The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library
We live in a world where people are incredibly busy, distracted, and sometimes let's face it unkind at times. When faced with so many challenges in life is it possible to find the time to be kind? Through small acts of kindness, personal choices and an intentional shift in how we view the importance of being kind it is entirely possible to make being kind a way of life.
Let me share a story that greatly illustrates how kindness matters. Over a decade ago, a series of personal losses set me on a rather unexpected journey. My dear aunt suffered from several bouts of cancer over the course of ten plus years, but ultimately lost that hard fought battle. Within that same time period, many loved ones passed away, times were tough to say the least. People would say things like time heals all wounds or it will get better. But would it really get better? When you're going through difficult times it's hard to imagine that time will make any difference at all. Time doesn't exactly heal all wounds, but it can help to lessen the intensity of the pain felt.
My aunt battled a terminal illness, but still made kindness a priority. Even though her time was limited it was clear to her that kind acts had the potential to impact others in ways many of us are unable to fully comprehend. My aunt's altruistic outlook inspired me to spend time spreading joy and to make kindness a priority. In doing so, it helped me to see how we can all leave a mark on this world. Over the years, I've heard stories of my aunt's kindness, how it warmed hearts, and ultimately left an indelible impression on those that knew her. So, yes, kindness does matter and it has the power to change the world -- one kind act at a time. Kindness comes in all shapes and sizes, no act is too small and every gesture has the potential to make a difference.
The takeaway is this -- being kind is easier than you might think. It's surprising and amazing just how much of a difference kindness can make in the lives of others. It can generate happiness, joy, overall well being and even a desire to pay it forward. Let's all help make the world a better place by spreading joy through acts of kindness.
5 Ways to Be Kind Everyday
- Be charitable
- Be empathetic
- Be compassionate
- Be thoughtful
- Be generous
10 Books about Kindness
1. The War for Kindness : Building Empathy in a Fractured World by Jamil Zaki
Offers a new understanding of empathy, revealing it as a skill, not a fixed trait, and showing, through science and stories, how to become more empathetic.
2. Make and Share Random Acts of Kindness : Simple Crafts and Recipes to Give and Spread Joy by Mique Provost
A unique compilation of step-by-step projects and quick & easy ideas for practicing acts of kindness in your life through cooking and crafting. Readers young and old will love these inspiring ideas to spread joy and help make the world a kinder place.
3. Radical Kindness : The Life-Changing Power of Giving and Receiving by Angela C. Santomero
Argues that kindness is the key to recognizing that everyone is worthy of love and understanding.
4. The Kindness Diaries : One Man's Quest to Ignite Goodwill and Transform Lives Around the World by Leon Logothetis
The incredible journey of one man who sets out to circumnavigate the globe on a vintage motorbike fueled by kindness.
5. The Kindness Method : Change Your Habits for Good Using Self-Compassion and Understanding by Shahroo Izadi
The Kindness Method is the key to breaking unwanted habits—for good! Combining her own therapeutic style, personal experiences, and techniques learned from working in the field of substance abuse, Shahroo Izadi shares simple steps that strengthen your willpower like a muscle, allowing you to sustain your motivation and make lasting change in your life.
6. Kindness Grows : Real Stories About Random Acts of Kindness by Barb Walters
Kindness feels good whether we are the giver, the recipient, or even the observer! In that moment of compassion and generosity, we are at our best. Kindness inspires gratitude, happiness, spontaneity, and it motivates others to be kind and pass it on. These stories remind us that we all have something to offer. There are many opportunities every day to comfort and support others in seemingly small but significant ways. Share your kindness today and every day, and you too can make an ordinary day extraordinary!
Kindness Boomerang contains 365 daily acts, one for each day of the year, accompanied by inspirational quotes, personal stories on the power of paying it forward, and tangible steps to change your outlook on life. This book empowers you to bring positivity into your everyday life and the lives of those around you. It is a call to action for anyone who wants to live a more connected and fulfilling life.
8. Chicken Soup for the Soul : Random Acts of Kindness : 101 Stories of Compassion and Paying it Forward compiled by Amy Newmark
Small gestures can make a big difference in someone’s day, even someone’s life. This collection of 101 uplifting, true stories will help you see the beauty in small, meaningful gestures and how such acts can make a difference in someone else’s life. From random acts of kindness to doing what’s right, this book shows how positive attitudes and good deeds can change the world.
9. Go Be Kind : 281 1/2 Adventures Guaranteed to Make You Happier by Leon Logothetis
If you want to be happy, all you have to do is . . . Go Be Kind.
Go Be Kind is a series of daily adventures that will help you rediscover the greatest human gift-kindness, ultimately connecting you with others and helping you create a happier and more magnificent life. Created by Leon Logothetis, host of The Kindness Diaries on Netflix, this life-changing book is filled with highly classified missions, treasure hunts, dream dates, awkward moments, and daily adventures that are guaranteed to change your life.
10. The Kindness Cure : How the Science of Compassion Can Heal Your Heart and Your World by Tara Cousineau
It's time for a kindness revolution. In The Kindness Cure, psychologist Tara Cousineau shows how simple practices of kindness - for ourselves, for others, and for our world-can dissolve our feelings of fear and indifference, and open us up to a life of profound happiness. Compassion for ourselves and others is our birthright as humans-hardwired into our DNA and essential to our happiness. Blended with moving case studies and clinical anecdotes, Cousineau offers practical ways to rekindle kindness from the inside out.
Featured Image Credit: Image by John Hain from Pixabay.