Be a gardener and plant seeds of kindness and service. 

“Be a gardener and plant seeds of kindness and service. Take an ECO versus EGO approach to life and watch things bloom.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Mei-Ling Mirow

Over the years, I’ve been a big fan of the National Geographic show Life Below Zero. The show has become so popular that in recent years it has evolved in a few new spin offs.

With the harsh weather and limited growing season, profiled residents have invested considerable time building greenhouses to grow their own food. Doing this protects the seeds and delicate young plants, and extends the growing season by about a month — resulting in a far more abundant harvest.


Where do you plant seeds of kindness and service in your world?

How have these ECO efforts enriched your life and contributed to your communities?

Lest We Forget

The September 11, 2001 attacks—commonly known as 9/11—were four coordinated Islamist suicide terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaeda against the United States. Here are some quotes for your consideration on this important date.

Image from Unsplash byAidan Bartos

“If September 11th has taught us anything, it’s certainly that the world has never been so interdependent. It is impossible to be an island of prosperity in a sea of despair.”
Bono, Singer and activist

“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”
—Dandy Dahl, wife of United flight 93 pilot, Jason Dahl

“For me and my family personally, September 11th was a reminder that life is fleeting, impermanent, and uncertain. Therefore, we must make use of every moment and nurture it with affection, tenderness, beauty, creativity, and laughter.”
Deepak Chopra, Author

“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”
Former President Barack Obama


How will you honor this date? What kindnesses and acts of service can and will you offer in the spirit of unity today?

Lend a hand whenever you can.

Lend a hand whenever you can.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Hanna Morris

At the end of this month, Wendy and I will celebrate the second anniversary of our move back to Pennsylvania to be closer to family.

Our senior community consists of 280 homes with many wonderful people. Unlike our previous single home, we are part of what’s called a quad — four households sharing a collective driveway.

This structural difference has made it much easier to say hello to our neighbors, and even knock on one another’s doors when a particular need arises.

Lending a hand seems to come naturally to our quad mates and most folks in our extended community. My walking buddy Alan always has a bag of dog treats to share with our friendly furry friends as we make our morning rounds.


Who recently lent you a helping hand?

Where and how can you reciprocate or pay forward this gesture of kindness?


Greet yourself each day with care and a friendly hello

Greet yourself each day with care and a friendly hello. A kind smile does wonders even when it comes from yourself.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Shaurya Sagar

How do you start your days?

Who are the first people you see when you wake up and head out the door? Perhaps you are a mom or dad with a baby who wakes you early for a feeding.

Maybe it’s your spouse or significant other using the facilities or hogging the early morning covers.

Perhaps it’s a neighbor you see, out for an early morning walk with their dog.

Before everyone else, consider the person looking back at you in the mirror as you wash your face and shine those pearly whites. What type of greeting do you offer yourself as your day begins?


How would an extra moment of kindness and a friendly smile from and toward yourself be a wonderful way to begin your day?

One kind word can warm three winter months

“One kind word can warm three winter months.”

—Japanese proverb

Image from Unsplash by Ditto Bowl

How have you been trying to stay warm this winter? Cranking up the thermostat, breaking out the thermal underwear, and adding another log on the fire are common ways to keep the goose bumps at bay.

But external strategies don’t keep us warm on the inside. Winter can be a lonely time for many and seasonal affective disorders from the reduced sunlight seems to be more prominent than ever.


Words and acts of kindness always warm our hearts. How are you keeping the kindness fires burning beyond the recent holiday season? With the appropriate people, perhaps a bit of cuddling under a cozy blanket can keep things toasty as well.

When you see somebody taking a photo of their friends

“When you see somebody taking a photo of their friends, offer to take the shot for them so that they can be in the picture.”

David Perell, writer, podcaster, and writing instructor

Image from Unsplash by Cristina Zaragoza

With the availability of better and better smart phones, I have been seeing far fewer actual cameras.

The days of family portraits seem like a thing of the past. Except for weddings and other significant celebrations, our cell phones do a pretty good job.

To be included in photos with our friends many folks lean on a selfie strategy. Even with very long arms and those awkward selfie sticks, the results can often fall short.


How would offering to take a photo for others or asking for some assistance yourself create even better memories with family and friends over the holidays and in the coming year?

Try a little tenderness. Direct kindness to yourself and others throughout the day. We all need it!

Try a little tenderness. Direct kindness to yourself and others throughout the day. We all need it!

Image from Unsplash by Mei-Ling Mirow

When I hear the word tenderness my initial thoughts go to meat. I remember as a child my mom shaking a canister of Adolph’s meat tenderizer over various cuts of meat, especially those that required a bit more molar action.

These days I think about babies and young children and how we adults act around them and their innocent natures. Noticing our efforts at baby talk and delicate handling, these precious little ones get the lion share of our tenderness and kind attention.


Where and with whom could you offer a little more tenderness? How can you be even kinder and more generous with your softer side?

Every little bit helps

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.

Everything counts.


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.”

“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.

Friday Review: Kindness


What acts of kindness have you witnessed or displayed over the last year? Here are a few kindness-related posts you may have missed.


“Kindness causes us to learn, and to forget, many things.”





“Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own.”




“It is hard to fight an enemy who has an outpost in your head.”