Courageous & Outrageous - December 2007

By Pat Nichol

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At this time of year, it seems our world becomes a little kinder. We not only send cards and letters to our loved ones, we connect with people we haven't been in touch with since last year at this time.

What if we took the feeling this season creates and carried it through the rest of the year? Many of you have heard of and subscribe to the concept of Random Acts of Kindness. I even saw the motto sprawled across a car's bumper "Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty." There are websites that help Internet users understand kindness and lead visitors to an increased need to be thoughtful towards others.

We know how wonderful we feel when we commit one of these random acts, especially when we can remain anonymous. Or maybe we don't want to remain anonymous. Maybe our egos demand that someone knows that we have just done something wonderful for them.

Here is an idea to carry through the year. Each day, practise one idea that will help bring more kindness into the world. It can be as simple as saying (silently) "Peace Be With You" when you pass another. It can be made into a game: How many people can you pass this silent message onto in a block? Then the next day, see if you can improve those numbers.

I have recently heard of an act of kindness that is a little more open. It seems people up and down the Island are finding small rocks with the word "kindness" painted on them. A physical reminder that kindness can be carried with you wherever you go. When you carry kindness with you, pass some on to others. Kindness is one of those things in life that the more you give away, the more you receive in return. I don't know who this phantom kindness deliverer is, but I want to send them a giant hug.

Kindness is a gift that we can give to anyone; from the person we pass on the street, to the harried service clerk in the large and small stores where we shop, to those people who are closest to us. I would love to hear about your Acts of Kindness. To you all, I wish you kindness, peace and love. May you receive back tenfold that which you send out.

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