If we are lucky, we wake up each day and experience a world shaped by our past experiences, current feelings, and internalized projections of what the future holds. As individuals, we are responsible for managing ourselves, including the version presented to the world; our personalities, moods, and behaviors. The output helps to form our reality. 

After some review, I think the world may benefit from an oversight committee. In our constant race for the top, we seem to have forgotten some core values. The most important one for me is to treat others how I would like to be treated. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people being treated unfairly in the world. What if we could do our part and do one thing to help make a positive impact? The wise choice is kindness for many reasons.

Navigating the challenges of current life while under a state of constant stress is hazardous to our health. When we are constantly stressed, our physiological systems get shifted and anything outside of survival can seem unbearable. Unfortunately, we have become used to operating under the influence of stress every day of our lives. Just think of how we are perceived by others when we feel so unbalanced inside?

Thankfully, there are methods for mitigating unhealthy amounts of stress, such as regular exercise, mental health management, and eating a healthy diet. These are some factors involved in what I would describe as self-kindness and feel should be addressed first. Taking care of yourself is a crucial part of being able to take care of others. 

I haven’t met anyone that would, upon waking up, choose to spend the day in misery over bliss. So, why do we choose to? It is helpful for me to remember that someone else is always experiencing something way more challenging at this very moment. This means that by offering kindness we can potentially change someone’s bad experience into a lighter, more positive one.

I recently helped a neighbor. She had fallen last winter and broken a leg while shoveling snow. A few weeks ago, we got a big snowfall and as it started to fall, I started shoveling her driveway and sidewalk. In no time, mine was completed as well. I wasn’t sure if anyone was home and was slightly concerned with overstepping (literally) my boundaries, but later that week she stopped me and showed gratitude, explaining how much it meant to her and her husband. We all felt good all for just one simple, small act of kindness.

Ultimately, I would like to bring more awareness to these opportunities in 2023. There is no doubt that we all have time to be kind. Practicing and/or offering kindness on a regular basis is a choice that begins with ourselves but benefits many. We have the power to bring positive change and knowing this, we should choose to spread it like sunlight uplifting everyone around us a little more often.