Monthly Archives: January 2007

The Lasting Power of Kindness

The Lasting Power of Kindness

kindness_lifesaver.jpgToday’s tip is built around a true story, made famous after appearing in the first ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ book. It was written by Sister Helen P. Mrosla, and it has a profound impact on me every time I read it. I’ll share my thoughts with you about why that is after you’ve read it as well…

All Good Things
by Sister Helen P. Mrosla

He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary’s School in Morris, Minn. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, but had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful.

Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving – “Thank you for correcting me, Sister!” I didn’t know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.

One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often, and then I made a novice-teacher’s mistake. I looked at Mark and said, “If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!” It wasn’t ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out; “Mark is talking again.” I hadn’t asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it.

I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark’s desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned to the front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. That did it! I started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to Mark’s desk, removed the tape, and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were, “Thank you for correcting me, Sister.”

At the end of the year, I was asked to teach junior-high math. The years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He was more handsome than ever and just as polite. Since he had to listen carefully to my instruction in the new math, he did not talk as much in ninth grade as he had in third.

One Friday, things just didn’t feel right. We had worked hard on a new concept all week and I sensed that the students were frowning, frustrated with themselves – and edgy with one another. I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.

Then I asked them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers. Charlie smiled. Mark said, “Thank you for teaching me, Sister.
Have a good weekend.”

That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. “Really?” I heard whispered. I never knew that meant anything to anyone!” “I didn’t know others liked me so much.” No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another again.

That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were driving home, Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip – the weather, my experiences in general. There was a lull in the conversation. Mother gave Dad a side-ways glance and simply says, “Dad”?” My father cleared his throat as he usually did before saying something important. “The Eklunds called last night,” he began. “Really?” I said. “I haven’t heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is.” Dad responded quietly. “Mark was killed in Vietnam,” he said. “The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend.”

To this day I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told me about Mark. I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was, “Mark, I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to me”.

The church was packed with Mark’s friends. Chuck’s sister sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral? It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual prayers, and the bugler played taps. One by one those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water. I was the last one to bless the coffin.

As I stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to me. “Were you Mark’s math teacher?” he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin. “Mark talked about you a lot,” he said. Continue reading

Kindness An Unconditional Gift

Kindness
An Unconditional Gift

In the quest to create a gentler, more loving world, kindness is the easiest tool we can use. Though it is easy to overlook opportunities to be kind, our lives are replete with situations in which we can be helpful, considerate, thoughtful, and friendly to loved ones and associates, as well as strangers.
The touching, selfless acts of kindness that have the most profoundly uplifting effects are often the simplest: a word of praise, a gentle touch, a helping hand, a gesture of courtesy, or a smile. Such small kindnesses represent an unconditional, unrestricted form of love that we are free to give or withhold at will. When you give the gift of kindness, whether in the form of assistance, concern, or friendliness, your actions create a beacon of happiness and hope that warms people’s hearts.

kindness-dailyomThe components of kindness are compassion, respect, and generosity. Put simply, kindness is the conscious act of engaging others in a positive way without asking whether those individuals deserve to be treated kindly. All living beings thrive on kindness. A single, sincere compliment can turn a person’s entire world around.

Holding a door or thanking someone who has held a door for you can inspire others to practice politeness and make already kind individuals feel good about their efforts. Smiling at people you meet-even those who make you feel like frowning-can turn a dreary encounter into a delightful one, for both of you. Every kind act has a positive influence on the individual who has performed said act as well as on the recipient, regardless of whether the act is acknowledged. Kindness brings about more kindness and slowly but surely takes a positive toll on humanity.

Weaving the thread of kindness into your everyday life can be as easy as choosing to offer a hearty “Good morning” and “Good night” to your coworkers or neighbors, a stranger on the street, or the grocery store clerk. When you commit a kind act, you are momentarily disconnected from your ego and bonded with the individual who has benefited from your kindness. Being fully present in each moment of your life facilitates kindness as it increases your awareness of the people around you. You’ll discover that each act of kindness you engage in makes the world, in some small way, a better place.

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The Effects of Kindness on the Body and Mind

The Effects of Kindness on the Body and Mind.
Author:
Jason Parker

As Dr. Wayne Dyer talks about in his book, the Power of Intention, kindness has been scientifically researched. The results are astounding. Kindness both increases our levels of serotonin and strengthens our immune systems. You may know that the role of anti-depressants is to increase the production of serotonin in our bodies.

