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Individual acts of kindness and generosity of spirit change the world. Kindness is magical, and it is contagious. A single smile brings on another smile, a good-morning greeting ushers in another greeting. Thoughtfulness, consideration and care enhance our well-being and that of those around us. A gentle approach to living, where civility and respect are honored, is the foundation for any relationship to begin and grow.

Without kindness in our lives, the world can quickly turn cold, empty and negative. Kindness gives us hope, it connects us to each other and it reminds us of the beauty that lives within us all.

Being kind requires nothing but a desire to contribute to the world in a positive way. Simple acts of kindness and generosity of spirit require little effort, yet they touch our lives deeply and have a huge impact.

We have all had days when nothing seems to be going right, and then out of the blue, someone holds a door open, yields their car so you can pull out on a busy street or says, "You look pretty today!" These simple actions turn a negative moment into a positive one.

One of my favorite quotes, by the author Henry James, says much about kindness: "Three things in human life are important: One is to be kind, the second is to be kind and the third is to be kind."

When we are shown kindness, we feel like we belong, that we are connected and that we matter.

Look around you this week and recognize friends, family members and neighbors who transform the world by their acts of thoughtfulness, compassion and care. Celebrate the purposeful actions you take as you expand meaningful participation in your homes, schools, communities, towns, states, countries and the world. Your positive, kind, creative responses to social issues matter and can change the world for the better.

There is great power in living consciously, with the goal of celebrating and helping one another. The smallest of efforts can yield positive results.


Read about five inspiring stories of real-life kindness 

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