Celebrations #CelebrateLU- January 8, 2016

08 Jan

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating my One Little Word for 2016- Kindness.

My reasons for choosing it were three-fold:
1. One of my favorite quotes is J.M. Barrie’s “Always be a little kinder than necessary.”
2. Despite my volunteering and my general nice-ness, I don’t think I’m particularly kind. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about the difference between the two. “At the base of niceness is a polite wish for everyone to just get along… But kindness is deeper. Kindness is better. Kindness is soft and real and true and bottomless. Kindness never patronizes, never puts on an act. Kindness never judges.”
3. Kindness is desperately needed in our world.

After the Paris bombing last year, I felt particularly sad. Sad for the people who lost their lives. But sad also for all of us who are still alive and have to regularly read and hear about police brutality, gang violence, hate crimes based on race and sexuality, and other horrific news. (And, there’s also homelessness, cancer, suicide, and other issues that have become commonplace in our everyday lives.)

I feel we’ve become desensitized. It’s like we show how heartbroken we are through hashtags and then forget about it a day or two later until another crime or senseless death is trending.

I know, with me, I’ve become more cynical.

That’s where Kindness Conversations comes in.

I’m not saying I have all (or the majority) of the answers but I wanted a place to start asking questions. I want to compile the answers I do get in case other people are interested, too. But more important than the talking and listening, I want things to get done, to change.

It’s overwhelming to think about how broken our world is but hopefully we can start the healing process. The problems won’t get solved overnight but we need to start somewhere, some time. Intentional acts of kindness- big and small- play a part in the mending and rebuilding.

I created some conversation prompts to get things started. I hope to share responses as I get them so please email me yours at earldizon [at] gmail [dot] com.


What’s your One Little Word?

What are you celebrating this week?


6 responses to “Celebrations #CelebrateLU- January 8, 2016

  1. Crystal

    January 9, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    I too would like to be a kinder person rather than just being nice. I wish you well with your kindness journey this year. My word is Smile. I want to smile more – and I want those smiles to be sincere. 🙂

  2. Ramona

    January 9, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    “Kindness is soft and real and true and bottomless.” I love these words you shared from Elizabeth Gilbert. Kindness is a great word, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the journey you’ll take with it in 2016. My OLW is abide.

  3. cvarsalona

    January 10, 2016 at 4:59 am

    Kindness is a world that needs more press for afterall aren’t we all part of humnKIND?

  4. Linda Baie

    January 10, 2016 at 7:01 am

    I’m sorry that you’re sad, Earl, and believe there are still many good people in the world, along with those who would do harm. In these past years, I’ve tried to bring some good to people that I meet for just a short time, clerks and people out walking, etc. I ask them how their day is going, take the time to respond to what they say, because they DO respond. I try to make eye contact with many & smile, think they are a little surprised, but mostly they smile back. There are other ‘bigger’ things to do, but that is how I make my way in our hurry, hurry world. Thanks for your thoughtful post.

  5. jarhartz

    January 10, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Kindness is an act of that comes back to us and I think it can be done in ways that make it a way of life. I love what Linda wrote about smiling at people. I am amazed at what eye contact and a smile brings forth. All of a sudden, you feel so connected and hopeful for humanity. Being kind is contagious. Here’s to reaching for kind, simple, and replicable acts every day.

  6. Haddon Musings

    January 10, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Earl, Your post has made me really think about the difference between nice and kind. I found out something about myself. I realized that I found it easier to be kinder to strangers than to people I know because I have no expectations when I interact with strangers. It is true when I am with family and friends I am being nice because I don’t want to deal with interpersonal relationship problems. I think I will have to recalibrate this year and focus on being as kind to family and friends as I am to strangers.


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