Several years ago I learned about Random Acts of Kindness Day (celebrated yearly on Feb. 17th), and incorporated it yearly into our library arts and crafts classes. The projects we did allowed our crafters to make small items to hand out to people randomly, just to show appreciate or encouragement. I love the idea, and right now we could all use a little extra kindness.
A couple of months ago the library hosted Donna Cameron, along with Garret Hunt, to talk about Cameron’s book A Year of Living Kindly. All of our virtual programs, through the platform Crowdcast, are recorded and can be viewed later. Check out that conversation here.
In the book, Cameron shares her experience of committing to 365 days of practicing kindness. She explains the health benefits and feelings of well-being that come with being kind to others. The book includes tips on what we can do to practice kindness, even when it is not easy, and how when we do, we help change the world.
The library has other recent books on kindness. Check out these titles, and take a look at our catalog to find more on the subject.
Deep kindness : a revolutionary guide for the way we think, talk, and act in kindness by Houston Craft
Craft started an organization called Random Acts of Kindness, Etc. in college to create a more connected, compassionate campus. Deep Kindness examines how kindness can help heal divisions between people and improve anxiety that is so prevalent today. Kindness can and should be a part of our daily lives and Kraft shares ways in which we can practice being kind.
The war for kindness : building empathy in a fractured world by Jamil Zaki
Zaki, a Stanford psychologist, presents the argument that empathy is not a trait we are born with, but that it can, and must, be cultivated. By developing empathy we can overcome feelings of isolation, and work to prevent divisiveness between groups. With many stories of people who are doing this work, this book is an inspirational call to action.
Radical kindness : the life-changing power of giving and receiving by Angela C. Santomero; foreword by Deepak Chopra
Santomero, writer of children’s educational shows, calls kindness a radical power, and through her study with mentor Fred Rogers, has spent her life teaching empathy and compassion through her programs.
The kindness method : change your habits for good using self-compassion and understanding
by Shahroo Izadi
While we are learning to be kind to others, we also need to be kind to ourselves. Practicing self-compassion is the only way to make lasting change in your life, Izadi explains, and using personal and professional experience, she guides the reader to strengthen willpower and understanding of themselves.
If you’re more inclined to share kindness through creative expression, and want to show appreciation to your grocery clerk, doctor, teacher, or random people at the bus stop for Random Acts of Kindness Day, try out this easy art project suitable for kids and adults alike.
So go forth and practice the radical act of kindness, on Random Acts of Kindness Day, and all year round. It may not always be easy, but it will be worth it.