Why?

Because serotonin makes us feel light, happy, and at ease. Research has shown that a single act of kindness increases the levels of serotonin in the recipient of the kindness and the one being kind.

Futhermore, and amazingly, those who witness the act of kindness are effected the same! What does this say about the nature of mankind? When we are kind, our bodies and minds work in harmony. We are also in harmony with others. Therefore, we must be naturally kind beings.

Kindness creates peace of mind, a disease-free body, and great relationships.

About Author
Jason is the owner and operator of http://www.GoldenProse.com Reader and Writer Community.

Article Source: http://www.1888articles.com/author-jason-parker-248.html


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Considering Others

Considering Others
Reaffirming Our Integrity

Every thought we think and every action we take has an effect on the world around us. To be aware of this is to be conscious of our impact on the people in our lives. Sometimes we just want to do what we want to do, but considering the full ramifications of our actions can be an important part of our spiritual growth and awareness. At first, being more conscious requires effort, but once we have made it a habit, it becomes second nature. The more we practice this awareness of others, the more we find ourselves in easy alignment with our integrity.considering-others1

Our thoughts are an important place to begin this practice because our thoughts are the seeds of our actions. It is not necessary or beneficial to obsessively monitor all our thoughts, but we can perhaps choose one thought or action per day and simply notice if we are in alignment with this experience of integrity. For example, we may find ourselves replaying a negative encounter with someone in our minds. We may think that this doesn’t affect the person about whom we are thinking, but the laws of energy tell us that it does. When we hold someone negatively in our minds, we risk trapping them in negativity. If we were this person, we might wish for forgiveness and release. We can offer this by simply letting go of the negative thought and replacing it with a wish for healing on that person’s behalf.

With regard to our actions, we may have something difficult to express to someone. Taking the time to consider how we would feel if we were in his or her shoes will enable us to communicate more sensitively than we would if we just expressed ourselves from our own perspective. When we modify our approach by taking someone else’s feelings into account, we bring benefit to that person and ourselves equally. The more we do this, the more we reaffirm our integrity and the integrity of our relationship to the world.


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Random Acts Of Kindness – Pass It On

Pass It On
Random Acts Of Kindness

A simple play on words, a negative turned positive and a movement is sparked. “Today I will commit one random act of senseless kindness.” This simple phrase has launched an international movement inspiring people to practice kindness and to “pass it on” to others. It spawned bumper stickers, T-shirts, books, a foundation. There are now even designated Random Acts of Kindness Weeks and World Kindness Days.kindness-image

While pondering an assignment for his human relations class at Bakersfield College, Chuck Wall overheard the radio news, “We have another random act of senseless violence to report.” He took out the “violence” and stuck in “kindness” and gave his class their assignment. Revolutions come from just such flashes of inspiration and Wall’s students became kindness revolutionaries.

Kindness is contagious. A smile begets a smile, simple courtesies encourage politeness, and a thoughtful gesture lingers in the heart. It feels good to do good and doing good deeds make others feel good. And so it goes, one good turn deserves another, and kindness becomes a way of life. Kindness is fundamental to life and it is essential in creating healthy, happy human relationships. We all need to be shown kindness and we all need to express it. Acts of kindness connect us to one another. It gives us hope in humanity.

Whether random or well planned out and articulated, acts of kindness have a domino affect in creating a better world. Generosity of spirit is just as important as monetary contributions. Sincere acts of kindness are almost always appreciated, even if there is no acknowledgment. For true kindness is unconditional with no thought of reciprocation.

Kindness lingers. We may forget the words, or even the person, but we seldom forget the act, a door held open, a cookie from a neighbor, a word of encouragement when we are feeling blue. Try it today. Commit one random act of senseless kindness. Mow a neighbor’s lawn, let someone cut in line in front of you, hand out balloons for no reason, say something nice to everyone you meet. Chances are those that you touch today will “pass it on” to others. We can change the world, one smile at a time.For more information visit Actsofkindness.org

About this Article:
Reprinted with permission from DailyOM.com – Inspirational thoughts for a happy, healthy and fulfilling day. Register for free at www.dailyom.com © 2004-07 DailyOM – All Rights Reserved. 

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