Slide background

The Kindness Flash #15

vest-separator

This month’s theme: FORTITUDE – the courage and strength of heart to push through the fear and adversity that can oftentimes paralyze.

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: When You Find Courage

While recovering from a serious medical procedure Lee met a loving family caring for their father dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). Lee’s daily routine came to include a visit with the man, his wife and four children. Soon Lee discovered the ultimate gift of kindness and that sometimes it isn’t always clear who is giving the gift to whom.

Edited By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


Everyday Kindness: Love is Patient Love is Kind

Abuse from the age of two taught Tam to be fearful and silent. She jumped when someone touched her. She cried for what appeared to be no reason. Dating seemed completely impossible. “I was always that ‘weird girl’ in the corner.” But Aaron’s kindness and patience turned the key and opened the lock.

Edited By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


Podcast: Radically Loved with Rosie Acosta

Rosie Acosta of Radically Loved chats with LVI Founder, Orly Wahba on her uplifting and inspiring podcast!

Listen here >>


good-newsGood News

This Dog Owner Is Fighting Back After Being Told She Should Be ‘Ashamed’ for Having an Assistance Dog. We all know the benefits of companionship dogs offer, but some bring more than that, and it’s through their skills as man (or woman’s) best friend that they can offer someone a quality of life that they might not have.

Read On >>


good-newsArticle of the Month

The fortitude Sarah Amento showed as she shared her journey through stage IV triple negative breast cancer gave hope to others. She taught us to grab the moments, let go of the “what ifs and if only’s”, to accept kindness and to have faith. True to her word, cancer never did define Sarah, Sarah redefined cancer.

If Only…written by Jewel Fries


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“If plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters – 204 if you’re in Japan.”
~ Claire Cook

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

In the words of Author Margie Warrell, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” This month muster up the courage to boldly step out of your comfort zone and embrace change by taking the chances that will allow you to tap into your utmost potential. It’s time to exchange procrastination for action. Your world awaits you!

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

photo-of-the-month-june17
Why do you think this picture represents fortitude? SHARE your thoughts!
 

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month

Justin Furstenfeld has never been shy about sharing his story through his lyrics and his music. Justin Furstenfeld has spent most of his adult life battling mental health and addiction. In Fear he shares with us the idea that no matter how low we find ourselves, no matter how dark of a place we are in, we can always find the courage to “get back up.” He allows us to tell ourselves “Today, I don’t have to fall apart. I don’t have to be afraid. I don’t have to let the damage consume me.” Through Justin’s journey of recovery, we can find our own courage to face the challenges that lie ahead of us.
 

video-of-the-month

VIDEO

of the Month

Having a passion for something can motivate us to move mountains. The impossible suddenly becomes possible as we fight to achieve our dreams. WATCH how this young lady’s fortitude turned what some would call a weakness into her biggest and most defining strength.
 

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. In this captivating talk she discusses her abduction and encourages us all to never give up and never surrender in the face of adversity.
 

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

In 2013 Paul Kalanithi was a young resident in neurological surgery when he was diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer. Suddenly he was thrust into the role of patient and with a new perspective, Kalanithi began sharing his very personal questions and thoughts on living, illness, dying and medicine. His autobiography details his experiences as a doctor, patient, new father and husband as he faces a terminal illness with this unforgettable and life affirming reflection. Published posthumously, the final word is left to his wife who shares her thoughts on Kalanithi’s final journey.


Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Kindness Flash #14

vest-separator

This month’s theme: HAPPINESS – Happiness can be defined in many different ways including momentary feelings of joy and pleasure, a higher meaning of life or as Shawn Achor describes it, “For me, happiness is the joy we feel striving for our potential.”

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: Sowing the Seeds of Happiness

Upon moving to Brighton her father missed the wild flowers he’d enjoyed so much in his homeland. He was sad that little children passed on the street every day and the trees were bare. He decided to take it upon himself to make a change and proceeded to plant daffodils under one tree, but sometimes, things don’t go quite as planned.

Edited By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


Everyday Kindness: Super Hero, Super Kindness

Reality greeted Mykel when his roommate informed him he wanted him to leave. His friend Tomo was the first person he contacted and Tomo opened his doors to Mykel. Talk about kindness, Tomo didn’t want Mykel to pay rent!

Edited By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


kind-connection

Kind Connection: Grace Murdock

She didn’t think that by choosing to make a difference in her community, she would someday become a ‘Kindness Influencer’ who people look up to. Discover more about Grace Murdock’s incredible journey through love and generosity and find out how you can help her fulfill her personal Kindness Wish.

Read the full interview on the blog >>


good-newsGood News

“Researchers from the University of Otago, New Zealand, asked eight schools not to change their playgrounds, while another eight increased the element of ‘risk’ in their outdoor areas. Youngsters who spend their lunch break in areas with a bit of ‘rough and tumble’ are more likely to play with other children and less likely to complain of being bullied.”

Read On >>


good-newsArticle of the Month

Examining how to be happy is benefitted from observing the patterns of others, and then taking only what you find useful. Inspiration is the goal, not rigid rules on being happy.

