With my line of work, I often see aggression, bullying, pain, anger, fighting, and LOTS of attitude. Sometimes it takes a toll on me. All that negativity can bring me down. It can weigh on me and take the best part of me. I am innately kind and compassionate. I hate conflict and aggression, so when I see all the pain, my heart aches. I often question where the love went, and how I can help people let go of all this anger. I believe that kindness always wins, and violence will never be resolved by violence. These are great words of wisdom, but how do we spread kindness a little more, to let go of all this anger and hate. It is not easy, but if we just try something different or connect a little more, we can make this world a little brighter. Here are some ideas to spread kindness like confetti:
Give someone a compliment each day. Compliment your wife, husband, kid, friend, boss, colleague, neighbor, Uber or Lyft driver, or a complete stranger. Make it a genuine compliment. We often don't even notice the people around us. So look around and find the beauty that surrounds you. Today, I was running to the train. Typically the CTA trains don't care if you are running towards them, they will close their doors and leave you out of breath, waiting for the next train. Today, the conductor waited for me. Her window was open and I quickly said thank you. As I glanced over at her, I was struck by her beautiful dark two-tone curly hair (I am obsessed with two-tone dark hair). It was so thick and luscious. I was struck by her beauty. As I exited the train, I walked up to her window, as she gave me a stern and annoyed look. I would have too, I would have been thinking "what does this crazy lady want from me?" Let's just say that living in the city, I hear a lot of yelling and anger towards CTA workers. I said, " I love your hair, it is so beautiful!" Everything about this women soften, and she gave me the biggest smile! It was such a beautiful moment between the two of us. It came from my heart, and it gave her joy. This doesn't happen to me everyday, but I make an effort to see beauty wherever I go. I believe that one compliment or act of kindness can propel as series of positive events.
Spread positive rumors. I do this all the time. I tell people all the positive things that someone else said about them. In some of the schools I work, it changed the school climate. There is positive drama in the hallways, kids hear more compliments and say hi to each other during passing period. So here is how I spread positive rumors. I go up to someone and say,"What do you like about Janiya?" I wait for something positive, then I add on "yeah, I think she is pretty cool, and she is so kind to me, I also like her style..." I keep going and typically the other person nods. Then I say "Wow Yesenia, you said some really nice things. I am so proud of you!" Then I go back to Janiya and tell her everything Yesenia said about her. I have built more friendships and reduced drama in schools. I also spread positive rumors with my friends, my daughter and my husband. It works!
Listen with compassion. Please leave your unsolicited advice at the door! I find that when I listen with compassion and attention, it helps the other person. The minute I give unsolicited advice, I can sense the other person tense up. Think about it, people want to feel heard, not told what to do. We typically know what we need to do, but we often don't feel heard or understood. So I use statements like, " I can't imagine how this might be hard", " I am so sorry you have to deal with this", or "Sound like this is super stressful". I try to put myself in the other person's shoes, and I don't start talking about my own experience, I just listen and I am present with the person. When I do really listen the results are so much different. I watch my tone and body language when I am listening. I put my phone down, look the person in the eye, and really listen with my heart.
These three habits are in my daily routine. I aim to reach and connect with people, but I also have my bad days. Somedays, I am in my head, other days I am giving advice like am I Dr. Phil, and on some occasions I am so self-critical that I spent a day terrorizing myself that I forget to look around and see someone else's beauty. So I am far from perfect, I yell at my kid, I lose my temper over irrelevant parts of my life, and I make tons of mistakes, but I strive to make this world a better place, one kind gesture at a time. So just try one of my habits, it might change the way you feel about yourself. It might put a smile on a strangers face, or it might save a life!
To learn more about my work and the cool stuff we do, click on the link below:
"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."-Scott Adams
Until Next Time...