Practicing Gestures of Kindness

At times when life seems dull or dreary—or we find ourselves feeling weighed down by the heaviness of our to-do lists—engaging in an act of kindness can offer a much needed reconnection to goodness and lightness.

BY: Karen Horneffer-Ginter

 

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3) Write a Note of Appreciation While there are moments in life that warrant letters of complaint, there are also many moments that deserve to be acknowledged with notes of appreciation. When you receive excellent service, find yourself impressed by a company’s business practices, or feel deeply moved by a local performance—consider putting your positive experience into words and sharing them with the people who would appreciate hearing from you.

4) Forgive Someone Sometimes we can hold grudges longer than we really need to, forgetting that it’s even a possibility to forgive. Offering forgiveness frees up our emotional energy, allowing us to reclaim it and redirect it into more empowering forms. Forgiveness doesn’t need to mean that we condone what happened, rather, it means that we’re no longer interested in investing negative emotional energy in a particular person or situation. Consider if there’s someone you feel ready to forgive.

5) Listen Well As a counselor, I notice how hungry people are to be heard—how they long to be sincerely asked how they’re doing and to have someone witness the stories of their life from the day or week. A great act of kindness we can offer others is to listen, fully and attentively, as they’re speaking to us. We can also look for opportunities to invite others to speak about the things that really matter to them.

Continued on page 3: Kindness »

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