The Magical Touch of Kindness
Made You Smile Back is pleased to present this thought-provoking and enlightening article, 'The Magical Touch of Kindess'. Continuing the 'Happiness Series', we shall define what kindness really is, the ripple effect it creates and how it definitely is linked to happiness and well-being.
In addition, we shall explore the four different kinds of kindness. We will discuss the many positive
The best of the best kindness quotations will be sprinkled throughout and a collection of Random Acts of Kindness suggestions will be provided. Last but not least, Made You Smile Back shall conclude with an exciting 7 Day Challenge of Kindness.
Be sure to visit these other links to learn more about 'Achieving Happiness' as well:
- I Just Want To Be Happy!
- How to Get Happy Again: 7 Habits of Joyful & Happy People
- The True Value of Friendship & Happiness
- Beyond Sadness Helping Your Friends Smile Again
- How Happy Are You Really?
- Giggle, Laugh & Be Silly Once in Awhile
The True Meaning of Kindness
I love the title of this blog, 'the magical touch of kindness' because after you learn the true meaning of kindness, you shall see that it's not only a 'magical touch', its also realizing the 'magical power' of kindness and how it can truly be life-changing.
Wikipedia defines kindness as: “behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and a concern for others. Its also considered to be a virtue."
Being 'nice' is not the same as being 'kind'.
A lot of people get this very confused. Let me explain the difference.
- “Niceness” is based on how people observe and see you.
- “Kindness” is based on your own beliefs, ethics and your own values.
Kindness is doing something and not expecting anything in return. Kindness is respect and helping others without waiting for someone to help one back.
The writer Emily Esfahani Smith says:
"There are two ways to think about kindness. You can think about it as a fixed trait: either you have it or you don’t. Or you could think of kindness as a muscle. In some people, that muscle is naturally stronger than in others, but it can grow stronger in everyone with exercise.”
The Magical Benefits that Kindness Manifests
As stated earlier, kindness is a virtue. And unfortunately, one which we don't see as often as we should. We've become too disconnected and distracted. Let's find our way back and reap the 'powerful and magical' benefits that kindness gives back.
Per Gilbert Ross, of Soulhiker.com:
This is some of the magic that kindness can manifest in your life:
- Summon the power of love to flow through your life.
- Make your relationships happier and healthier.
- Cultivate compassion towards others and attract compassion from others.
- Greater awareness of the greater good and your true purpose.
- Make people feel better who in turn will respond better to any given situation.
- Spiritual growth and maturity.
- Make your life easier.
- Inspires others to spread kindness.
The Four Types of Kindness
Before we dive into explaining the four types of kindness. Let's take a moment and
The first type of kindness is known as self-kindness. This is the kindness we treat ourselves. Because really, when you think about it, how can one be kind to others if you don't know how to even be kind to yourself! Another term for self-kindness is also known as self-compassion.
“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.”Christopher Germer, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion
If you've had the opportunity of reading my recently published book, 'The Power of Unexpected Miracles', I reiterate how we are all beautifully unique and miraculous beings! We need to recognize our self-worth and celebrate who we are and what we have to offer humanity.
The day we all become truly happy with who we are and begin to treat ourselves with the kindness and respect that we deserve, is the day that the world will become a much more loving, peaceful place. Happiness and the key to loving others begins with learning to love ourselves.
2. Social Kindness
The second type of kindness is known as 'social kindness'. This type of kindness is often what we see and behave in work environments or around friends and family on a routine daily basis.
It's similar to being 'nice' but it is what society expects of us. To have empathy towards others. To be a helping hand. To be polite. To volunteer for social projects. This type of kindness, while also very important to have, usually comes with the expectation or having kindnesses reciprocated back or wanting our 'social kindness' to be observed and praised by our peers.
Social kindness is driven by the need for other people’s approval and validation. How many times have you seen someone go out of their way to be 'kind' or rather being 'nice' to someone making sure others could immediately see your charity. This is not true kindness.
Let's examine the next third type of kindness. This is the one most people associate kindness with -- spontaneous kindness.
3. Spontaneous Kindness a/k/a Random Acts of Kindness
Spontaneous kindness is kindness in direct response to a perceived need or opportunity. It is also known as 'random acts of kindness'. It is an unexpected act of charity or helpfulness and is often done for strangers.
