My family and I took lots of walks around our neighborhood during the early quarantine days. We just wanted and needed a change of scenery. We weren’t alone, it seems, because we saw lots of people doing the same thing. As I reflected on the past few months, I realized how much I looked forward to interactions with my neighbors during those walks. Everyone seemed a little more cheerful in their greetings. There was a little more interest when they said, “How are you?” and more sincerity when they said, “Have a good day.” The tone of their voices, the interest in their eyes, and the smiles on their faces helped me remember that, even though we were socially distanced, I wasn’t alone in all the unknowns the world was giving us. That is the power of kindness.
Isn’t it beautiful that we all share that power? Each of us can add a little cheer to a year with circumstances that test our strength, agility, and faith. Being kind can be a simple next step in a world that looks very complicated right now.
Inspire Kindness shares kindness challenges in our weekly email. We find it helpful to focus on a different theme each week as we exercise the power of kindness. You can join the email list if you are interested, but here are four challenges, as we strive to impact the world:
Learn about a different culture. These times have reminded us that we all want health and happiness, no matter where we live or what we look like. Add to this sense of global unity by taking the time to learn about someone that has a background that is different from yours. If we can better understand each other and appreciate our differences, we will be creating a kinder world for our children.
Put away the phone. As we re-enter the world at various decreased capacities with new sanitation procedures and the need to be six feet apart, it could feel like we are waiting more than ever. It might be tempting to take out our phones and scroll to pass the time. Instead, try to be more observant of the world around you. You will notice opportunities to exercise the power of kindness by helping others or simply saying hello.
Reframe 2020. Lack of progress on our plans can cause anxiety and a sense of failure. Be sure to be kind to yourself and allow some grace. Focus on the life you have lived and the lessons you have learned this year. Determine to be better in 2021 because of the opportunities that 2020 provided. By the way, July is a perfect time to reset goals and focus on finishing the year strong!
Keep it Kind. As we head into election season during an already tense year, let’s be leaders that keep it kind to others, no matter how different our opinions. After all, kindness is something we can all agree on!
Thank you for helping us Inspire Kindness; it’s needed now more than ever. And remember, a mask may cover your mouth, but keep on smiling. People can see it in your eyes, and it’s powerful.