Some of the nicest experiences in life come by surprise…a friendly smile from a check out lady, a seat on the subway someone offers you when you’re beat, an unexpected ‘just saying hey’ card from a friend or a free biscotti with your coffee from the barista. In the grand scheme these gestures are small and some might say insignificant, but I think these thoughtful tokens are like the threads that bind lush fabric squares together thus manifesting a cozy quilt – subtle, fleeting kindnesses are essential to making existence possible. It seems to me, having the sense that the universe has our back and there is intrinsic kindness gurgling within our fellow beings’ souls, with enough to spare and share, allows us to wake up each day a little less afraid than if we knew the cold, harsh world and its inhabitants were out to get us. So while perhaps we gloss over these niceties, without them we would not have any faith that we could make it through the day; we would all be hermits and our planet would be inhospitable.
I’m all for cultivating a realm where your friends, family, neighbors and work mates make you feel supported, secure and meaningful, but we only have so much control; the reality is were constantly thrown into the mix of strangers and it can be unsettling at times, especially after a hard day or week when you’re at your limits. This is where kindness can make or break an interaction and either improve your mood or send it spiraling into the depths of despair. I believe we all have the power to improve the world by being gracious to just one person a day because I know how good I feel when someone offers me that gift. And I also love the feeling when I’ve gone a little above and beyond to boost someone’s spirits and it’s made a positive impact. Basically, graciousness is win-win in my book and I’m officially embracing Random Acts of Kindness week (February 11-17) this year. I’ve done a few classic things like sending cards and chocolates to pals, but I think my favorite has been putting feel good messages onto heart shaped post-it notes, sticking them on dollar bills for my Lyft drivers’ tips and folding them up so it’s a festive surprise later. Life can be a grind, we all need a pick me up once and awhile, so I hope you'll join me and will take a moment to commit a random act of kindness before Sunday (and moving forward). With daily tragedies, like the Parkland, FL shooting, consuming our thoughts, it’s a joy to celebrate a movement making the world a kinder place.