The 15 Habits of Incredibly Happy People


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”
~ Jim Rohn

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

“Researchers found that setting ambitious goals tends to make people happier.” This month set 3 goals, a short term, medium term and long term. Share your goals with a friend and let them cheer you on! You might just inspire them to set some goals too.

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

photo-of-the-month-may
Why do you think this picture represents happiness? SHARE your thoughts!
 

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month

You can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of happiness while listening to this song. “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. Clap along if you know what happiness is to you.” The key is recognizing that happiness can be found in everything. It’s a choice that we make every moment of every day. When happiness exists within ourselves, no one can take from us.
 

video-of-the-month

VIDEO

of the Month

Did you know that engaging in ACTS OF KINDNESS is proven to boost serotonin? Serotonin heals your wounds, calms you down and makes you HAPPY!
 

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

“We believe we should work hard in order to be happy, but could we be thinking about things backwards? In this fast-moving and very funny talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive.”
 

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin asked herself, “What do I want from life, anyway?” Her answer was a common one, “I want to be happy.” Yet in that moment she realized she spent no time thinking about her happiness. So without looking back she decided to dedicate one whole year to a happiness project. What resulted is “one of the most thoughtful and engaging works on happiness.” The book brings together the wisdom of the ages with current scientific research, as Rubin shows her readers what a year of cultivating happiness can look like.


Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Kindness Flash #13

vest-separator

This month’s theme: FRIENDSHIP – “A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” ~William Shakespeare

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: The Power of a Smile

Many of of us remember an adult from our childhood who stands out as someone extra special. For Marwa it was a sweet, caring elderly neighbour she describes as a pure hearted woman who showed the little girl love and a joy of life, despite the woman’s own difficulties.

Edited By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


Everyday Kindness: That Awkward Moment

We’ve all experienced an awkward moment. If we’re lucky they are fleeting, if not they can hang in the air and make time stand still, and not in a good way. Like everything else in life what we do with those moments is a choice. Pavan’s shares his experience with one such awkward experience and how his choice to embrace that moment made a lasting difference.

Edited By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


good-newsGood News

While most of us think twice about offering to babysit for our friends who have just become parents, there are a few souls out there who surprise us in the best way possible. When her best friend Gina passed away, Jane promised Gina’s terminally ill husband to take in their children as her own. Read on to find out more about this incredible story of friendship!

Friendships that last for a lifetime, and beyond


good-newsArticle of the Month

We all have amazing friendships that we know could last a lifetime. But oftentimes, something gets in the way of our forever. Sometimes it is a slight misunderstanding, miscommunication or maybe just distance. Find out some amazing ways to ensure that these friendships stay intact over the years and make it to the forever line.

10 Characteristics of Friendships That Keep


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”
~ William Butler Yeats

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

Reach out to an old friend and find out how life has been treating them. If you feel it, go ahead and plan a weekend together! There is nothing like the joy of laughter and shared memories between two souls who have known each other since forever.

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

photo-of-the-month-april
Why do you think this picture represents friendship? SHARE your thoughts!
 

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month

Some songs never get old. We’ve all had that FRIENDS coffee shop gang with whom we will never stop arguing, joking, laughing, and loving every single day. Here’s to the best of friendships!
 

video-of-the-month

VIDEO

of the Month

Here are two incredible women who have known each other their entire lives, and yes, they are a 100 years old! We sure could take some tips from them on maintaining our friendships.
 

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

We’re all embedded in vast social networks of friends, family, co-workers and more. Nicholas Christakis tracks how a wide variety of traits — from happiness to obesity — can spread from person to person, showing how your location in the network might impact your life in ways you don’t even know.
 

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

This tale about two unlikely friends will take you through a roller coaster of emotions, secured tightly at the centre by love and unbreakable ties. When the son of a wealthy merchant and a servant boy become friends, a little bit of the world beneath them shakes, and changes in the name of this bond.


Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Kindness Flash #12

vest-separator

This month’s theme: INTEGRITY – “choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.” ~Brené Brown, Rising Strong.

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: A Little Piece Of Heaven

When Javier and a friend were turned away from an exclusive nightclub he didn’t let disappointment spoil his evening. While grabbing a hotdog from a nearby vendor a street kid asked them for money. Instead, Javier invited him to join them and bought the boy two hot dogs. Javier noticed another street kid’s wide eyed amazement and invited that boy over too. A simple, impromptu gathering that made a lasting impression on everyone there.

Edited By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


Everyday Kindness: A Heart Of Gold

Street lamps illuminated the road as I walked home one Saturday night shivering against the cold wind. Silence filled the air with most people comfortably inside their warm homes. My footsteps grew louder and my pace increased to keep away the chill. When I reached the corner of what I thought was the last block of my journey, a whisper emerged from the silence, “Sir, hello sir.”

Edited By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


good-newsGood News

On a Sunday in April, 2012, Leon Lewandowski, decided to challenge himself to try to do one Random Act of Kindness (RAOK) each day for the month of April. Soon, he brought his family and friends into his RAOK Challenge to grow into what it has become today.

