Is it just me, or do we seem to need more kindness reminders in this raging current of divisiveness and mistrust?

This year, I chose to focus on inspiring kindness, optimism, and possibilities.


“The quality or state of being kind” (Merriam-Webster)

From Google . . .

“The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate”

When I started writing this post, I considered kindness as more than a noun. Kindness required action. Then, I saw this picture in my Twitter feed.

Looking again at the two definitions, I realized that kindness is more than a noun. It is more than a single act.

Kindness is a lifestyle.

young man helping an elderly woman cross the street with kindnessKindness, the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate, IS a lifestyle.

A lifestyle that we choose every moment of every day.

Some of us find kindness easy, especially toward those we like. The real test comes when we are face-to-face with ingratitude, egoism, aggression, or all three.

Kindness as a lifestyle doesn’t shirk in dismay and cast aside unlikeables. Those we encounter who do not wear shiny smiles or stroke our own need for acceptance and appreciation.

For myself, I find it easy to be kind to my precious grandchildren. Even when they cry, spill sticky syrup, or break a treasured trinket.

I may sigh in frustration, but my arms are always open.

The driver who cuts me off, the store clerk who shrugs off my request for help, the colleague who criticizes, or refuses to collaborate, for these, kindness becomes a test of my lifestyle of kindness.

You might say that we are not perfect. No excuse.

Kindness Projects

Tamara Letter is a mom, educator, and writer with a passion for kindness. In a post on December 30, 2018, Tamara describes the kindness scavenger hunt created by her 15-year-old son. Not only is this a heartwarming story, but a remarkable example of a lifestyle in the making.

Tamara shares her quest to change the world one act at a time in A Passion for Kindness, Her stories demonstrate what can happen when we make kindness a lifestyle.

Each day, on my Twitter feed, Roman Nowak serves up daily reminders and examples of kindness. Roman teaches in Rockland, Ontario, and describes himself as “a student success leader, agent of transformation, and avid learner.”

Roman’s daily tweets inspire me to continue building and nurturing my kindness lifestyle. He teaches me about the power of kindness and encourages me to press on.

Tamara and Rowan represent only two of many others making this world a better place. Our communities abound with kindness seekers and spreaders. But Tamara and Rowan are special, at least to me. As educators, they model kindness to children and adults every day.

Think about that.

How am I, how are you, touching the lives of others, especially our children?

What lifestyle do we model every moment?

And always—

Be kind. Be brave. Be you.

Photo: © Kathryn LeRoy