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Kindness is Free

by Diane Cretin

I looked up the word “kindness” in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. It said kindness was the quality or state of being kind. Towards the bottom of the page it gave the kids’ definition of “kind” when used as an adjective – 1. wanting or liking to do good and to bring happiness to others: considerate 2. Growing out of gentleness or goodness of heart.

There are a lot of quotes about kindness. Here are a few.

Why should we cared about kindness?

The Bible tells us it is important

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

We know about the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:11-23a The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

A newpaper article I read suggested the following:

Kindness is Contagious

Studies have shown that kindness is contagious. Jamal Zaki, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, found in a study that he did for Scientific American (July 26, 2016) “the positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to ‘pay it forward.’ ” {The Jelly Donut Difference, by Maria Dismondy, and Kind Ninja by Mary Nhin are great books for kids to learn more about spreading kindness.}

Kindness Makes Us Feel Good

When we are kind, we increase the “love hormone” oxytocin in those on the receiving end of kindness – and those who are on the giving end, too. Being kind also releases our “feel good” hormone, serotonin, and our body’s own version of happy pills, endorphins. So, when we’re kind, we lower our blood pressure, feel an energy boost, lessen stress, and are just plain happier! {For more in-depth info on the science of kindness, check out The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s Science of Kindness page}.

Kids Love Random Acts of Kindness

For kids, random acts of kindness are exciting and a whole lot of fun, too - especially when you turn it into a challenge!

My 9 year old granddaughter Olivia goes to an elementary school in Santa Rosa that does a week of kindness each year. They call it The “Be Kind” Challenge. It was last week. Students were given a list of suggestions on paper that resembled a bingo card. This made it easy for them to cross off items as they did them and see what others they could still do. Here are some of the items that were on the list:

· Smile at everyone you walk past all day

· Ask a classmate if he or she needs help

· Draw a picture to send to a local retirement home

· Learn about a different culture

· Offer to share something without being asked

· Learn 5 new things about a classmate

· Ask 3 people about their day (I experienced being on the receiving end of this one)

Olivia very consciously went about choosing things to do to be kind. My hope is that she continues her acts of kindness.

I leave you with this quote from the Dalai Lama: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

Continued blessings,


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