Today, I simply need to give a shout out to my good friend Claire who has committed herself to spreading kindness in every way possible. She started a wonderful blog in January, setting her intention for spreading kindness throughout the year. She’s gaining some traction and I can feel the impact. I have found myself reflecting on my own actions and behaviors, using her stories and her efforts as a barometer of sorts. I am inspired by her passion and commitment to create a society of kinder, gentler people.
One of my great pleasures in life comes from helping others as I am so moved when I can connect with another human being and provide them with something – even if just a nugget – to help them propel themselves forward. My passion for giving back and supporting causes that resonate with me is part of what brings me joy and satisfaction. But, kindness is much simpler and far more complicated than that. Kindness is a core value. It is a deep-rooted commitment to shifting behavior and focusing on putting good into the world. It is about the small stuff. It is about courtesy and consideration. It is about selflessness. It is hard to sustain. Listen, I am a hardcore New Yorker – cynical, snarky, sarcastic and sometimes down right obnoxious. Most of the people in my life love that about me and, frankly, so do I. Nonetheless, my intentions and behavior are all about goodness, kindness, sincerity and integrity. It is all about balance and sometimes that is not easy to maintain. But I make the effort every.single.day. It requires hard work and effort because life is challenging and our daily struggles often disrupt our intentions.
Ultimately, I simply love the concept of paying it forward and this blog post today is intended to do just that. Yesterday, I wrote a very personal and very honest post about my own struggles with trust and forgiveness. In response to it, a good friend complimented me and supported me in an extremely kind and generous way which nourished me and propelled me forward. And that right there is kindness in action as I was inspired to do the same for someone else. The act of writing and putting your thoughts and feelings out in the world for others to read can be very risky. People interpret things through their own lenses and they don’t always understand your intended meaning behind the words. But, I guess, that is often the beauty of writing. It allows the reader to travel with you but on their own voyage and bring their own perspectives into play. The connection you can develop through finding commonalities, regardless how remote, can be powerful and extraordinary. For me, the ability to write and share my history and, often, the pain that has accompanied my journey is an act of kindness for me as I try to share these experiences to reinforce that we are never alone. There is always someone else on the road with you – sometimes a bit further ahead, sometimes much farther behind. We are all alike in many ways. As different as we may look or as varied as our backgrounds might be, we are still a bunch of cells that have formed to create our unique DNA. There are overlaps in so many ways.
So, today, I hope I can inspire and encourage you to find a way to spread some kindness. I am going to continue my quest to do so because, in the end, it feels really, really good!