Greetings to you from both Jazianzza and Anandamayi! Thank you for joining us on our journey toward the publication of Jazi’s story, Bee-Coming Strong. There are so many things going on in the world and Jazi wants to buzz about a lot of them, but we agreed to limit it to one subject…. kindness.
I don’t want to spoil the ending of the book but suffice it to say that Jazianzza’s kindness proves to be her superpower. I believe it’s our superpower too. Expressing kindness is not that hard to do, even in the most unlikely of circumstances and it sends out ripples of goodness throughout the universe. The Mayo Clinic says kindness has been shown to increase self-esteem, empathy, and compassion, and improve our mood. It can decrease blood pressure, as well. Wow! So much can happen just by choosing to be kind.
Why did we agree to this subject? I had a very weird thing happen to me last week. I had parked the car in a spot that ended up being challenging to navigate because of a lack of space. As I was getting out of the car, I ended up falling because I couldn’t turn around well. More surprising than falling was what happened next. As I was getting up, I noticed that a pickup truck was turning around, getting ready to leave the adjoining parking space. A man was driving while a woman was in the passenger seat. They both saw me fall (impossible not to see) and yet they didn’t even roll down their window and ask me if I was ok! I found that astonishing and very sad. A simple act of kindness would have been so easy. Just rolling down the window and calling out, “You ok?” That’s all it would have taken. I didn’t need help getting up, but the act of falling and people simply staring at me was so jarring. I honestly couldn’t fathom it.
It’s so fun to be kind, especially when people aren’t expecting it. I’ve had discussions with people who work for AT&T, for instance, who were almost moved to tears by what we’ve talked about, I think mainly because they weren’t expecting a real conversation. I recall one man whose beautiful voice I noticed and commented on. Did he sing? Turns out he was a DJ, and then he gave me a quick synopsis of his life story. This man had been through hell and back. Just the simple act of talking, and then listening, and soon he was fighting back tears. It was such an easy thing to do, and I ended up feeling so happy.
It was nothing more than being present with this voice on the phone, this soul who has had an incredible life journey far different than my own. Having done phone solicitation decades ago, I know how hard it can be and so I tend to have more compassion for people on the other end of the phone (unless they are scammers!). The thing is, it was obviously impactful for him, and it was fun for me! So simple, yet so meaningful for both of us.
Dale Atkins, Ph.D., co-authored a most beautiful book called The Kindness Advantage: Cultivating Compassionate and Connected Children. I highly recommend it because it gives straightforward and powerful ideas of how to foster kindness within our children and ourselves. Kindness is love in action. This book offers concrete ideas for helping to foster kindness. If that couple in the truck had been raised differently, chances are they would have not only rolled down the window but would have jumped out and helped pick me up! And we would have all had a good laugh about it, feeling like we had made another friend on this beautiful planet we inhabit.
There is actually a “random act of kindness foundation. I love it! Check it out if you’re interested.
Kindness is a muscle, as well as a positive addiction. And to be clear, it comes from love. The more we practice it, the more fun it gets, and the more joyful our lives become. Jazianzza will tell you that it also makes you much stronger and more courageous, just by the simple act of kindness.
Wishing you a month filled with love that engenders random acts of kindness!
Also, as a special addition, if you click on the link below the quote you’ll find a black-and-white illustration of Tree, so that your young ones can have a nice time coloring. Enjoy!
“Love is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos. He who loves is a participant in the being of God.”Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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