2013: A year for kindness

chejan13_subDo you ever notice that words seem to appear repeatedly in your life all of a sudden? Do you ever notice your life developing a theme?

For me, that word—that theme—right now is kindness.

It started when I read the book am I being kind by Michael Chase. After that, the word kindness popped up everywhere around me. So, there I was at my optometrist’s office in December. She put those awful drops in my eyes to dilate them, so I had time to kill while I waited for my pupils to grow to an unnatural size. There on top of the pile of waiting room magazines was the January 2013 edition of Chatelaine, and what was on the cover? “The Kindness resolution: Let’s change the world one KIND act at a time.” 

It was enough to convince me that I need to think about kindness right now. Chatelaine suggests things like donating blood, shoveling someone’s walk, or contributing to a food bank. Those are all good actions.

But I think kindness, or lack of it, pops up most often in our words with each other even more than in our actions. Often we thoughtlessly spout out words that hurt feelings, even if we really don’t intend them that way. I have started taking an extra second to reflect on words before I speak them, to ask the question “Am I being kind?” I am amazed at how often I choose not to speak the words at all, or to rephrase them into a kinder sentence.

Kindness is a good foundation for building a positive new year. May your 2013 bring be a year of kind words and actions, both given and received.

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