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What Have You Done Today – Kindness

shoveling_maine

Have you been kind to anyone today?  Kindness is something we can always use more of in our world.  We can start by simply doing small things ourselves.  Kindness can be as simple as throwing someone a smile or asking them how they are doing (sincerely).

I have the pleasure of commuting for 2 hours every weekday during the week for my employer.  The drive unfortunately provides me with a glimpse into the darker side of human nature (road rage and being in a hurry).  When people do not have to look into your eyes or be accountable for their actions, they act differently.

I tend to drive a bit slow (meaning the speed limit +/- a few miles an hour), especially during our snow storms.  What this does unfortunately is anger the people who want to do 70 in a 45 even when 1-2 feet of snow is falling here in Maine.  Last week a gentleman was behind me and visibly becoming frustrated at me driving slowly in the snow.  Once he got the opportunity he zoomed by angrily.  About a mile down the road, I saw him in the ditch unfortunately for him since the roads were very slippery that day.  Thankfully he was okay and getting help on his phone, except for maybe a bit of his pride and lost time.

What if he changed his attitude to be kind and think, yes the roads are bad and slippery.  The person in front of me going slow, probably means I will make it to my destination in one piece?  I only mention this, because a lot of times we get caught up in the moment and we are racing so fast, we do not think clearly about how we are making others feel.

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” – Dalai Lama

shoveling_maineMy son came outside and helped me shovel the snow the other day without me having to ask and that put an instant smile on my face.  When I came home from my long drive home from work last night, my wife had made me Shepherd’s pie for dinner.  That put a big smile on my face.

Kindness is an easy thing if we start with ourselves.  By effecting the world we can control and what we can control we can at least begin to change the people around us.  Being kind to one person can have a chain reaction with others.

Need some quick ideas?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Let someone ahead of you in the grocery line, especially if they have fewer items than you do.
  • Let a pedestrian cross the road when you are driving.
  • Allow another car to get out into traffic instead of speeding by.
  • Smile and say hello to a stranger on the road as you pass by.
  • Getting coffee or tea at work, ask your neighbors if they would like a cup on your way.
  • Thank someone for being your friend and tell them how much you appreciate their friendship.
  • Send a note to someone out of the blue, just telling them how much they mean to you (friend, relative, anyone you know of course).
  • Tell your boss or co-worker thank you.
  • Leave a generous tip in a restaurant.
  • Go through your old clothing or stuff and donate things you no longer need to charity.
  • Open a door or hold a door open for people.
  • Buy the person behind you a cup of coffee.

Kindness can be very contagious and you can have a positive impact or even change someone’s mood by just being kind.  Someone who may be depressed or having a bad day could really benefit from your act of kindness.

Let’s think about others and make a difference every day.  🙂

Have a great weekend.

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