I was super happy to be a part of Craig and Marc Kielburger’s “Brain Storm” column for The Globe and Mail a few weeks ago. The co-founders of Me to We and Free the Children canvassed a few kindness experts – including me – about injecting more common courtesies into our day-to-day routines. I talked about the importance of keeping your eyes and ears open, since it’s my belief that there are countless opportunities to do good deeds, just as long as you’re on the lookout for them. (And, yes, I did refer to doggie-doo in a national newspaper!)
Then the Kielburgers asked readers to weigh in online, and some of their ideas were published in the newspaper’s January 2 edition. Inspiring? I’d say. A common theme here was simplicity: Smile at strangers. Hold the door. Give compliments. A schoolteacher suggested a stronger focus on kindness in the classroom. Another reader talked about the value of warm, active listening (without glancing distractedly at your smartphone!). Someone suggested reminding people close to you how much they’re loved.
One woman shared this thought: “I believe we should speak our minds in a positive way more freely to strangers we meet in our everyday life. Comment when you feel they have said or done something that you respect or just let people know that you appreciate their positive energy.”
That’s what I had in mind when I thanked a bus driver, last week, for waiting a few extra seconds after he dropped off a frail lady on a snowy sidewalk. He wanted to make sure she was walking safely before he sped off. As for me, I wanted him to know I wasn’t impatient about getting to my own stop – and, in fact, appreciated his compassion.
How about you, smart and lovely people? What ideas do you have for adding more acts of kindness to an ordinary day? We’d love to hear them.