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A Kinder World

Kindness is both health-promoting and contagious. It benefits both giver and receiver mentally and physically, and even witnessing acts of kindness prompts observers to engage in their own acts of kindness. The “pay it forward” phenomenon has been observed in the drive-thru line when one person pays for the order of the person following and the recipient then does something nice for someone else. There is even a television ad which documents this phenomenon, and to show you how powerful the impact of the acts of kindness are (at least for me), I actually cannot recall the product the ad was designed to promote while I clearly recall the “pay it forward” component.

I propose that we participate in the 2017 kindness movement. Do not assume that our individual efforts won’t make a difference; there is research to show that they will. In his book, Give and Take, Adam Grant describes how giving encourages others to give, thereby creating a network of givers. The giving need not even be extensive or excessive. He cites Adam Forrest Rifkin’s rule of the five-minute favor: “You should be willing to do something that will take you five minutes or less for anybody.”

Little acts of kindness are contagious; your act will multiply, even if the recipient never knows you were the source.

Parade magazine has issued a kindness challenge. For more information, go to,, or spread the word with the hashtags #RAKWeek2017 and #paradekindness. To learn about other acts of kindness, check out and, both mentioned in Adam Grant’s book. Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 12-18) is coming up!

And, really, if you were going to spread something around, wouldn’t it better to share kindness rather than something less desirable but more common like, I don’t know, the flu?!

Please share with me your little acts of kindness. Even just hearing about giving can cause other people to give. You story may inspire others to engage in their own little acts of kindness.

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