In the years to come, his elementary school students hopped on board, along with other schools in the area, as well as strangers on Facebook, businesses, organizations, churches, sororities, etc.

“Kindness,” says the educator, “should not be limited to just one month, but I have found that once someone can do a RAOK for 30 days, it becomes a habit, part of who they are, and it continues past April.” Lewandowski would love to get more people who are already dedicated to kindness to join him and his grassroots movement this April to do a RAOK, and then post their experiences on the group’s Facebook page.

When each of us spreads kindness consistently, it spreads like ripples in a pond, and that’s the first step in changing the world.


good-newsArticle of the Month

Do you walk your talk? Say what you mean and mean what you say? Or does your language take you down roads you’re not willing to follow? Taking a closer look at how your words and deeds connect — or don’t — can help you see where you really stand.

Walking Your Talk: The Path To Personal Integrity – Cat Thompson


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.”
~ Janis Joplin

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

Decide to act honestly in ANY and ALL dealings or interactions. Your integrity is more important than any personal gain. Do the right thing even when nobody’s watching.

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

photo-of-the-month-march
Why do you think this picture represents integrity? SHARE your thoughts!
 

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month

“If I could tell the world just one thing it would be that we’re all ok. And not to worry because worry is wasteful and useless in times like these. We will fight, not out of spite. For someone must stand up for what’s right. Cause where there’s a man who has no voice, there ours shall go singing.” Powerful words from a powerful singer and believer in the good of humankind. Let’s muster the courage to always stand for what’s right.
 

video-of-the-month

VIDEO

of the Month

After a group of 5th grade boys noticed a classmate with a learning disability getting teased, they banded together and made him a part of their gang.
 

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

Ash Beckham recently found herself in a situation that made her ask: who am I? She felt pulled between two roles — as an aunt and as an advocate. Each of us feels this struggle sometimes, she says — and offers bold suggestions for how to stand up for your moral integrity when it isn’t convenient.
 

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

Let Go Or Be Dragged: A Book Of Conscious Choices

Let Go Or Be Dragged: A Book Of Conscious Choices by Debbie Hyde

Written by one of our own ambassadors, Debbie Hyde. Let Go Or Be Dragged is about living our values authentically and with integrity in all we do – helping us all to recognise that our conscious or unconscious actions may be stopping us from living with true integrity and showing us ways we can instead become consistent.


Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Kindness Flash #11

vest-separator

This month’s theme: FORGIVENESS – the art of altering our perception to understand the feelings of another.

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: The Best Kindness Ever

As little girl June found her own Mary Poppins in her very special nanny Freda who taught her how to love and be loved, and that forgiveness is far more important than being bitter.

Edited By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


Everyday Kindness: Making A Better Tomorrow Today

Working at a remote school in Argentina made getting places challenging for Yanina. It was no different the day she was trying to be on time as she rushed to a job interview. It wasn’t long before Yanina realized she would be late. Undaunted she came up with Plan B, but sometimes Plan B needs a kind stranger in the right place at the right time to make the pieces all fall into place.

Edited By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


kind-connection

Kind Connection: Christina Maas

She never bothered restricting herself to one definition of kindness. From a very early age, Christina showered love upon anyone who she felt could use a little more of it. Read on to find out more about her journey, and how you can become a part of the “LVI Ambassador Knights Thinking Tank”!

Read the full interview on the blog >>


good-newsGood News

While forgiveness is something that most of us grapple with on a somewhat regular basis, there are stories like that of Mary Johnson’s which inspires us to understand the capacity of the human heart to love, be kind, and to restore through forgiveness.

Mary’s only child, a young teenage boy named Laramiun Byrd, lost his life on being shot by another young man named Oshea Isreal during a fight.

A dozen years later, Mary went to prison to visit the man who took away her son’s life. She was worried what to expect, but saw a completely changed man at the other end. She knew that he was aware of what he had taken away from her. She hugged him, and let him know that he was forgiven by her.

Mary found an organization called From Death To Life with Oshea’s mother. The organization aims to bring healing and reconciliation between families who have lost loved ones in acts of violence.

Mary sees Oshea as her own son, and in a short talk of theirs, she shared that she never got to see her son graduate or go to college, but she now sees him in Oshea and cannot wait for Oshea to graduate!


good-newsArticle of the Month

Forgiveness has always been something talked about as an absolute on the higher end of the moral compass. While it is true that the benefits of forgiving someone are manifold, how often do we discuss what forgiveness really means? Read on to find out how you can forgive, or choose not to, and still move ahead to lead a healthy life.

The Healing Power of Forgiveness


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
~ Lewis B. Smedes

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

Forgive Yourself! We all make mistakes; we all fall short sometimes, but if you harp on errors of judgement you’ve made, you won’t allow yourself to get up and take a step towards making things right. YOU are not your mistakes – YOU are better than that!

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

photo-of-the-month-january-2017
Why do you think this picture represents forgiveness? SHARE your thoughts!
 

