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A basic, wonderful truth about all people is that through our choices and actions, we can and do make the world a better place. We don't have to do huge things to make a big difference. Even the smallest kindness has the power to resonate through this sometimes difficult and troubled world. The loving actions we share make miracles happen. The greatest miracle workers are disguised as mothers, fathers, grandparents, neighbors, sisters, friends, daughters, nurses, teachers and volunteers.

Individual acts of kindness and generosity of spirit change the world. Kindness is magical, contagious. A single smile brings on another smile; a good morning invites another greeting. Thoughtfulness, consideration and care enhance our well-being and others' too. Civility and respect are the foundation for any relationship to begin and grow.

Without kindness in our lives, our 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 in each of us.

Being kind requires only 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 effect. We have all had days where nothing seems to go right, yet, then, out of the blue, someone holds open a door, yields so you can pull your car out on a busy street, or says, "You look pretty today!" These simple actions change a negative moment into a positive one. When we are shown kindness, we feel we belong, we feel connected, we feel that we matter.

Allow these inspirational stories to remind you of the many ordinary people who have accomplished extraordinary things because they wanted to make a difference (and believed they could). Look around and recognize friends, family members and neighbors who transform the world by their acts of thoughtfulness, compassion and care. Celebrate your own purposeful actions, as you participate in your homes, schools, communities, towns, states, country and the world. Your positive, creative responses to social issues matter—they and you 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.

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