opinion, or a politician, elected or otherwise, the amount of vile commentary, hatred, ignorance and hurt that comes through 140 characters is overwhelming.
Oof. So, as I swim in the swamp called Twitter, my head gets out of the mess, and I stop myself from clicking the next link. I’m reminded of something I read (on Twitter of course), that suggested instead of focusing on the negative, answer some key questions – and the answers were easy to come to.
What am I in control of?
Me, myself, and I.
What can I do better?
Be kind to myself and others.
How can I improve things?
Share ideas with others how they too can practice and embrace kindness today.
So here you go. This is the little bit I can offer the world today, in contrast to the mire of the internet. Ten Simple Ways to Embrace Kindness Every Day…
Kindness has the incredible power to brighten someone’s day, create a positive ripple effect, and bring about a sense of connection and compassion. It costs us nothing but can mean the world to others. Often, while we won’t know the real effects of our kindness, acts of kindness to others are good medicine for ourselves. It reminds us that we matter. In a world that often feels fast paced and with a greater sense of disconnection than before, acts of kindness become even more important for us and others.
These are simple ways you can be the light that the world needs and how we can all include kindness in our daily lives and make a positive impact on those around us.
- Practice Active Listening: Take the time to truly listen to others without interrupting or judging. Show genuine interest in their thoughts and feelings. Active listening not only makes the other person feel that what they are sharing or experiencing matters and is important, it also helps foster deeper connections and a sense of belonging.
- Offer a Helping Hand: Whether it’s offering to return a grocery cart, assisting a co-worker with a project, or dropping off a meal to and Elder in your life, lending a helping hand shows compassion and care. Look for opportunities to help and make someone’s day a little easier.
- Express Gratitude: Expressing gratitude is a powerful way to spread kindness. Take a moment each day to acknowledge the people, experiences, or things you are grateful for. Extend your gratitude by simply offering a heartfelt “thank you” to those who have made a positive impact on your life or sharing a random text, call or message to them, reminding them they are being thought of and that they matter to you.
- Perform Random Acts of Kindness: Small acts of kindness can have a big impact. Surprise a stranger with a genuine compliment, pay for someone’s coffee, or leave an encouraging note in a public space. Random acts of kindness not only brighten someone’s day but also create a chain reaction of positivity. These can create those ripples of kindness that we will never know of…and that is a special kind of magic.
- Practice Empathy: Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and try to understand their perspective. Empathy allows you to connect with others on a deeper level and respond with kindness and compassion. Approach conversations and interactions with an open mind and heart allowing for a willingness to understand.
- Be Mindful with Your Words: The words we speak have the power to either lift someone up or bring them down. Choose your words carefully and aim to be kind and encouraging in your interactions. Avoid gossip or negative talk, and instead, focus on spreading positivity and uplifting others.
- Volunteer Your Time: Give back to your community by volunteering for an organization or movement you care about. Whether it’s spending time at a community garden, mentoring others, or participating in a community event or activity, volunteering and being of service to others allows you to make a tangible difference in the lives of others.
- Offer Support to Those in Need: Reach out to someone who may be going through a difficult time. Offer a listening ear, provide a shoulder to lean on, or help them find the resources they need. Your support can make a tremendous difference and remind them that they are not alone and that they belong.
- Practice Self-Kindness: Remember, kindness starts from within. Treat yourself with compassion and self-care. Take time to nurture your physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental well-being. By prioritizing self-kindness and filling your own cup, you’ll have more to share with others. Remind yourself today, that you matter too.
- Spread Positivity on Social Media: Give yourself a break from being critical, negative or reactionary online: remember what your grandma taught you – ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.’ Social media platforms offer a vast opportunity to spread kindness and positivity. Instead, share uplifting stories, support others’ achievements, and engage in respectful discussions. Use your online presence to create a positive and inclusive environment. You can do it.
Kindness is a choice we can make every day, and it has the power to transform lives, including our own.
By incorporating these ten simple acts of kindness into our daily lives, we can create a more compassionate and connected world. Yes, I know ten things might be a lot – so want not try one or two a day? That’s what I will be working on over the coming week or two…being intentional with kindness.
Remember, even the smallest act can make a significant impact on someone’s life. So, let’s embrace kindness and make a positive difference one action at a time. What’s your next action going to be?
Let’s remind those in our world – even those we don’t know, like, or agree with, that they matter. That they are important. And that they belong.
Imagine what that world, online and in real life, could look like?