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month

It was this song that I listened to time and time again as a child with tears streaming down my face, feeling as though Michael Jackson was speaking words directly from my heart. The greatest healing comes from forgiveness; the ability to see past the hurt and trust again. His words ring so very true today: “We could fly so high, let our spirits never die. In my heart I feel you are all my brothers. Create a world with no fear, Together we cry happy tears. See the nations turn their swords into plowshares. We could really get there, If you cared enough for the living. Make a little space, To make a better place.”
 

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

Dr. Shawne Duperon, 6 time Emmy Award winner and nominee for Nobel Peace Prize for her work with Project Forgive Foundation, talks about the journey and process of forgiveness. Instead of shovelling down what is incomplete, Duperon believes that one must “Face it, move through it, transform it, love it up and be with it!”
 

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World

The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World by Desmond & Mpho Tutu

Tutu’s role as the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission taught him much about forgiveness. If you asked anyone what they thought was going to happen to South Africa after apartheid, almost universally it was predicted that the country would be devastated by a comprehensive bloodbath. Yet, instead of revenge and retribution, this new nation chose to tread the difficult path of confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation.


Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Kindness Flash #10

vest-separator

This month’s theme: SELF LOVE – understanding the value of giving to oneself.

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: A True Friend and Three Little Words

Sometimes self-care means accepting the kindness and caring of someone else for a change.

Edited By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


Everyday Kindness: The Best Kindness Ever

Working at a remote school in Argentina made getting places challenging for Yanina. It was no different the day she was trying to be on time as she rushed to a job interview. It wasn’t long before Yanina realized she would be late. Undaunted she came up with Plan B, but sometimes Plan B needs a kind stranger in the right place at the right time to make the pieces all fall into place.

Edited By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


kind-connection

Kind Connection: Lagunesvary Ganesan

A kindness ambassador in every right, Lagu’s journey of love, giving, and self-exploration has not always been easy. Read on to discover more of what makes this amazing woman who she is and find out how you can help make her wish come true!

Read the full interview on the blog >>


good-newsArticle of the Month

Too often we in our busy lives we forget to take care of ourselves. Sure, finding time for self care can be a challenge, but the price we pay for self neglect is a high one. Without a little self care, it won’t be long before you find yourself in a mental place where it’s hard to care about anything or anyone. So give yourself, and everyone else around you, the gift of taking a little time for yourself. These tips are a great place to start.

45 Simple Self Care Practices For A Healthy Mind, Body and Soul


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
~ Marcel Proust

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

Recognize just how AWESOME you truly are. Create a list of at least 25 of your virtues, talents, accomplishments, and the things that make you uniquely you. Remember, nothing is too small. Every skill you have contributes endless benefits to those around you. Giving to others is easy, giving to ourselves and seeing our value is where the challenge lies.

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

photo-of-the-month-january
Why do you think this picture represents humility? Click HERE and share your thoughts!
 

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month

I may have heard this song hundreds of times before on the radio, but when I listened to this acoustic version it stirred something inside of me. If only we remembered these most powerful words with every step that we take, “Pretty, pretty please. Don’t you ever, ever feel. Like you’re less than, Less than perfect.”
 

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

Dr. Brené Brown discusses how do we engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to embrace our imperfections and to recognize that we are enough — that we are worthy of love, belonging and joy?
 

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

kindness-boomerang-orly-wahba

How to save the world (and yourself) through 365 daily acts by Orly Wahba

Fresh off the press, my upcoming book has been OFFICIALLY released TODAY! A guide to incorporating kindness into your day to day life. The book contains 365 daily acts, one for each day of the year, accompanied by inspirational quotes, personal stories on the power of paying it forward and tangible steps to incorporate kindness into your daily life. BUY YOUR COPY!


Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Kindness Flash #09

vest-separator

This month’s theme: HUMILITY – recognizing that we can’t do everything alone. We need faith, gratitude and each other to survive and thrive. ~Jade Ryan

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: The Sweet Side of Kindness

When Karina heard Orly speak about her own life struggles, and Life Vest Inside, it resonated with her heart. She signed up and committed to buying someone a meal but what resulted was sweeter than she ever expected.

Edited By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


Everyday Kindness: Empowering New Beginnings Through Kindness

Jeff may work with men who suffer from various forms of addiction, but his ability to see beyond the addiction, to see the person is what paved the way for a little love, a little kindness, a little laughter, and a whole lotta dancing to take form.

Edited By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


kind-connection

Kind Connection: Erin Buchalter

When Erin was upset with all the pain she saw in the world, she went on to YouTube and typed in “Kindness”. What she found was her start to being a part of fixing everything that was wrong in the world. Read on to learn more about Erin’s journey and wish!

Read the full interview on the blog >>


good-newsGood News

As I was preparing myself to sit down and write this month’s Good News Story focused around the theme of humility, I wanted to entrench myself in the proper mindset. I decided to reach out to Kindness Ambassadors and friends to ask them how they defined humility and what it meant to them. Before I knew it loads of responses and posts began coming through and it turns out that the real story was within their words and their reflection. And so instead of simply sharing my view on a Good News Story from around the world, I found it more fitting instead to use this month’s Good News Story as a platform. A platform for people to share, to reflect, to question, to wonder, to discover and to connect about the quality of humility that as one Ambassador, Gerry West, put it is less of an achievement and more of a pursuit.

