I believe that kindness is an altogether different entity from being nice. The sad truth is that you can be nice out of politeness while still thinking mean thoughts. However, to truly be kind, you must care about your fellow man (or woman!), all the creatures of the world, and nature itself. Kindness comes in many forms, including acts as simple as smiling at a passing stranger and as heartfelt as profound acts of charity and service.
Each act of kindness we perform is an inspiration to others. There’s an old adage that charitable acts ought to be done in silence, but I disagree. Leading by example is often the best way to encourage those around you, so be open about your acts of goodwill without being boastful — tell others what you’re doing to help make the world better, and you’ll be sure to inspire a few to follow your path!
Because I feel so strongly about inspiring others through our actions, I’ve recently asked my readers to share the kind things they are doing to make a positive difference in the world. I’ve been so impressed to read each of their labors of love and how they are working to spread hope and goodwill in their communities.
In What Ways Are You Spreading Kindness in Your Community?
As someone who works in schools, Cassandra R. has plenty of opportunities to practice her labor of love through the students she encounters. She writes, “My profession is a lunch lady. I love my job and the kids are #1. I started out when the pandemic started doing my part helping with sack breakfasts and lunches for the students[…] A lot of students depend on us to be fed. I know my life is better having them in it.” A marvelous example of how a part of life so many take for granted can truly make a positive difference.
Jennifer W. understands the importance of our frontline workers and how crucial it is to protect them. She writes, “I donated over 80 pounds of fabric and elastic to ladies making face masks for medical professionals.” Her kindness makes a huge impact on the lives of others.
Kathleen M. reminds us all that sometimes it’s the little things that can make a difference. She writes, “I try to treat others with kindness in my daily life—whether it’s a smile, card, e-mail…” A small word of kindness is still a tremendous labor of love.
A mental health therapist, Marissa J., actively seeks out additional training to help families heal from trauma. She writes, “I know I can’t save them all, but at least they know they’re not working through the pain alone.” Sometimes, knowing that someone is there is enough to make a difference.
Another example of true kindness comes from Ella K., who made twenty tie blankets for children in hospitals. Because she had the first-hand experience of being a child that had to have surgery, she knows the comfort that a special blanket can bring during a miserable time. She writes, “I wanted to give back, so I’ve spent my own money and time to make as many blankets as I could to help those kids in need […] My goal is to make 50 by the time I graduate from high school, and I know I’ll get there.” I believe in you, Ella, and am proud of your ambition and amazing heart!
Occasionally, a small labor of love can turn into a life-changing experience. Joni H. used to work in business, but would take their guitar to do sing-alongs with hospital patients. She writes, “During that time, I came to believe I wanted to be a full time ‘helper,’ so I went back to school to become a psychiatric technician. Ultimately, I worked in a state hospital for over 30 years.” During that time, Joni was able to help hundreds of people to have a better life when they got out of the hospital. A lifetime of kindness, born out of love — an inspiration to all of us.
Cheryl M. from Australia has a meaningful life philosophy, “practice random acts of kindness.” She writes that she tries to do at least one each day, no matter how small. Such a beautiful way to add meaning to your life!
Among all the amazing stories of goodwill you shared, I was touched at the number of people whose work was aimed at showing kindness for our fellow creatures. “I recently conquered my fear of snakes to take care of Cosmo, a friend’s ball python, for a month while his family had to return to a different country for a health emergency,” writes Annika L. “I didn’t think I liked snakes very much prior to meeting Cosmo, and I was honestly a little afraid of handling him, but I was soon proved wrong! Cosmo’s sweet and gentle and really likes exploring. I was reminded that we all have prejudices and presuppositions about others, but they can easily prove us wrong if we give them the chance…” Great work, Annika!
Each act of kindness we make is an inspiration to others. In the words of Princess Diana, “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” How will you spread kindness today?