Every day you have multiple opportunities to be kind or to not be kind. Since I see such a glaring lack of kindness in our world right now, I wrote this last One-2-One on being extra kind.

This summer, I’ve written a series of short posts called Encouragement One-2-One, featuring one thought, 2 quotes and one question. I hope these posts have encouraged you as you’ve faced COVID, social distancing and the multiple sorrows of the last few months.

So here’s my encouragement on being kind: try to be over-the-top, intentionally, extra kind today. Not just to help others, but to also help yourself.

One Good Thought

Be extra kind today, you’ll be happy that you did.

Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, a researcher at the University of California, has studied happiness for 30 years. In one study, she required students to commit at least five random acts of kindness one day per week, for six weeks, while another group of students did not. The group that performed the acts of kindness showed a 42% increase in happiness.

Conclusion: Being kind to others has a profound effect on your happiness. While kindness blesses others, it also blesses you. Somehow, kindness multiplies your own feelings of well-being and joy.

The Bible teaches the same principle:
“Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Prov. 11:24-25

Since kindness is so important for your well-being, remember to be extra kind today.

The study above also showed that varying your acts of kindness has even greater benefits on happiness than repeating the same acts kindness, over and over.

Pretty interesting, isn’t it?

What if you did your own experiment this week, by doing a different act of kindness each day? I’ll do it along with you. Let’s call it a “kindness challenge.” Let me know how it goes.

Take a “kindness challenge!” Here are a few suggestions:
• Day 1: Compliment: go out of your way to give a sincere compliment to someone who’s doing a good job.
• Day 2: Tip: thank and tip your waitress, generously (20%+). Don’t be the kind of person who leaves a stingy tip–or no tip at all.
• Day 3: Meet small needs: catch the door for someone else. Hold the elevator. Wherever you go today, try to notice and meet small, everyday needs. (since few do this, your kindness will be appreciated)
• Day 4: Extend grace: when somebody does something dumb :) today–and believe me, somebody will–smile and give a little grace.
• Days 5 & 6: Volunteer: when you see someone working, lend a hand! Don’t make them have to ask for help. Do the lion’s share of the project at work. Serve at your church. Help your wife with the dishes. Help your husband with the yard work. Trust me, people notice when you don’t help.
• Day 7: Reach out: Call. Make a visit. Send a note. Pray for someone. Be happy because you have the opportunity to change a lonely person’s day!

Remember, acts of kindness speak even louder than words of kindness, so it’s important to do both.

Challenge yourself to be extra kind this week, you’ll be happy that you did.

2 Good Quotes

“Being kind costs nothing – but being unkind can cost you a lot!” Kari Kampakis

A reporter once watched Mother Theresa change the dressing of a man who had a terrible infection in his leg. The reporter said to her, “I would not do what you do for all the money in the world.”

Mother Theresa’s response was classic. “Neither would I,” she said.

One Good Question

Recall 3 different times when you went out of your way to be kind. How did it make you feel? How can you be kind today?

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