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    Kindness Makes the Heart Grow

    Kindness is a simple idea, and yet not always so simple to carry out. When was the last time you were kind with no expectation of receiving anything in return? Reading the often disheartening news stories of late, I think we could all use an extra dose (push?) of kindness in our lives. I’m sure most are familiar with the phrase “Pay It Forward:” for every kind act you do for a person, that person then does for another, and so on. We could all do to take a little extra time and promote kindness. Here are a few ideas to get you started in the right direction:

    *Compliment a stranger
    *Collect canned food for a food bank
    *Adopt an animal from the pound
    *Cook a meal for someone
    *Call your parents and tell them you love them
    *Donate blood
    *Give warm clothes, shoes, and boots to the homeless
    *Visit someone who is lonely
    *Send a care package to a soldier
    *Let someone go in front of you
    *Tip generously
    *Ask if you can help
    *Send a surprise book to someone from an online retailer
    *Rake your neighbor’s yard
    *Listen to someone’s life story
    *Be a welcoming neighbor
    *Be super enthusiastic when people have good news
    *Buy dessert for a stranger
    *Help someone for free
    *Give the benefit of the doubt

    These are only a few ideas. Kindness can range from brightening someone’s day with a smile to sending your well-deserving parents on that dream vacation they have been putting off. The great thing about kindness is that anyone, regardless of age, money, experience, etc., can be kind. So my advice to you is to take a step out of your comfort zone and do that kind act. You never know how great of an effect you can have on someone’s life until you try!

    Psssssst! Still not feeling inspired? Try “Googling” kindness and read all the lovely stories of random kind acts people do for one another. Or, you could search our card catalog for inspiration. We have 50 books on kindness in our adult nonfiction collection, and plenty more in the adult fiction and children’s collection. Follow the links here:

    *Adult Nonfiction
    *Adult Fiction
    *Children’s Nonfiction
    *Children’s Fiction

    Pssssst, Psssst! One last idea: why not keep a journal of all the kind acts you do for others and that others do for you? That moment of reflection makes the act even more special!

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