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Resolving To Be More Kind in 2021

Empathy/kindness is seemingly in short supply. Isolation and tribalism are rampant. We struggle to understand people who aren’t like us, but find it easy to dislike them. Some studies show that we are less caring than we were even thirty years ago–wonder why.  

Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate–even when people don’t deserve it. It’s doing beautiful things with no agenda and no expectation for something in return. 

Kindness is a power (in fact a super power) we all have, however, we are human as well (which sometimes is not so super) and our kindness may slip from time to time.  Needless to say, we need to learn ways of building more kindness  muscles along the way.   Admittedly, I have my not-so-kind moments when I meet an unmasked individual these days–I think “how rude and inconsiderate” (without knowing their “why”)–how do I rewire that deal?  

Because I was on the hunt for some kindness enlightenment, I was glad to find an internet site titled “Inspire Kindness”.  They believe that each one of us should be incorporating kindness into our goals and resolutions for this New Year or even decade. .

Being kind to just one other person can have a massive chain reaction. Sure, kind acts can turn a bad day into a good one, but kindness can also help people make different choices that impact their entire lives. 

So go ahead, let’s jump on the kindness bandwagon!  We can positively affect our family, friends, our community, and, believe it or not, the world. Here are some ways we can incorporate kindness into our New Year.

Let’s Be Kinder to Ourselves

It starts with us.  Let’s begin by taking small steps each day to be kind to ourselves, thereby improving our happiness as well as  self-esteem. Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Write down 10 things we like about ourselves. Read them each morning.
  • Put positive messages on sticky notes and put them where we’ll see them–bathroom mirror, dashboard, or our work station.
  • SMILE (even though we’re wearing masks) Smiling on the outside can help us feel better on the inside!
  • Take time for ourselves–a yoga class, go to bed earlier, or read a new book. Spending some time on ourselves will help us appreciate what we have.
  • Don’t compare ourselves to others. We’re all different, and we all have different strengths. (Minimizing social media to a timed number of minutes per day will prove helpful.)
  • Be grateful. Think about all the things we have accomplished in our life. Think of our loved ones. Make sure you show gratitude for each of our blessings.
  • Be kind to your body. Do your best to make healthy choices each day. A healthy body and a healthy mind will help us live our lives to the fullest.
  • Try to be less sensitive when others are critical. It’s a powerful skill to be able to smile, brush things off, and move on.

Being Kinder to Others

Similar to being kinder to ourselves, we can take small steps to be kind to those around us. How can we be even more intentional about our next act of kindness? Here are some ideas to get us started:

  • Smile and say hello to people we see in the mornings–at the office, gym, Zoom meetings, etc.
  • Ask our coworkers or family how their day is going—and really listen when they answer. Following up with questions will show them that we care about what they’re going through.
  • Be polite: always say please and thank you when asking for something.
  • Call or text friends and family members we haven’t talked to in a while. Catching up with old friends is always lovely to do, and we never know how much it might mean to someone when they hear from us.
  • Try to be less critical of others. Everyone is going at their own pace, and everyone is fighting their own battles. Instead of judging someone else, ask if there is a way we can help.
  • Make time for others. Taking time out of our schedule for someone else is one way to show others how much they mean to us.
  • Kindness is life-changing! Our happiness will improve, and it’ll feel good to know that we’ve positively affected friends and loved ones around us.  

Once someone has received compassion, they are more likely to share it with someone else, and thus, the cycle keeps going. Think about a time someone has gone out of their way to help you out. Doesn’t it make you want to pay it forward and help others?                                                                                

The late Glen Campbell made popular the song “Try a Little Kindness” with a wonderful message:                     

If you see your brother standing by the road                                                                                                                              With a heavy load from the seeds he sowed                                                                                                                                        And if you see your sister falling by the way                                                                                                                                Just stop and say, “You’re going the wrong way”                                                                                                                    You’ve got to try a little kindness                                                                                                                                                    Yes, show a little kindness                                                                                                                                                                Just shine your light for everyone to see                                                                                                                                      And if you try a little kindness                                                                                                                                                      Then you’ll overlook the blindness                                                                                                                                                   Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

More Covid Humor:  After years of wanting to thoroughly clean my house, but lacking the time, this week I discovered that wasn’t the reason.

Let’s show our kindness by wearing our masks, Warriors– being gentle with ourselves along the way.