Inspiration, Life
3

Practicing the Art of Being Kind

I’m trying to break out of the negativity that the world news ignites in me.

I’ve decided to embrace two words that keep turning up on random corners in my neighborhood.  Yesterday I noticed a hand-painted sign in a nearby gallery in plain letters saying, “Be Kind.” When I saw the same words on a white washed board with red hearts in my neighbor’s yard, I decided to find out if this was some kind of local movement.  Maybe you have spotted some of these Be Kind signs too. My curiosity sent me to the web where all answers live these days.

I learned that this message is more than just a local movement. It was created here in Richmond by Gini Bonnell.  After struggling with the myriad of bad news that enters into our daily lives, she responded by painting a white board with Be Kind and placed it in her yard.  Her neighbors liked it so much that they wanted one of their own. Then the requests for more Be Kind signs snowballed with calls from not only our community but schools, businesses, groups, and individuals from as far away as Australia.  An article appearing in Boomer magazine in July stated that Gini had now made more than 550 signs.  She is really excited about how many people have joined her in carrying this message into the world including our Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

Seeing those Be Kind signs helped me realize that to be kind one must take action. Seeing and doing are not the same. I can practice the art of being kind in my small corner of the world. Even though I’d like to be kind, I’m skeptical sometimes.  The homeless man who sits on a bucket even on rainy days near the expressway with his crumpled cardboard sign of “anything helps” haunts me as I turn the corner wondering if he is really homeless or just looking for a handout.  My judgment and good intentions often limit my actions, but I’ve decided to take action on being kind for the next 30 days. Kindness to my neighbors or the strangers.  Be Kind! I’m telling you so that I can be held accountable, and to invite you to join me in practicing the art of being kind. I’d love to hear your stories.  Please contact me through my blogsite at www.heart-heels.com.

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