Kindness Wins

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”

-Booker T. Washington

Being of service to others comes naturally to many kind-hearted folks. Despite a tendency toward altruism, generally, helping others is my number one way of distracting myself from whatever malaise periodically plagues my head and heart.  Gratitude moments, realizing how many gifts and blessings I have is part of my daily meditative routine, and yet, that doesn’t make me an evolved human. I’m still my own ‘work in progress’ as I struggle with disappointment and try to muzzle my inner critic.  (She’s really loud, know what I mean?) 😉

When Wynne and I talked about our goals for “Sharing the Heart of the Matter” we knew we were eager to create a space for first-person storytelling…the good, the challenging and everything in between…while also highlighting uplifting tidbits of inspiration, useful ammunition to help us course-correct and change our perspectives – shake us toward higher ground, when needed.

The quote from Booker T. Washington?  So simple and so powerful – it’s on our “Connections” quote tree for a reason.  It speaks to us! Maybe it speaks to you, too?  

I love adding Vicki-isms into sparkling quotes, just like this one.  In my head, I add to Booker T’s wisdom with this:   

In a slump?  Dust yourself off, buddy, and look around.  Someone near you is in the same boat, maybe a leakier one, and could use your soulfulness and muscle to mend and repair.  

Yes, yes! However ‘service’ manifests in your life – in ways large or small – the giving of oneself and sharing gifts of time, energy, talent?  Life goals, right there, I say! And I love nothing more than learning about examples of caring – in all the unique, life affirming ways in which they appear, in everyday life. Giving? Receiving? I believe goodness is connected, interwoven. Regenerative.

Do you have examples of kindnesses that you extend, habits that you embrace, that involve ‘lifting up’ others?  We’d love to know…please take a moment to share in the comments.

Most of all, thank you so much for reading and for joining us here at HoTM. On our list of ‘what matters most’? You!

-Vicki 💕

43 thoughts on “Kindness Wins

  1. What a timely reminder, Vicki! And this: “Someone near you is in the same boat, maybe a leakier one.” Love it!! After so many years of walking around feeling exhausted but looking fine, I’ve found it much easier to work under the assumption that *everyone* is going through something. I wave and say hello when out walking, smile if I make eye contact with a stranger, help with doors and grocery bags if I see the need, etc. There were a few rare occasions during my illness where a stranger offered kindness and, when that’s what you’re heart needs in that moment, it’s life-changing… one of those life rafts. Thank you so much for this, Vicki! You’ve inspired me to be even more thoughtful in my interactions this weekend. Kindness always wins. 💕

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Erin! And yes, yes, yes! I’ve heard that philosophy coming through in pieces you’ve written recently — that I adore. Making eye contact, offering unsolicited, but welcome, helping hands. So, so, good! And yes…going into MLK weekend, the Booker T. Washington quote is especially powerful for me. I’m with you – kindness ALWAYS wins. Human to human. xo! 💕💕💕


  2. Ally Bean recommended I check out your blog and it is a pleasure to read

    I find myself intentionally making eye contact with children and offer a smile. There seem to be so many more sad faces on children than I recall noticing before. They almost always respond to a smile and am hopeful their smile might just create a shift in their day.

    I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Maggie — so nice to “meet” you! Thank you for taking a peek – grateful for that PLUS your comment. I hadn’t thought about children, specifically, but gosh – you’re right! Sad, hesitant faces – I agree – and it’s pretty magical when we smile, just because, and break through whatever the gloomy look is about and see a smile, even a 1/2 smile, in return. More encouragement for me to keep doing it! Have a lovely day! 😊

      Liked by 5 people

    2. That is a good way of showing kindness Maggie by smiling. It is key to smile from time to time it changes a person’s facial expression and they too end up smiling. It brightens a person’s day and I love to smile even if things may not be going well in my life smiling relieves stress😁😁✔

      Liked by 3 people

  3. My thought on kindness is to remember that everyone has a different history and different things in their lives. I try, emphasize try, to remember this when dealing with others

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Is that what that’s called: “Vicki-isms.” Oh, that’s perfect. I’ve been lucky in my life to have a front row seat to a number of caring and kind people. I need to write about a few of them at some point. We as a society don’t talk enough about the power of empathy. I think that’s what you’re touching on Vicki. The ability to look around and see that others might have it tough too and to offer what you can . . . even if it’s just a kind word. I’ve experienced highs and lows. For me anyway, those kind words have been gold, have meant as much as someone giving me $$$, because they meant that the person believed in me. Powerful stuff. And I’m with you, I’m a big believer that I want to lift myself up, lift someone else. It works every time. Thanks for sharing from the heart.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yes! I think empathy is the word…and I worry that all of the goodness associated with it has become watered down somehow. It’s a topic Wynne and I have talked about it — how important that one word is – and I love that you’re thinking about amazing people who encouraged you, believed in you – perhaps (or especially) when you didn’t believe in yourself as much. I can’t wait to read more about all of those folks in future Brian blogs.😊
      For me, I also think it’s an endless, bottomless treasure trove of storytelling – people on my path who made a difference through consideration…and yes! Empathy! Maybe we need t-shirts with extra-large “E”‘s on them!? 😊😉😊

