“Kindness is like snow—it beautifies everything it covers.” – Kahil Gibran

After a year filled with political incivility, I feel as though my body and soul need a reminder that human beings are also compassionate and kind. While the media aggrandizes and normalizes aggressive behavior, it is easy for compassion and cooperation to go underground or be viewed as weak. During 2017, I encourage you to allow compassion and kindness to lead the way.

Kindness is described as a state of being gentle, considerate and caring. When we give from the heart, the giver and receiver feel uplifted. A smile goes a long way to brighten someone’s day and increase the happy chemicals in our own bodies.

This year place your focus on being an ambassador of kindness through your thoughts, words and actions. Being kind and compassionate makes a difference in the world. For every kindness you extend toward yourself and others, hatred, violence and aggression are counter balanced with compassion.

To fill your life with the spirit of kindness, take the time to:

Listen with caring – Listen to a child or adult with an attitude of unconditional positive regard and a desire to learn. This intention is communicated from your heart to theirs and creates a connection that is free of judgments and filled with curiosity. Let the other person know that you really hear them with a gesture or phrase. The gift of listening allows others to feel special.

“Every act of kindness grows the spirit and strengthens the soul.” – Lisa Weeden

Speak with courtesy – Use words and body language that honor and empower instead of diminish. Look into another’s eyes with a caring attitude and monitor your tone of voice. Avoid critical statements and labels, do not interrupt, paraphrase what you hear, and offer compliments. The gift of respectful conversation honors you and the other through your words.

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao Tzu

Act with compassion – Behaviors grounded in compassion spread harmony into your environment and enhance your sense of well-being. The behavior says to the person receiving your help, gift, or hug that you value them. Smiles and compliments are easy to do every day. The Internet abounds with ideas of how to turn random acts of kindness into a habit. The gift of compassionate action reminds people they are not alone.

“A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” – St. Basil the Great

I intend to make kindness a priority in my life. Through my words and actions, I hope to make a positive contribution to myself, others and my community. Kindness allows each of us to do something thoughtful for another, and by giving, we also receive. Life seems to be at its best in those moments. I leave you with these two inspirational quotes about the value of kindness:

“Acts of kindness, even in the simplest ways, are what makes our lives meaningful, bringing happiness to ourselves and others.” – The Dalai Lama

“Compassionate people are geniuses in the art of living, more necessary to the dignity, security, and joy of humanity than the discoverers of knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

Author's Bio: 

Sandra Miniere, M.Ed., is a life and wellness coach, certified Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner, Amazon best-selling author and speaker. She is a former holistic mental health counselor and has been helping people transform themselves and their lives for over 30 years. Her website is www.IntegrativeWellnessExpert.com