Every little bit helps.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Lina Trochez
What small deed will you perform today to improve someone’s life?
Performing small acts of kindness and generosity is our birthright. Small gestures — even if they go unnoticed — move mountains as they contribute to the people and communities we care about.
Going small and going big are both ways of going.
What small deed can and will you perform today to improve someone’s life?
What would making this a daily habit bring to you and your world?
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
—Aesop — Ancient Greek storyteller
Image from Unsplash by Mei-Ling Mirow
The grand gesture, the multi million-dollar donation, and the heroic act always get a lot of attention. The idea of going big or going home seems to be woven into our society. If something isn’t big enough and loud enough it almost always goes unnoticed.
Over the past year, many of us have given more attention to our inner work, and listening closely to the often-quiet whispers of our faith and values. These lower decibel messages are beginning to loom much larger in our days due to their resonant truths and influences on living a more meaningful life.
We are all capable of kindnesses of all sizes. What would happen if we didn’t wait or hesitate, thinking our intended efforts were not big enough?
Where would putting in your two cents of kindness today make the biggest difference? Imagine the compounding impact if everyone made these small generous deposits daily.
“It is hard to fight an enemy who has an outpost in your head.”
—Sally Kempton, master of meditation and yoga philosophy
Image from Unsplash by Ioana Casapu
This morning started off with a loving kindness meditation. I was instructed to direct positive, affirming words toward myself, those close to me, and others in my extended communities.
From time to time, we all can be hard on ourselves when that old, familiar inner critic attacks. For some reason, it seems easier to defend and fight the external enemies we can see in our personal and professional worlds.
How can and will you exercise your own loving kindness muscle and direct its positive energy inward to live a happier and more fulfilling life?
“Before you speak, ask if what you’re about to say is kind, necessary, true, and better than silence.”
—Barbara Ann Kipfer, Author of Self Meditation
Image from DLKT Kids
Filters can be very helpful things.
Consider water filters over the centuries. They have improved the sanitation of our towns and cities. They have helped us all live longer, healthier lives by removing all types of bacteria and other substances.
These days, our airways are filled with toxins through various forms of communications and include our daily conversations. It’s actually a form of communication pollution, which can also make us sick.
What would be the benefit in your personal or professional worlds if, beyond silence, we all filtered out all the unkind and unnecessary statements before they left our lips?
What would be possible if all people took this coaching?
“As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency.”
—Caroline Kennedy, American author, attorney, and diplomat
Image from Unsplash by Matthew Feeney
In ancient times, and even into the 1800s, the tallest buildings almost anywhere in the world were usually churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, or other spiritual centers.
In his book, The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell explains that making these buildings the tallest pointed to the society’s priorities and core values, which included fundamental human decency and kindness.
Today, the tallest buildings across the world are almost always business buildings, demonstrating the economic priorities of wealth and material achievement.
What does leading a prosperous life mean to you? How would infusing even more kindness and decency benefit you and your personal and professional communities?
“Even a monster backs off when one feeds it lovingly.”
image from Photobucket by Seldric
Over 40 years ago, I worked my way through school as a “Deli Man” at a popular restaurant in Philadelphia called Jacks. I earned a whopping $36 for my 12-hour, Saturday night shift.
Saturday was the busiest day of the week, since many customers were purchasing ingredients for the traditional Sunday brunches held in the neighborhood.
One day, I noticed that all the other Deli Men had taken their 30-minute breaks just as a particular customer came to the counter. They left me with the woman they called “The Deli Monster,” because she was never satisfied and complained about everything.
Somewhere along the line, I had heard someone say “kill them with kindness,” so I determined to meet and exceed her every desire. She practically adopted me, and I became her favorite Deli Man for the rest of my time at the restaurant!
Who are some of the monsters that terrorize your personal and professional worlds?
Where would a kinder, more loving approach do the trick and have them back off as well as become a friend or ally?
“Teach your daughters to worry less about fitting into glass slippers and more about shattering glass ceilings.”
—Melissa Marchonna, Digital Marketer for the New York Jets
Photo from Boulder Writers Workshop
A few weeks ago my wife Wendy and I had a movie marathon. We saw four moves over the course of one weekend. One was Disney’s new, and I would say highly improved, Cinderella.
The theme of the new Cinderella was to have courage and be kind, not simply to marry the handsome prince and live “happily ever after.”
This advice is all the more timely given the fact that women still earn only 78% of what their male counterparts earn. They still hold only a modest percentage of leadership roles within the business world.
Where in your professional and personal worlds could you encourage and support your daughters, sons, friends, and colleagues to have more courage and be kinder in their efforts? What can you do to help them shatter the “glass ceilings” they may encounter, so they can live a more accomplished and satisfying life?
“Throw Kindness around like Confetti.”
My father Marvin, my wife Wendy, my daughter Rachel, and me.
I was showered in kindness for ten days in February, when I went to Florida to visit my dad and my wife, who cares for him during the winter months. It helps me escape the bitter cold and have some company for Valentine’s Day, and my birthday on February 16th. I’m now 58 years young! Beyond the initial happiness of seeing my wife Wendy and dad Marvin, my daughter Rachel—who lives in Pennsylvania—surprised me at the airport and let me know that she wanted to help make my visit even more special.
Wendy further surprised me with a new summer wardrobe and a gift bag holding 4 passports. Bright and early the next morning we began a 10-day cruise to Aruba, Curacao, the Panama Canal, and Costa Rica.
Thanks to my wife, we enjoyed snorkeling adventures, private beaches, on-board cooking lessons, boat tours, and even an hour-long zip line adventure with my 88-year-old father and my daughter.
Of particular note throughout our adventure were the countless gestures of kindness shown to all of us from the extraordinary staff and crew of the Holland American ship The Zunderdam.
In what ways and with whom can you shower the confetti of kindness over those you care about, today and every day?