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I find it lovely that we talk about kindness in this space, where the focus is on what matters. I think kindness is so important. It’s universal. It’s connective. And as you said, Vicki, it’s regenerative (such a great way of describing it) – AND takes us beyond our own selves. What can be better than all of that? 🥰 Beautiful post, and I love the Booker T. Washington quote. And the Vicki-ism! 🤍

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Yes, yes, yes, that was a beautiful post by Jane! 🥰 Glad you linked it here! XO to you too, Vickie! ❤️


  6. What a beautiful post full of lifts! Yes, kindness helps all – and I love how you talk about how it pushes back on the inner critic, how you Vickize the quote and most of all, that we get to learn from each other about the touch of kindness. Because it matters! Beautiful!! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Two simple things: Research has demonstrated that if you have been given a few dollars to use either by keeping it for yourself to spend on whatever you like or buying a cup of coffee to someone in line, you will feel better by doing the latter. And, of course, so will the recipient of your gift.

    I have also found that referring to a checker in a grocery (or other) store by name (from their nametag), some of them will be quite pleased with your rescue of them from anonymity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Dr. Stein! That’s such a lovely example – using the prompting from a nametag to make an everyday interaction more personal, less anonymous — especially when folks in situations like the one you described — a cashier or a checker – are providing services to us. And thank you for mentioning research on giving vs. receiving — the example of doing for others. So perfect…and I appreciate YOU for always providing thoughtful input. Thank you for that! 😊😊😊


  8. Such a lovely post Victoria. I wanted to take a little time to think before commenting. I suspect that many people carry out acts of kindness without really realising that’s what they’re doing. One of my colleagues described me previously as the kindest person she knows – I don’t actually see that in myself, I’m just being myself. However, it is nice to see smiles on other people’s faces when I do something nice for them, giving them some consideration.

    I did do something nice today … but I’d not see it as being kind … I hate the colour pink but had 3 pink pens 😵‍💫. One of my students really loves stationery and pastel colours … so I gave her the pens. It made her very happy … that was nice to see. I guess I like to see people happy, and if I can do something to make a person happy I will.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Brenda! Thank you for reading and for your terrific, thoughtful comment. I can see what your colleague is hinting at — that you are so naturally kind that you don’t necessarily recognize it in yourself. And then! You provide such a wonderful example of doing just that with the sharing of the pastel pink pens with one of your students. Simple things – small things – but they matter just the same. I hope you are taking good care!
    And — I want to mention that Wynne and I just noticed this afternoon that there are a few comments from earlier this week that may have been ‘held’ for some reason by WP — possibly including one or two in an exchange you and I had a few days ago. I’m so sorry about that — I’m going to take a peek to see if I can figure that out — but if for any reason one of my replies didn’t make it to you, or a comment you shared didn’t post, I’m so very sorry. Technology! Sheesh! Big smiles and thanks to you! 😉😘😉


  10. Sometimes when I am tempted to get cranky and judgmental about some “offense” that someone may have perpetrated upon me, (a rarity, thank goodness) it helps to stop for a minute and remember that each one of us is here with our own agenda, our own lessons to learn, or own challenges to face. Once I realize that, I can shift into compassion and empathy mode instead of criticism and judgment. Recently, as I was thinking about ways that I could be of greater service to others, I heard the words in my head, “Think less about yourself and more about others.” Well now, that sounds like a pretty good start to me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How beautiful, Julia. Our own, unique lessons to learn and challenges…I think you’ve shared a perspective that is generous and loving. Thank you so much. Less self, more others? Yes. So often that’s just what I need to be reminded of. Xo! ❤️


  11. I find one of the most simplest but powerful acts of kindness is being there and being present for your loved ones. In this ever busy and frenetic world, showing up sends such a meaningful message of love.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ab — you said something so perfect! It’s the ‘being there’ — being present. No heroic acts, just showing up. And I love how that act of “showing up” can morph in so many different ways. If you’re physically near, it’s the literal being with…with proximity for hugs, touch. If we’re unable to be near, the use of technology, face time, long phone calls, video chats/Zoom is almost as good. However it comes to pass, I’m with you. Showing up IS such a meaningful message. Thank you for that! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Beautiful blog post Victoria. I like the profound quote by Booker T. Washington it is easy to understand and very powerful in changing people’s lives by being kind, adopting qualities such as leniency, humility and compassion.

    I have been of service to the people in my community through giving my time to help where needed be it giving the little to a friend and even in the little things such as online here talking to the bloggers and sharing ideas and comments plus being of one mind as bloggers and shaping readers mindset by procuring valuable info💯👏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mthobisi — you said two things that will stick with me today. Thank you so much! First — your mention of how powerful it can be to adopt kindness along with leniency, humility and compassion. For some reason the ‘leniency’ especially hits me — how important it can be to reserve judgment, allow life to unfold first. It’s like giving someone we care about breathing room before we draw conclusions. And second – I agree! The blogging community is a terrific place to share thoughts, contribute to positive mindsets. Yes – uplift! I think we all have plenty to learn from one another. Thank you for your thoughtful comment! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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