It’s World Kindness Day

Happy World Kindness Day! 

Whenever I think about kindness, I think of my dear friend, SuEllen Fried, who makes 90 look like the new 50.  SuEllen is one of the kindest people I know.  In all that she does, she serves as a role model for kindness.  I have countless handwritten notes that SuEllen has sent to me over the years – some with newspaper clippings that she thought would be of interest to me, some with simple words of support and encouragement.  When I see SuEllen, she always gives me a hug… and encourages that hug to be on our respective left sides so that “our hearts touch.”  SuEllen even wears a neon green button everyday that reads, “Kindness is Contagious.”

Another dear friend, Dr. Michelle Robin, of Small Changes, Big Shifts, hosts an annual event, 31-Days of Kindness, which always culminates on World Kindness Day.  Each day, starting in mid-October, Michelle publishes one simple idea for behaving in a kind manner.  She doesn’t stop there – for each recommendation, she explains how that particular kind act benefits you and your health and suggests actions you can take to demonstrate kindness.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Smile or wave to a neighbor.  By doing so, you develop a sense of belonging in the community and increase happiness.
  • Give someone a compliment.  This lights up the same parts of the brain that are activated when we get paid!  It also boosts self-image and increases self-worth.
  • Think positive thoughts about every person you interact with today.  This activity teaches better coping skills during hardships, establishes gratitude as a regular practices, increases lifespan, builds resistance against the common cold, and improves heart health.
  • Send or leave a note of appreciation.   Notes help manage adversity, build strong relationships, give meaning to life, and encourage smiles!
  • Tip more than you usually would.  This inspires us to help people, boosts self-esteem, and increases longevity.

The good news:  You don’t have to wait for a kindness campaign or World Kindness Day to demonstrate your own acts of kindness.  Get started, right now… perhaps you can invite a friend or colleague to lunch or out for a coffee run.  You could also write a LinkedIn recommendation for someone.  All it takes is one small act of kindness to cause a positive ripple.

Whatever you do, be kind.  Happy World Kindness Day.  Happy Networking.

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