We live in an age where people ‘tweet’ about kindness to others, but then revere celebrity as a God, and often indulge in nastiness about others the next day. One person will preach ‘kindness to others’, and then snark about someone behind their back. Real authentic kindness is about living a life that is quiet and kind, and not having to preach about on social media. There are lots of books these days on ‘how to be kind’. But in reality, you should come from a place of authentic kindness in the first place.
Get off social media, and start practicing real kindness to all creatures, to help contribute to a genuinely kinder world. Kindness should not be a buzzword, it should be our natural state – always thinking of others, and how our behaviour and words can affect others, especially sensitive souls who may not forget as quickly as you do, if you use harsh words. Adults who have been bullied for instance, say the words stay with them, decades later.
Kindness (a user’s guide) is full of inspirational ideas, quotes and acts of kindness. This empowering guide includes 50 stories to warm your heart – from Jacinda Ardern’s empathic leadership in New Zealand during the pandemic to Marcus Rashford’s determination to stand up to government to help underprivileged children, and the real story of the WW1 Christmas Truce. One quote is from Dolly Parton – ‘If you see someone without a smile today, give ’em yours’.
The Kindness Journal is by the founder of the charity 52 Lives, to motivate and inspire readers to practice kindness for their own wellbeing, as well as for others. Learn simple exercise to make a positive impact, and find inspirational quotes and facts to understand the positive effects that kindness can have. Her charity works with almost 100,000 strangers that work collectively, to help someone in need of kindness.
No Life Too Small is the story of the world’s first animal hospice. After being bedridden with a chronic illness, Alexis Fleming (who was feeling suicidal but for her beloved dog who kept her going) was given six weeks to live. After struggling back to health with Maggie by her side, her beloved dog then died of lung cancer 2 years later on a vet’s operating table. Devastated that Maggie had died without her, she decided to found an animal hospice in her name, to ensure other animals nearing the end of their life, would not have to die alone. Maggie Fleming Animal Hospital has gone from a dilapidated farm in rural Scotland, into a rural haven for animals to live out their last days, in comfort and at peace. After her own health went downhill again, Bran (a dog who had been dumped with terminal cancer and given 6 weeks to live) stayed by her, and went on to live for 2 more years. Meet old dogs, chickens, sheep, goats, pigs, cockerels and turkeys that all check in at the hospice, to be treated with love.
HumanKind is a heartwarming book about how we can change the world, with small acts. Brad’s life changed instantly when his wife Mia was diagnosed with leukemia. After spending 2.5 years by her side and trying to shield their young son from the worst, they were met with an outpouring of kindness from others.
Knowing how simple acts of kindness transformed his and other’s world, he sought out to share the best stories for this book, to help inspire. You’ll meet the six-year old who launched a global kindness movement, a band of seamstress grandmothers who mend clothes for homeless people and discover how just the right words, can change someone’s world, as well as your own.
The book includes details of where you can send letters to children in hospital, lonely seniors, refugees and veterans, and how you can fund surgery to cure someone’s blindness, for less than a couple of hundred pounds. Also includes 50 more ideas to change a life. The book is American, here are a few other ideas here:
- The Silverline offers volunteer listeners to chat on the phone (including conference calls, so people can chat to each other on the phone too).
- Reengage has volunteer ‘call companions’
- Royal Voluntary Service helps older lonely people
- Find local befriending volunteer opportunities
- Meet Up Mondays organises local meet-ups
- WaveLength gives radios, to those in need.