There’s something wonderful about receiving a hand-written note, knowing that someone invested their time and creative energy to brighten my day. A single card or note might not seem like a big deal, but sometimes it can be the biggest deal.
News headlines continue to be filled with troubling stories that draw attention to deep and important topics, sparking a cascade of varying emotions. As I’ve been reflecting this week, I keep coming back to the importance of kindness, the importance of individuals acknowledging that we often fail to be kind and seeking the mercy that would transform our selfishness into love . . .
I’m curious — Can you think of a way that someone has been creative in extending care or support to you in exactly the right way at exactly the right time? On the other hand, can you think of a time when you felt isolated because it seemed like your closest friends and family were rarely taking the time to reach out? Most of us have been on both sides of this equation at one point or another & I think both extremes hold a valuable lesson.
It’s easy to become focused on our own issues. We all have parts of our lives that are easy and parts that are more difficult, but I’m sure we all know someone who could benefit from a supportive hand . . . That’s why I’m inviting you right now to consider how you can practice more creative kindness.
Here are 4 things to consider as you think about creative kindness:
- Commit: It’s easy to say you want to encourage others but harder to actually do it, either because it feels awkward or because of busyness and distraction. Decide in advance. Write a brief list of specific people. Maybe you’ll choose some people you already enjoy caring for, but maybe you should also include a couple of people who are more challenging.
- Know: You will be most effective in your kindness if you get to know the recipient–their interests, needs, joys, and struggles. The more you know, the more targeted your kindness can be. The best ways to get to know someone are through simply spending time with them, asking good questions, and being willing to really listen.
- Plan: If you make a plan, you’ll be more likely to follow through. Block out times (even if it’s only 5-10 minutes in your day) when you’ll take specific action. Are there 2 people you’ll commit to calling this week? Are you going to write a thank-you note to a friend just for being awesome? Plan how and when you’ll do these things. Put them on the calendar if you’re a calendar person. Planning helps to make it really happen.
- Be Creative: There are literally endless ways that you can actively practice being kind to other people–ways that are as diverse and unique as every individual. Don’t limit yourself to only a few methods that come most easily to you. Open your heart to trying new methods. What’s the best fit? If you need some ideas to get you started, here you go:
If anything in this blog post encourages you, I’d love to hear about it. Would you leave a message in the comments?
Be creative. Be kind.
Click “Follow” if you’d like to be notified each time I post. My regular schedule is a weekly post every Monday & sometimes I do a mid-week “Collecting Creativity” post where I share other creative topics.