Below are some thoughts from people sharing their first impression when they hear the word humility.

The understanding that actions speak louder than words.

Humility is a quiet competence without arrogance. ~Jade Ryan

Dr James Dobson describes humility as, a pursuable characteristic that once you realize you’ve achieved it, that’s when you lose it. ~Gerry West

Humility is when EVERYTHING life serves me is gratefully and gracefully received as a priceless gift. ~Naraya Naserian

Humility comes from true love and passion for others….wanting the very best for others and showing your compassion by your actions….it’s giving of yourself without any expectations from others….~Chere Staton Mask

Humble people are usually tactful to their audiences when their qualities are outwardly shown. They don’t give off a superior vibe; rather they adhere to the mentality that a combination of effort and luck (or blessing, depending on their beliefs) led them to where they are, and thus, they are not above others. They encourage others who look up to them and highlight their capabilities. ~Ali Rishty

Humility is the capacity of being an Lightbearer with a strong Light to guide the way while also having the capacity for restraint so as not to blind others. ~Paul Girardin

Confidence + empathy ~Spencer L Dennis

Humility is to understand that we are no better than other. ~Willian Machado

Humility is knowing that you’re special, that you are awesome yet know you are not all that is. Everyone is as awesome as you are. ~Jeremy Oliver

Humility is being self-aware of the strengths, gifts and talents you have been blessed with – and then putting them to good use in the service of others. ~Ari Sytner

For me, humility is understanding that other people are just as much “people” as you are. That the fact that you are better than them at something only makes you better than them at something, not a better person. ~Rodrigo Barbosa

Humility is understanding that we are one small part of an amazingly intricate and interconnected whole. Our actions are necessary for the good of everyone, yet we can’t forget the billions of others that make up whole. ~Tracy Oliver

Humility to me is knowing that we are all the same in most ways each with our own struggles. Simply helping wherever however whenever I can knowing that helping others is really helping myself. We all grow and bloom. ~Jewel Luscombe Fries

So, what does HUMILITY mean to you?

I encourage all of you to share your thoughts and comments on the original thread HERE!

For me, humility begins with reflection; deep reflection into who we are and why we do the things we do. A true test of character is not being humble but remaining humble in spite of success and applause for a job well done; understanding that it takes a team to get you to where you are.

I look forward to learning from each of you.


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“The tree that bears much fruit does not seek to stand taller but bends towards the ground.”
~ Timothy Healey

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

A true test of character is not being humble but remaining humble in spite of success and applause for a job well done; understanding that it takes a team to get you to where you are. This month take the time to acknowledge the people and things in your life that contribute to your success. Remember, we are all a piece of the puzzle; different shapes, different colors but each of us the same size; each of us as important as the next.

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

photo-of-the-month-december
Why do you think this picture represents humility? Click HERE and share your thoughts!
 

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month

There’s always an opportunity to make a difference; an opportunity to truly SEE people regardless of how busy or famous we may become. “I don’t wanna run, I don’t wanna hide, When someone needs somebody, I don’t wanna say, I don’t got the time, When someone needs somebody, With a little faith and a little soul, We can’t go wrong.”
 

video-of-the-month

VIDEO

of the Month

Nelson Mandela is a household name around the world because of the impact he had on democracy and equality in South Africa, yet through it all, the struggles the hardships, the failures and victories one thing remained his guiding light.
 

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

Daniel Epstein discusses the paradoxical mix of confidence and humility; having enough confidence to persist through failure yet enough humility to ignore sceptics. Is the right mix of humility and confidence one of the keys to making the world a better place?
 

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

book7

Daybook: The Journal of an Artist by Anne Truitt

Renowned American artist Anne Truitt kept this illuminating and inspiring journal over a period of seven years, determined to come to terms with the forces that shaped her art and life. She examines the art of humility and the perils of self-righteousness as a gateway to true human connection, the elixir that makes an honorable human relationship.


Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Kindness Flash #08

vest-separator

This month’s theme: COMMUNITY – a group of people united through a common goal.

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: Tough City, Kind Neighbor

When Lisa first moved into the neighborhood in 1994, her neighbor James was very friendly. So much so that he was always helping her around the house, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, and more! Sounds great, right? But something seemed a bit off for Lisa. Why was this man being kind to a stranger? What did he want in return?

Edited By David Beltran • Read More >>


Everyday Kindness: Four Teens, Four Elders, One Heart

When an intergenerational kindness class, made up of teenagers and elderly in Seattle, decided to surprise a stranger one afternoon, they didn’t realize the joy they would all receive just from committing one random act of kindness together.

Edited By David Beltran • Read More >>


kind-connection

Kind Connection: Megan Rose Taylor

At just 15-years-old, Megan discovered the importance of kindness first-hand when she fainted, fracturing her skull in three places. If it hadn’t been for the strangers who called an ambulance and cared for her until it arrived, Megan knows the result may have been even more devastating. Learn more about Megan and find out how you can make her Kindness Wish become a reality!

Read the full interview on the blog >>


good-newsGood News

If you’ve seen the news lately, you’ve most likely seen the stories about the presidential race in the U.S. and how more than any other previous election, it’s causing a lot of divisiveness.

