Make the world a little kinder

November 26, 2014

I’m still …what is the word? “reeling” isn’t exactly it and “sad” is close, so maybe I’ll just say that I’m still thinking about Ferguson and how we got to that place where cities blow up over racial divides and wondering why we are still there and whether there’s anything that can really be done about it. But that topic is for another day. Today, I’m taking refuge in my own sphere, my realm, the place where I can affect events, however small.  So this is a post with a bit of a surprise –and a giveaway–in it. So please, read on!

kinder world

Strive not to be a success but to be of value. ~Albert Einstein

The more I learn about Albert Einstein, the more I like him. His implementation of “being of service” may have been different than ours, but the concept is the same.

I am a big believer that what we put out into the world comes back to us, and service–both big and small–puts out such a positive vibe it surprises me when people don’t take advantage of it. Opportunities to be of service to others are always available, if we just look around.

The soul expands when we do something for another living being.When we make the world a little kinder.


  •  Gandhi
  • Did you know that many psychologists recommend that patients going through hard times do volunteer work? That’s right. As Gandhi so wisely observed, the best way to find ourselves is to lose ourselves in the service of others.  Yes,  yes, we are all busy. And  yet, there are so many things we can do that take very little time out of a day.  A few examples:
  • Send a real card and note to someone who has been sick or shut-in. A card is especially fun for an elderly person to receive.  What would that take, five minutes?
  • Make an extra serving or two of your evening meal for someone who can’t cook for themselves. How hard is that, really? And then, drop it off.
  • Bring light reading to a shut in.
  • If you’ve got time, sit and watch a movie with someone who is housebound.
  • Drop off a small bouquet of flowers.
  • Can you pet sit or walk a dog for someone who is ill?
  • Give someone a ride to a doctor’s appointment or grocery store?
  • Donate extra household goods to an animal shelter, women’s shelter or homeless organization.
  • Buy sweatshirts for the homeless.
  • You may not be able to foster a pet, but why not make a donation? In fact, why  not make a donation in lieu of holiday gifts this year?

I’m sure you have ideas for being of service, too. I hope you will share them in the Comments section below, so that they might inspire others. Thank you!

By the way, today would have been my parents’ 66th wedding anniversary. My mother died a month after their 50th and my father died a few months before their 60th. Today I’m thinking about all the ways they made the world a little kinder.


Sandy & Sam/November 26, 1948

And in their honor, I’m writing about my friend Kim’s new kindness movement, Plan Be.
get-attachment-1She and her husband decided to do something to inject more kindness into the world. If you’d like some Be Kind stickers like the one above, absolutely FREE, they’ll send  you some–just visit their kindness website HERE.  I got mine and can’t wait to leave them somewhere. Kudos to Kim and Steve for this project which can help change our world!

27 comments on “Make the world a little kinder
  1. Patricia says:

    tfanka for helping to start my day off on a positive beat.

  2. Kindness! My favorite subject. Because there can never be enough of it in the world. And Kim’s project? Extraordinary. Lord knows we need it in this crazy world of ours. I already signed up!

  3. Sheryl says:

    Carol, Your words are so powerful, as are all of your suggestions. You’re so right – we only get back what we give.

  4. Laurel Regan says:

    Thanks for an inspirational post, and for sharing Kim’s website. I love the idea!

  5. Kim Tackett says:

    Carol, I love all of your suggestions. The truth is, the smallest moments of kindness can be some of the most powerful, don’t you think? And of course, thank you for linking to the site. Xo

  6. Mary says:

    My parents taught us to always volunteer, and I have continued that with my children. It is such an important part of who we are. I can’t imagine my life without it. Love the picture of your parents wedding day.

  7. pia says:

    I think your suggestions are wonderful. And know you find joy in your memories of your parents.

    This year I decided not to give gifts to my family and friends but to give donations to people I know are in need–and to give them without telling them who I am.

    I told that to a friend and I am proud that a group we belong to picked up on the idea. Gift cards are the easiest way to do this. We live near two Tanger’s malls and are making some teenage girls very happy. They can go with friends and nobody needs know they’re not paying with their own money! Same with fast food (which goes against everything I believe in but I know how important it is to fit in at that age—and gas cards as these girls are sometimes the only member of their family to have a job.

    A cab driver I know was just diagnosed with lung cancer. He has no health insurance so I got his coworkers to organize a benefit–I could say “men” they just don’t think–and none of them had until I said something. It was so darn obvious. I don’t mind doing the grunge work as long as they get the venue–we live in a club filled town.

