Day 12 / May 24 : Do Something Kind For Yourself

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” — The Golden Rule

So here we are at the end of 12 days. Let me begin by saying happy birthday to myself! I was born 50 years ago today in Omaha, Nebraska at approximately 1pm Central Time. So my 51st year on the planet begins a little after 11am in Seattle.

And, hey, guess what. I’m taking the day off work. Shhh….

On this, the last day of the 12 Days of Kindness I encourage you to seriously consider what being kind to yourself means. See if you find a little nugget of truth in the idea that EVERY act of kindness you perform benefits you in some way.

As such, EVERY kind thing you do in your life is an act of kindness for yourself.

And if it’s true, if every act of kindness is actually an act of kindness for yourself, look back at the previous 11 days and see every kind thing you did as a kindness to yourself.

With that in mind, what will you do to complete this theme today?

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Day 11 / May 23 : Enlist a Partner

“One of the most difficult things to give away is kindness; it usually comes back to you.” – Anonymous

Are you familiar with the concept 1 + 1 = 3?

That’s the idea here, that together we are greater than the sum of our parts.

In considering who to choose for your partner, try to find someone who you feel brings out the best in you. Likewise, who do you help in this way?

There is you. There is your partner. AND there is your partnership. Let your kindness action emerge from your partnership.

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Day 10 / May 22 : Reach Out to Someone With Whom You’ve Lost Touch

“Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” -Tennessee Williams

Start by making a list of people you haven’t seen for some time or those whom you miss. Is it an old classmate, a distant friend, someone who has moved away, a relative? Choose one of these people and take steps to reach her/him.

If it helps, think what it would be like for you to hear from someone who has lost touch with you, specifically someone you’d really like to hear from.

Note, any style of communication is fine but you will get more from the exercise if it extends beyond an email or voice mail message to some kind of exchange.

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Day 9 / May 21 : What You Wish to Experience, Provide For Another

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the and the blind can see.” — Mark Twain

Take time today to consider some things you wish to experience in your own life. Then find another for whom you can be the source of one of those things, someone you think would really appreciate having it, and be that source.

Provide for another something you want to experience.

In principle, this isn’t a material thing but something more experiential in nature.

Some Ideas: If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another. If you wish to know that you are safe, cause another to know that they are safe. If you wish to better understand seemingly incomprehensible things, help another to better understand. If you wish to heal your own sadness or anger, seek to heal the sadness or anger of another.

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Day 8 / May 20 : Provide Something Wonderful for Someone to Find

“Life is positively great and wonderful and exciting, and I can’t wait to see what’s behind the next corner and all the corners after that.” –Anonymous

Today’s theme is intended to help you experience the idea of each of us being vehicles of kindness in a user-friendly universe.

By providing something wonderful for someone to find, I am encouraging you to think creatively. In doing so as part of a greater whole, I am hoping you will think holistically.

Note, the word “wonderful” is being used purposefully but it needs to be defined by you.

Quietly emptying the dishwasher at night after your partner has gone to bed so she enters the kitchen the next morning with that chore done is one way to meet the intention of this theme.

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Day 7 / May 19 : Do Something Kind For a Stranger

“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.” – Seneca

We all begin as strangers. Our closest friends were once unknown to us. With that in mind, I present today’s theme.

Today, please extend a kindness action to a stranger, someone you do not know on a personal level. Typically, these are the people you pass by or hear about as you go on with your day.

This theme is intended to help you experience how it feels to do something kind when reciprocation is not likely.  But who knows, maybe you’ll discover a new good friend.

For a little inspiration, check out the Year of Giving.

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Day 6 / May 18 : Do Something Kind For an Acquaintance

“I look upon every day to be lost in which I do not make a new acquaintance.” – Samuel Johnson

Somewhere between friend and stranger are those people we call acquaintances. They might be friends of friends, or people who provide us a regular service, or even certain neighbors. We know of these people. We just don’t KNOW them. Our relationship with them is “neutral.”

Today, complete an act of kindness for one of your acquaintances. In celebrating one acquaintance, we celebrate all of our acquaintances. In celebrating all of our acquaintances, we celebrate everyone.

Do you see how completing acts of kindness creates a positive wave of human synergy, that it harnesses something greater than what first may be apparent?

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