But in a time when people are being divided by political beliefs, we sometimes forget to see the real life truths. We forget that the same people who we may now fiercely oppose are the same people who we grew up with. They’re the neighbor who made us feel welcome when we had just moved to the neighborhood. They’re the kids we played with at the playground. They’re the person we celebrated with when our favorite team scored the game winning goal. They’re the best friend of our parents who we consider a family member.

While many issues continue to come up and split opinions, we should remember that what has gotten us through the tough times in our lives, and also the great times, is each other – our community. So let us not forget that each and every one of us are leaders. Whether it’s in our home, at school, at our job, or any place else. Where others have the power to divide, we have the power to unite.


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.”
~ Anthony J. D’Angelo

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

Invite some friends or neighbors over for a game night or hold a local event to bring people together and get to know one another!

The essence of a strong community is based on the close ties and relationships that form between people of that community. But strong roots don’t grow overnight, they’re nurtured.

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

photo-of-the-month-november
With our Dance for Kindness event less than two weeks away, communities around the world are gathering together to unite under the banner of kindness; showing that our strength is within our differences.
 

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month

“There comes a time when we heed a certain call. When the world must come together as one.” What better time than right NOW! I’m sure I’m not alone in being tremendously impacted by this world changing song that embodies the essence of community; joining together in song to speak up for the power of unity to impact change.
 

video-of-the-month

VIDEO

of the Month

When this teacher had her students begin keeping gratitude journals, she hoped to just lift their spirits at the end of the day. But she ended up changing their lives beyond just the classroom in ways they never imagined.
 

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

As a kid, Hugh Evans believed he could change the world and it was impossible to convince him otherwise. Sound familiar? Through his own experiences meeting others, Hugh shows us how “global citizens stand together and reject the naysayers, and embrace the amazing possibilities of the world we share.”
 

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

book6

Community: The Structure of Belonging by Peter Block

Whether it’s a company, a school, or one’s own neighborhood, we all know what a strong community looks like. But how do we go from being strong individuals to bringing people together? Peter Block shows us that in a world often full of divisiveness, it’s possible to create a united community and explains how all of us can help build it.


The Giving Tree

If you need it, take it; if you don’t, leave it. This phrase is the premise behind The Giving Tree located in downtown Fort Collins, Colorado outside of the FoCo Cafe. The Giving Tree is a place where community members can give and receive freely. These items are free for the public to take as they wish. No judgement, just community-level support.

Read more >>


Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Giving Tree: Rooted in Community Support

By: Catharine Koroulis

vest-separator

If you need it, take it; if you don’t, leave it. This phrase is the premise behind The Giving Tree located in downtown Fort Collins, Colorado outside of the FoCo Cafe. The Giving Tree is a place where community members can give and receive freely. Each branch is stocked full of items from toiletries and baby wipes to bug spray and snacks. These items are free for the public to take as they wish. No judgement, just community-level support.

As a hybrid of sorts, inspiration for The Giving Tree comes from the Iranian ‘Wall of Kindness’. Like The Giving Tree, the Wall of Kindness was created to facilitate sharing within the community. The idea is simple; individuals are given a place to leave items for others who might be in need. Kelly Cann and Nicole Sizemore of The Mighty Notch Farm and Friendly Critters Farm knew they could make the same impact in the Fort Collins community. Cann’s response to their motivation is simple, “We’re farmers and mothers. We like to feed people.”

the-giving-tree-feature Sign outside of The Giving Tree from Friendly Critters Farm and The Mighty Notch Farm. Credit: Zachary Donahoe

In the spring of 2016 both women, their families, and several volunteers set out to build The Giving Tree. By most standards, the effort has been a huge success. The Giving Tree was constructed in just one day, with mostly repurposed material. Since its inception in February, The Giving Tree has fostered the simple act of reciprocity for many. According to Sizemore, “People go to The Giving Tree who have very little, yet they leave what they can for someone else.”

Although The Giving Tree offers many items, writing journals are the hardest to keep in stock. Cann and Sizemore believe that underserved community members usually have much to say, but no one with whom to share their thoughts. “We love the idea that you don’t have to be a part of the system to help. We just want people to feel welcomed and loved,” said Sizemore.

Housing the Giving Tree at the FoCo Café makes sense. The FoCo Café is based on the pay-it-forward system where restaurant patrons are asked to pay what they can afford, pay for someone else’s meal, or simply pay with their time and talent. Both foster a sense of community and prove that concentrated individual effort can make a huge impact.

Sponsoring a branch on The Giving Tree is easy. To make a donation, please visit Colorado Gives, and specify that you would like to support The Giving Tree. Items that commonly need stocked include wet wipes, baby powder, journals and pens, individually wrapped snacks, hand sanitizer, bug spray, sunscreen, pocket-sized flash lights, toiletries, and hygiene products.

For more information on the FoCo Café, visit their website. Information on the Giving Tree can be found at http://fococafe.org/the-giving-tree/.

the-giving-tree3 Words of inspiration located near The Giving Tree. Credit: Zachary Donahoe.

Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Kindness Flash #07

vest-separator

This month’s theme: ALTRUISM – the selfless desire and passion to help others.

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: The Simple Things

As a medical student, Mark sees uplifting and heartwarming moments of kindness, love, and empathy all the time in wards and clinics. But one encounter stood out.

Written By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


Everyday Kindness: Bouquet of Kindness

It’s easy for most of us to go through our day and be able to do something kind for a random person like buying their coffee, holding the door for someone, or just simply paying them a compliment. But for those who are unable to get around easily such as those in nursing homes, they can often feel forgotten.

Written By Soumya John • Read More >>


kind-connection

Kind Connection: Debbie Hyde

Sharing a smile is natural for Debbie Hyde. Although she has experienced hardships and rejections that would make others stop smiling, Debbie will never stop being her true self.

Read the full interview on the blog >>


good-newsGood News

Tyson Crawley, a carpenter from Australia, stopped at a gas station to fill up his car and pick up some iced coffee for his morning drive when he came to the counter and suddenly realized he couldn’t pay his $110 bill!

Tyson pulled out a new credit card and did his best to try and remember the PIN. At that moment the man who was in line before him, came back into the store.

Without hesitation, the man insisted to pay Tyson’s bill. Tyson was absolutely stunned at the man’s generosity and could see that the man wouldn’t back down.

For this kind stranger, it wasn’t about the money or any ulterior motive. It was simply about compassion and kindness for another human being. Something Tyson would soon find out.

After reluctantly letting the stranger pay for his bill, Tyson asked the man for his name and phone number so he could repay him. The man jotted down some words on the receipt, wished Tyson a good day, and went on his way.

Still feeling overwhelmed and grateful, Tyson turned to the attendant and said, “well that doesn’t happen everyday!” He walked out of the gas station and the kind stranger was already gone. As he looked down at the receipt a number was nowhere to be found. It simply said, “John. Pass it on.”

John gifted Tyson with more than a paid bill, he laid the foundation for another amazing kindness transaction to ensue.


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“Don’t ever forget that you’re a citizen of this world, and there are things you can do to lift the human spirit, things that are easy, things that are free, things that you can do every day. Civility, respect, kindness, character.”
~ Aaron Sorkin

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

When was the last time you surprised someone with a small, thoughtful gift just because you thought he or she might need it? This month, be mindful of those around you who may be stressed out at work, school or home and surprise them with a personal gift. What a great way to get them through a rough patch.

question-of-the-monthQuestion of the Month

Oftentimes we see people going through difficult times and wonder to ourselves if we, as one person, can make a difference. But for some, one person is all they need; one person can mean the world. Share your experience in the comments below of when you lent your support to someone who didn’t expect it! Your story just may inspire many others to do the same.

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

photo-october
 

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month

You’ve Got A Friend In Me. A personal favorite of mine with its magical way of just making me smile. “You’ve got a friend in me. You got troubles, Then I got them too. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you. We stick together, we can see it through. Cause you’ve got a friend in me.”
 

video-of-the-month

VIDEO

of the Month

This amazing teacher travels 2 to 4 hours every day to teach kids in an unsafe and poverty-stricken neighborhood. Her desire and passion to help her students is incredible!
 

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

Ever get bogged down contemplating world issues such as hunger, homelessness and war and think to yourself, “I’m just one person, how can I make a difference?” Peter Singer shows us how each person can give back in their own unique way, making a difference in both their life and the lives of others.
 

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

book5

Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World by Matthieu Ricard

Matthieu Ricard amazingly shows us how genuine altruistic love can benefit both ourselves and society as a whole. He offers readers practical and inspiring ways to develop their potential for compassion illustrating how altruism can answer the many challenges of our time.


Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Kindness Flash #06

vest-separator

This month’s theme: THOUGHTFULNESS – to show concern for the needs and feelings of others.

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: Kindness Refueled

Filling up our gas tank is something that many can occasionally forget and can potentially leave us stranded at the most inconvenient times. In Sparky Garrett’s case, running out of fuel opened the door for a stranger to earn his gratitude for a lifetime.

Written By David Beltran • Read More >>


Everyday Kindness: Bouquet of Kindness

Going on a first date is usually nerve-wracking for most people. People spend hours upon hours getting ready to make a good first impression. But for one young man, being over-prepared led him to brighten the day of an unexpected stranger.

Written By David Beltran • Read More >>


kind-connection

Kind Connection: Jewel Fries

Overwhelmed by the negativity she saw reflected in her daily newspapers, Jewel Fries, Life Vest Inside’s wise and gentle Blog Guru, decided to try a different approach to life, a kinder approach.

Read the full interview on the blog >>


good-newsGood News

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” ~Henry Adams

As far as unsung heroes go, teachers are often at the top of the list. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to hear stories of extreme thoughtfulness and compassion from teachers spending large sums of their own money to buy supplies for their students.

In San Antonio, Lester Brown noticed the woman in front of him in line at Walmart purchasing a lot of school supplies, but she had no kids with her. Sabrina Drude, was a teacher and shared that she teaches in a low socioeconomic area and would rather her students not have to worry about supplies and rather focus on learning.

