What would happen if we could practice five acts of kindness a day to those we love and to those around us? What would happen if we could develop a mindset of kindness? And what would our society be like if kindness became the norm? Could kindness open the door for a more compassionate and empathic society?
The holiday season is behind us but its message of hope, peace, love, and joy should always be with us. These states of mind don’t have to stop at the end of the holiday season. This message is important to us throughout the year. During winter’s moments of quiet reflection, let the stillness within us stir our hearts and keep reminding us that our fellow human beings are worthy of being treated with dignity and respect.
Kindness begins with the awareness that we can’t always know what others are going through, what they are thinking about or struggling with, and that for one short moment, one small act of kindness can soften their struggles and touch their heart. And so, a simple smile, a helping hand, or words of comfort or understanding can mean so much to someone you may not even know, and can have an impact that you may never even be aware of.
The message of love, peace, and kindness is especially important to us now when life feels overwhelming and unpredictable, where politics seems so divisive and where people who were once friends are people we no longer associate with. Kindness can help us grow in compassion and empathy. Developing these qualities begins to build the foundation necessary for a culture of political forgiveness to thrive, a culture that we need to develop if we want to face our challenges in a more productive way. It can only begin with each of us. We can develop the mindset of kindness and extend it to the people we feel close to, which then can spread to the groups we associate with and the communities we are a part of.
Let this new year be a fresh start for ourselves and our nation. Instead of fueling divisiveness and polarization which was so prevalent last year, let kindness guide us in finding the common ground that can unite us. If we can begin to look out for each other and be kinder to one another, this can begin a healing process our country desperately needs, a very special country we are so fortunate to be living in.
Let the light that shines within us show us the way forward, a light that is of generosity, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. Let us quiet all the noise that divides us, that pits us against one another, and let the voices of our better angels guide us. And may this new year be the best year for us all.