Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spreading Kindness

Right now, we have a complaining problem in our house. My leg hurts, my head hurts, I had a bad day at work, so-and-so wouldn't play with me today on the playground....and on and on.

We are all guilty of engaging in what I would refer to as the "Debbie Downer Syndrome." I don't really notice it, and then when I notice the complaining it glares right back at me with a dramatic eye roll. In recognizing this problem, I have told myself each day for about a month now that I would make it through the day without complaining...

True story- I have probably made it to 6:22 am before the first complaint rolls off my tongue each day, at the latest.

But, yesterday I was invited to join a Facebook event that was created by a friend of a friend. It easily could have been ignored, but I was enticed by the title, "30 Days of Compliments."  The creator, Mr. Douglas Heavisides, whom I do not know, is on a mission to create a little more positive energy in the world to displace the negative news stream by tasking all his friends, and their friends, and their friends to just compliment one person a day for a month. Wow. What a simple, but beautiful idea.

It reminded me of Pollyanna, by Eleanor H. Porter. In the book she wrote, "The influence of a beautiful, helpful, hopeful character is contagious, and may revolutionize a whole town....People radiate what is in their minds and in their hearts. If a man feels kindly and obliging, his neighbors will feel that way, too, before long." And that is exactly what is happening. I am two days in, and I am getting so much positive energy from all the posts.

Kindness is contagious. And with kindness comes joy and happiness. Imagine that.

And isn't that what we want out of life?

Don't we want to share and spread kindness? Because it feels these days that sarcasm, anger, hate, intolerance, and stress is what most of us spread to each other. Don't we want to be remembered as being a good, kind, tolerant, helpful person? I know that is what I want for my girls. When I really think about what I hope for my daughters, being successful or wealthy doesn't top my list. I, instead, wish that they grow up to be kind, caring individuals that help others.

A couple days ago, after I put Miss J to bed, I came into Miss M's bedroom and found her sitting at her desk writing. This is what she wrote:

She was writing a story of kindness.
And that made me a proud mommy.

And so today,  I began to think about how nice it would be to share 30 days of stories that promote, foster, or teach kindness as a way to extend this 30 days of compliments exercise to our children. One book a day for 30 days. Can I do it? Not without your help.
What books do you think foster and promote kindness?
Join me in creating a list of books about kindness.


  1. I wish I could help with this, but I don't know any children's books about kindness! I'll do my best to research. I think it's a fantastic idea!

  2. Thanks Jamie! I bet you remember some books from when you were little that left an imprint on you regarding kindness.

  3. Isn't is funny how you can think you know tons about books but if someone asks you something specific you go blank?

    Thinking back to childhood, I think the Francis books (the little badger) were often about kindness and sharing.

    More recent, and actually even too new for my kids, I love Gossie by Dunrea, where Gossie ends up sharing her favorite red boots.

    If I recall correctly, in the chapter book Judy Moody & Stink: The Holly Joliday, by Megan McDonald, Judy figures out a way to give her brother what he wants for Christmas, snow.

    1. What great suggestions! My daughter is a big fan of Judy Moody books. I will have to check that one out. And I am sure my little one would love the Gossie books. Thanks for the recommendations.


I would love to hear your thoughts.

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