With the holiday season behind us, it’s a good time for reflection. Take a step back and think for just a few minutes about what matters most. Carve out some time in your busy, hectic schedule for five minutes. Just five.
Ask yourself, what could I do that might be helpful to another person, my family, or the community?
I suggest keeping it simple with random acts of kindness.
There are actual studies that prove it works.
Researchers at the University of Rochester and Florida Atlantic University studied newlyweds and found that doing nice things for a partner is good for you, even if the things you do go unnoticed.
Remember Mister Rogers from the public television children’s program “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”? (For those younger than I am, you can find him on YouTube.) He said there are three important things we can do in life.
Number one: Be kind to the people you work with. Be kind to each other especially when tempers flare or work seems to interfere with family time. Go out of your way to say something nice and meaningful to a colleague. Have you praised your coworker today for a job well done or thanked someone for helping complete a task? How much time does a “thank you” take?
Number two: Be kind to your family. These are the people who support you and raise you up so you can go on doing the things you love to do. Your family is behind you, is your biggest cheerleader—and sometimes bears the brunt of your frustration after a hectic day. As a result we often listen without really hearing them. A kind word or gesture can make all the difference in the world.
Number three: Be kind to yourself. You hurry through the day, making sure tasks are completed, the ship is righted and everything is perfect. But in reality, you need some down time. Some time to meditate, to take stock of where you are and figure out if you are doing a good job or even doing what you truly love to do.
Being kind means you take some time for yourself and your family and be the best you can be for them and with them. We all make mistakes, but speaking from experience, acknowledgment and correction sets us free. Take some time for a walk, to watch a sunrise or hold hands with someone.
My wish for the New Year is for every one of us to find some time to be kind every day. Hold a door open for someone, smile at a stranger and say “hello,” or just be there for a family member or coworker who needs you to really hear what they’re saying.