Mindful Spotlight

Februrary - Love and Kindness

Evidence suggests that being kind not only makes the world a better place, but kindness offers significant psychological and physical health benefits.
Studies have also shown the body sustains a longer sense of calm after performing a kind act, and an increased sense of well-being. Performing kind acts for others has been shown to reverse feelings of depression, hostility and isolation. These feelings have been linked to cause overeating, and ulcers and asthma attatcks. Showing kindness can enhance feelings of joyfulness, emotional resilience, and vigour. Health benefits and sense of calm return for hours or even days whenever the kind act is remembered. It provides a sense of purpose and enhanced self-worth. The practice of caring for strangers results in immense immune system and healing benefits. So plan to'pay it forward' - today!

  • "Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see."

    ~ Mark Twain

  • "This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. "

    ~ Dalai Lama

  • “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”

    ~ Lao Tzu

  • "Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”

    ~ Princess Diana

  • "Kindness is loving people more than they deserve."

    ~ Joseph Joubert

  • "Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate."

    ~ Albert Schweitzer

  • "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

    ~ Aesop

  • "Kindness and politeness are not overrated at all. They're underused."

    ~ Tommy Lee Jones

  • "Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."

    ~ Scott Adams

  • "As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency."

    ~ Caroline Kennedy


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Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (Shambhala Classics) by Sharon Salzberg

Throughout our lives we long to love ourselves more deeply and find a greater sense of connection with others. Our fear of intimacy—both with others and with ourselves—creates feelings of pain and longing. But these feelings can also awaken in us the desire for freedom and the willingness to take up the spiritual path.

The Force of Kindness: Change Your Life with Love and Compassion by Sharon Salzberg

Distill the world's great spiritual teachings down to their most basic principles and one thread emerges to unite them all: kindness. In The Force of Kindness, Sharon Salzberg, one of the world's most respected Buddhist authors and meditation teachers, offers practical instruction on how to cultivate this essential trait within ourselves. Now available in paperback, this book-and-CD takes us on an exploration of what kindness truly means and the simple steps to realize its effects immediately. "When we fan even the smallest ember of kindness," teaches Salzberg, "we begin to overcome our own fears, doubts, and personal attachments-and tap an endless source of gentle strength available to us all."

Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life by Dacher Keltner

In this startling study of human emotion, Dacher Keltner investigates an unanswered question of human evolution: If humans are hardwired to lead lives that are “nasty, brutish, and short,” why have we evolved with positive emotions like gratitude, amusement, awe, and compassion that promote ethical action and cooperative societies? Illustrated with more than fifty photographs of human emotions, Born to Be Good takes us on a journey through scientific discovery, personal narrative, and Eastern philosophy. Positive emotions, Keltner finds, lie at the core of human nature and shape our everyday behavior—and they just may be the key to understanding how we can live our lives better.

Why Kindness is Good For You by Phd David R. Hamilton

Scientific evidence has proven that kindness changes the brain, impacts the heart and immune system, and may even be an antidote to depression. We're actually genetically wired to be kind. In this book, inspirational ex-scientist David Hamilton shows that kindness has evolved in us and thus its effects are felt daily throughout our nervous systems. When we're kind, our bodies are healthiest. This groundbreaking book is filled with fascinating new discoveries, including: how kindness developed in our genes; that love and kindness can make a damaged heart regenerate faster; how kindness and compassion alter the neural structures of our brains; and that gratitude can make you at least 25 per cent happier. This unique book fuses scientific research around being kind with inspirational real life examples of kindness from ordinary people. Reading these stories will nourish your soul and leave you with renewed optimism for the future, and this book will help you see the many levels on which taking the time to make a difference could transform your health - and your whole world.

The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life by Piero Ferrucci

The Power of Kindness is a stirring examination of a simple but profound concept. Piero Ferrucci, one of the world's most respected transpersonal psychologists, explores the many surprising facets of kindness and argues that it is this trait that will not only lead to our own individual happiness and the happiness of those around us, but will guide us in a world that has become cold, anxious, difficult, and frightening.

Kindness, Clarity, and Insight by His Holiness The Dalai Lama

This beloved classic brings together in one volume all the major themes of the Dalai Lama’s teachings. Drawn from the lectures he gave during his first three visits to North America, the book covers the core subject matter of Tibetan Buddhism, as presented for the first time to an English-speaking audience. The chapters are arranged developmentally from simple to complex topics, which include the luminous nature of the mind, the four noble truths, karma, the common goals of the world’s religions, meditation, deities, and selflessness. Central to all these teachings is the necessity of compassion—which the Dalai Lama says is “the essence of religion” and “the most precious thing there is.”

The Gift of Loving-Kindness: 100 Meditations on Compassion, Generosity, and Forgiveness by Dr. Mary Brantley, Tesilya Hanauer

Loving-kindness, the English translation of the Pali word metta, is defined as unconditional well-wishing and openhearted nurturing of ourselves and others, just as we are. By practicing loving-kindness, you can learn to treat yourself and others-even strangers-like dear friends, putting aside criticism and judgment and choosing instead to open your heart to greater generosity, forgiveness, and compassion.

Guerrilla Kindness: A Manual of Good Works, Kind Acts and Thoughtful Deeds by Gavin Whitsett

Kindness Books for Children

Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson

It can when she’s Ordinary Mary—an ordinary girl from an ordinary school, on her way to her ordinary house—who stumbles upon ordinary blueberries. When she decides to pick them for her neighbor, Mrs. Bishop, she starts a chain reaction that multiplies around the world. Mrs. Bishop makes blueberry muffins and gives them to her paperboy and four others—one of whom is Mr. Stevens, who then helps five different people with their luggage—one of whom is Maria, who then helps five people—including a man named Joseph who didn’t have enough money for his groceries—and so on, until the deed comes back to Mary.

The Kindness Quilt by Elizabeth Wallace

Minna and her classmates have been asked by their teacher, Mrs. Bloom, to work on a Kindness Project. Mrs. Bloom wants them to do and draw and share an act of kindness. Minna and her family do lots of kind things, but Minna can’t decide which one is right for her project. Then she starts writing and drawing and cutting—and an idea for a paper quilt picturing many acts of kindness begins to take shape.

How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids by Tom Rath

Through the story of a little boy named Felix, this charming book explains to children how being kind not only helps others, it helps them, too. As he goes about his day, Felix interacts with different people — his sister Anna, his grandfather, other family and friends. Some people are happy, but others are grumpy or sad. Using the metaphor of a bucket and dipper, Felix’ grandfather explains why the happy people make Felix feel good, while the others leave him feeling bad — and how Felix himself is affecting others, whether he means to or not. This beautifully illustrated adaptation takes the original book’s powerful message — that the way we relate to others has a profound effect on every aspect of our lives — and tailors it to a child’s unique needs and level of understanding.

Kindness to Share from a to Z by Todd and Peggy Sno

It's never too soon to teach children the value of kindness, from "Ask someone to play with you." to "Zip a younger child's jacket." Other ideas: "Help clean up after dinner." "Read a story to a younger child." "Think before you speak. Choose kind words." Simple words and beautifully engaging illustrations invite children to show kindness in their daily lives. Each letter, each idea is a step toward becoming more caring and compassionate...and making the world a better place.


"If someone were to pay you 10 cents for every kind word you ever spoke and have you pay them 5 cents for every unkind word, would you be rich or poor?" - Nonpareil

The Science of Kindness

Ron Gutman: The Hidden Power of Smiling

Profile on UC Berkeley Professor Dacher Keltner

Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Thought Bubbles: Kindness

The Kindness Connection