“I can be kind to everyone for that is right you see, so I say to myself remember this, kindness begins with me.” These are the words to one of my favorite songs as a kid. Season is in full swing here in beautiful Southwest Florida and I remind myself of the words to this song more often than not. Kindness begins with ME.
Being kind not only promotes happiness and positivity, it also increases our own sense of well-being. Whether it’s a smile to a stranger, allowing someone to turn into the car line, or sending a text letting someone know you are thinking of them, these small acts of kindness can make a big impact, not only on others but also yourself.
Keeping our bodies and minds strong is what makes us able to serve others and do the things that can bring positivity to the world, ourselves, and those around us. As we spread joy and happiness, we better ourselves and boost our immune system.
A smile to a stranger: Setting a goal to smile at everyone you come in contact with is a great way to spread positive energy. If someone doesn’t reciprocate, that’s okay! You don’t know what they are going through and maybe, your smile, even if not immediately returned, may have sparked a small amount of joy in someone who may be feeling down. Kindness begins with ME!
Give yourself some time: During “season” here in Florida, it is busy; there is more traffic and some interesting driving. Leave a little earlier if you have some place to be, give yourself some extra time. If someone is going slow or has their blinker on left and turns right, don’t get yourself worked up, honk and speed around them. This isn’t going to make you feel better and may cause an accident. If someone is trying to merge into traffic, let them in with a friendly wave. Positive vibes are one of the best ways to stay healthy. Remember, kindness begins with ME!
Last, but certainly not least, share a compliment or let someone know you are thinking of them. There is nothing more uplifting than when you let someone know they are on your mind and they respond with a “I really needed that today.” The power of kindness and positivity starts with YOU!
I would like to challenge everyone this month to reach out to a friend or family member who might pop into your mind and let them know you are thinking of them. Smile at a stranger in the grocery store or when you are out and about. Let’s spread some positivity around our communities by being kind and say to yourself, remember this, kindness begins with me!
*This article was also published in the Coastal Breeze on February 3, 2022.