how to practice kindness and generosity

As John Lennon said – “All you need is love.” We can all agree that given the events currently unfolding in the world – we can all use a little more love, kindness and generosity in our lives. These past few months have been traumatic for all of us with the amount of hate and violence we have witnessed. It seems that the world has forgotten that your love for someone else is not contingent upon whether they love you or not. How can we be mindful of bringing back the love, kindness and generosity which we all crave?

The first step is to be mindful of what information we are allowing into our lives. It can be tempting to click on every link we can find to read more about an event that has rocked our world. Stop for a moment and think. Will a piece of sensationalized news really add anything to your life? Do you need the information in the article or will it only burden you with negativity? Be conscious of where your information is coming from and how it is affecting you.

Open up to others. As we have become more digitized as a world, we’ve lost our real world connections. You can foster kindness with a smile, a friendly word or a gesture. Hold the door open for someone. Pay for the person in line behind you at Starbucks. Offer your mail carrier a bottle of water or ask your cashier about their day or family. There is power and science behind our connections and it has a direct impact on our happiness and those around us.

Find ways to connect with yourself and those around you. The most generous thing you can give to others is your time.  Put your phone away on your commute to work or while flying home from a convention and strike up a conversation with your seatmate instead. You never know what someone else is going through and how valuable your listening ear might be to them. Your act of kindness creates a ripple effect that extends way beyond your original target. A prime example of that is the recent story of the 19 year old homeless college student in Georgia who was helped by police officers rather than ticketed or thrown in jail. Their small act of kindness turned into a fund that raised over $180,000.

Find reminders to practice kindness and generosity throughout your day. Incorporate it into your daily routine. Challenge yourself to compliment someone every time you receive a text message. Also make time for positive self talk. By loving yourself you are better able to love others. That might be the most important step you can take to send out more kindness, generosity and positive thoughts into the world. Focus on what you can do to love yourself and help others to also see all the good that is within them.

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