But what's separates this type of kindness from the other types is simply this... They are selfless acts, both large and small, that are committed unexpectedly, without prompting and with no apparent ulterior motive.
Folks, there is truly a 'magical touch' with each random act of kindness we perform to others! And you're doubly blessed with the incredible feelings of well-being and humbleness one receives.
Random acts of kindness come in all forms. Just giving someone an unsolicited compliment today will put a smile on both of your faces. Thanking a police officer or fire fighter for their service, just picking up the trash in a public park or offering to babysit for a single mom just feels right.
If we show compassion, our kids will show compassion. What we give to others in our lifetime defines who we really are.
4. Planned Kindness
Planned kindess is what I call intentional kindness. This is where you can plan for a certain time period – a day, a week, a month. You can identify any number of acts of kindness during that period. The point is to plan in advance specific acts of kindness you will do for identified recipients.
It's my humble opinion that planned kindness or rather intentional kindness is kindness you must also exercise in your relationships. It is this 'intention' that is the 'magic glue' that keeps couples together.
There's another sub-type of planned kindness and it is the one which is the most difficult to even do for some of us. And that is - doing acts of kindness to those who are simply not nice people. But you know what, this is the kindness which has the most 'magical powers' of making a difference. And the more people who do this, the better our world shall become.
In the next section, we shall be discussing what all these types of kindnesses can do. It's called the 'ripple effect'.
The Ripple Effect
In today’s world it is far too easy to miss the powerful ripple effect caused by one kind act, and no one demonstrates this better than the act of 'paying it forward' phenomenon.
How many of you have had the pleasure of being in a long line going thru the drive-thru at Starbucks® and when you finally pull up to the window to pay, you're told its already been paid for! Made you feel incredible didn't it?
And I would be willing to bet that it made you feel so good, you made the decision to 'pay it forward' for the next person driving up behind you. It's a proven scientific fact that random acts of kindness are not only contagious but can be exponentially impactful on the world as a whole.
I can't express enough why these RAKs (random acts of kindness) are so important for today's society for there is an unseen potential that even one small act can have the 'magical touch' to make a more healthy and happier society. It truly can be life-changing.
Random Acts of Kindness Suggestions & Ideas
Would you like to learn about some creative and innovative small acts of kindness that you can do? Take a look at these suggestions and as you do, select a couple to put into action this week! You'll find out why shortly.
- Put post-it notes everywhere you see a need! This is an instant way to brighten up someone's day.
- Buy some lemonade at the next lemonade stand you drive by. And watch the joy and smile you put on that child you bought from!
- Compliment drivers of how well they parked their car.
- Carry extra bottles of water in your car to give out to construction workers working in the heat or to the homeless.
- Drop a $5 or $10 bill on the street and then pick it up and give to the person ahead of you and tell them they dropped this.
- Clean out your closets and donate all your unwanted coats to charity for the homeless.
- Go buy a bunch of long-stemmed flowers and hand one to each person that walks by. And don't forget to SMILE!
- Notice if you see someone who appears to be sad and/or depressed at your work or school, and intentionally go up to them and let them know you care and you have a willing shoulder to lean on or listen to.
- Don't forget about your family. Put random notes on the pillows of your loved ones or grandchildren to let them know how much they mean to you.
- Go to a children's hospital and bring toys and balloons to those children who are ill and put a smile back on their face.
- And the easiest one of all.... simply smile like you mean it to everyone you meet and say, 'hi, I hope you have a great day'!
Ellen Degeneres Speaks Out at the People's Awards About Kindness
It indeed was a magical moment which she approached the stage to receive her awards and she gave this memorable speech about the love and kindness of mankind and what we all should strive for.
Who's Ready for the 7 Day Kindness Challenge Using the Magical Touch of Kindness?
Hey Everyone! I hope you're ready for a great week! Yep, I am definitely issuing you a challenge. A 7 day kindness challenge. It's super easy and only entails 2 simple rules (well there's is an optional 3rd one...)
- Every day, practice an act of kindness toward another person.
- Exercise a different act of kindness each day.
- Optional: journal about your experience and record how it made you feel.
Then after the 7 days are over, come back to this post and comment about how your experience was. Hopefully, we'll get over 100+ comments from as many people reading this to participate!
I hope you have enjoyed this fun and informative article on the 'magic touch' of kindness. Please join in the conversation below and let us know what small acts of kindness you have received lately or have done for someone. And don't forget about the challenge!