    Life’s too short not to help others!
    I wasn’t sure I would like small town living but there are so many people who feel the way I do

  8. I volunteer every day. I know that sounds weird, but I actually do. And kindness is critical. I love this. I’m looking forward to checking out their movement and the site.

    And thank you for sharing your parents with us. What a beautiful picture of what were surely beautiful people.

  9. Carolann says:

    Great post – I live by the credo pay it forward. I think a lot of people forget how to be kind. They get wrapped up in themselves. lovely pic of your parents <3

  10. Love this! I think kindness is the key to changing the world, and your suggestions are great. Your actions are a beautiful tribute to your parents.

  11. It’s amazing how the smallest act of kindness can change a persons day and it cost us nothing. Love the photo of your parents and this post. Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. It doesn’t take much. Being kind should be first on the list!

  13. Joy says:

    We really can’t have too much kindness in this world. If everyone just decides to put out only good vibes / good acts, every soul will truly benefit. It’s a no brainer and yet we still don’t engage in it enough. This is a ‘project’ truly worth pursuing and devoting ourselves to.

  14. Lana says:

    I had gotten away from my volunteer work, for various reasons. With my anxiety issues, I’ve found that helping others takes my mind off my worries, and I get so much more in return. Now I make it a point to do at least one volunteer activity each week. Thanks so much for this uplifting post today. I will check out your friend’s website. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  15. I love the picture of your parents!
    Plan Be is such a great idea, I ordered my sticker last week.
    We drive to the VA hospital in Philadelphia quite often (my husband is a disabled veteran) and I always make sandwiches and bring water to hand out to the many homeless along the way. I also bring dog food and treats because several of them have dogs.
    Whenever I am feeling down I am in the habit now of doing something nice for someone. It is true and it never fails to lift my spirits.
    I saw your comment on Cathy’s post and wanted to say that I am not big on cartoons but my dogs LOVE them. We finally realized it’s because we talk like cartoon characters to them:)
    Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

  16. What a great post, Carol. I’ve got to get back out and do more volunteer work. Such truth to finding yourself through losing yourself.

  17. Your parents photo is beautiful – and so is this post. Our world can definitely use some more kindness in it right now.

  18. I so love this post! Kindness and service are the keys to a happy, full life. It would heal so much. Thank you for sharing. I’m a big Einstein fan!

  19. Mary Buchan says:

    I love this post and have found healing in the act of giving, serving and reaching out to others. There was a man with a withered hand in the Bible and Jesus told him to reach out his withered hand. When he did it was healed. It is one of the secrets to getting out of depression. And I have applied this principle to life. Thank you again!

  20. Jackie says:

    I cannot tell you how many times in my life — the worst of times, mind you — continuing to volunteer kept me from going under myself. Seriously.

    It really helped me to focus on others, rather than just on myself. I highly recommend it whenever I see someone struggling. Usually they look at me like I’ve got two heads, but then I tell them some of my stories. They don’t all listen, but the ones who do, the ones who heed my advice — they always thank me and tell me that I was right. Who doesn’t love being right?

    Happy Thanksgiving and I’ll add grateful for a post like this to my list of things to be thankful for today 🙂

  21. These are all terrific ideas! I’ve decided to spend some time over the Christmas holiday working at a local shelter serving meals but I would also like to do something for the NICU unit where my grandchildren are. It’s a world I knew nothing about but a little happiness goes a long way. I would love to learn to crochet little hats or something for the babies something for Christmas it’s a very scary place. Maybe stockings with useful baby items. Still trying to figure it out. There are over 80 babies there today alot of terrified parents who could use a little holiday cheer. Any suggestions?

  22. Carol,
    Thank you for sharing this! I absolutely believe in the lasting and exponential benefits of random acts of kindness, no matter how big or small. I especially love the Einstein and Gandhi quotes!

    So many of us mortals don’t realize how easy it is to change the world…something as simple as doubling a recipe and sharing. This week I made a double casserole dish, kept some for my family of three and then made TWO extra dishes to share with neighbors…an elderly widow, and a business couple who burn that proverbial candle at both ends this time of year…

    I actually keep a small stack of aluminum pie and casserole containers on hand. That way I’m prepared when time and motivation come together.

    Thanks for all you do to make the world a little brighter, Carol!

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