Sabrina’s compassion for her students, with no regard for dollar amount, touched Lester and inspired him to action. He had been carrying a hundred-dollar bill with the intention to help someone and it was clear who his target would be.

Sabrina began to shed tears of joy as Lester insisted and expressed that this was the least he could do to show a teacher much needed recognition.

Sabrina was so overwhelmed by Lester’s kindness that she left the store before getting his name. Luckily, after posting a photo they took on Facebook, it went viral and the two found each other once again!

Their friendship continues. A perfect example showing that when we are kind hearted and thoughtful we can make a lasting impact. Read More.

As we get ready for the school year, gift a deck of Acts of Kindness cards for kids to a teacher to distribute to her class. You can use the coupon code: TEACHERSROCK. Let’s bring kindness to the classroom! Gift it Forward TODAY!


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“Nothing in life means anything unless someone cares, and the whole trick is to keep being that someone.”
~ Robert Brault

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

Do you walk by someone who is down on their luck on your way to work or school everyday and simply pass them by? This month, spark up a conversation. Giving of your time and truly seeing people is oftentimes more meaningful than dropping someone spare change. Remember, being thoughtful is all about reminding people that they still matter, that someone still cares.

question-of-the-monthQuestion of the Month

Everyday we’re faced with choices like holding the door for the person a few steps behind us, giving a compliment to the cashier who’s having a bad day, or listening to what a friend has to say. When have you made the conscious choice to be a bit more thoughtful in your interaction with someone? Share your experience and how that choice impacted you in the comments.

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

photo-of-the-month-september
 

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month

Revolution of Love. Life Vest Inside’s most recent music video, showing that through the simple acts of kindness and thoughtfulness we have the power to create a revolution of love. “This is our world and the revolution has begun. With open hearts we can see ourselves in everyone.”
 

video-of-the-month

VIDEO

of the Month

Every year for Halloween, Ryan Weimer decorates his disabled son’s wheelchair. In his words, “It’s the one day his disability just disappears.” Ryan was so inspired, that he wanted to decorate wheelchairs for other children with disabilities. Check out the incredible kindness and joy that emanates from his decorative work.
 

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

Since childhood, we’ve been conditioned to view the world as we’ve been told to see it. Once a label is placed on something or someone, it’s hard to see it in any other way. But what if we could take a step back and allow ourselves to see what we may have missed at first glance.
 

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

book4

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam M. Grant

In life we are in constant pursuit of “more”; landing that job, getting that promotion, climbing the ladder of success. In essence, we are focused on the pursuit of things that benefit ourselves. Adam Grant shows that being mindful of helping others and giving back doesn’t take away from what we have, instead it helps us grows beyond our wildest expectations.


Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Kindness Flash #05

vest-separator

This month’s theme: HONESTY – to be truthful, sincere, and honorable in principles, intentions, and actions.

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: Warm Hearts Prevail on A Cold Winter’s Night

When his car broke down in the middle of a bitter cold night, Anthony Ogundey couldn’t figure out how to fix it. But by the end of the evening, he was feeling grateful and humbled.

Written By David Beltran • Read More >>


Everyday Kindness: Marianne’s Unexpected Lesson

Imagine running into your middle-school teacher years down the road? What would they remember about you? When Marianne ran into her teacher after 20 long years, her teacher remembered her but it wasn’t on account of her grades. It was something far more unforgettable.

Written By Jewel Fries • Read More >>


kind-connection

Kind Connection: Shelby Robinson

During a time of financial struggle, Shelby accompanied her friend to to pick up a job application from IHOP. As they waited they naturally waved and smiled at others in line. As they began expressing their disbelief that a simple activity, such as dining out was well out of their means, they chanced upon a stranger who would turn their day around in a memorable way.

Read the full interview on the blog >>


good-newsGood News

There’s something about the innocence of a child that creates memorable moments of laughter, awe, and much more. One such moment happened this past month when a six-year-old girl in Norfolk, Virginia stopped to help a crying homeless man in the street.

After coming out of a store with her mom, Janiyah Lewis saw the homeless man crying and walked up to him and sparked up a conversation. The man was down on his luck and recently lost everything but he remained hopeful. Upon realizing that he didn’t have any food, Janiyah took a few dollars out of her purse, handed it to him and told him it would make her happy if he would treat himself to a meal on her.

Perhaps she inspired kindness in those passing by because almost instantaneously two strangers followed suit and sent some change his way.

It was this moment of pure, honest concern from a six-year-old girl that stands as an example to us all that kindness knows no color, boundaries, or limitations. His honesty to open up about the hardships he was facing, opened the door for an honest connection. Sometimes it takes a little six-year-old girl to remind us that being kind to others is part of what makes us citizens of humanity.

To read more and see the great photo of this interaction, click HERE.


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.”
~ James E. Faust

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

Being honest when others don’t know is a true test of character. Will you return the extra change the cashier accidentally gave you? Will you take the time to return a lost object you found? Regardless of the situation that may arise, be mindful of being honest not because others will know if you weren’t, but because you will.

question-of-the-monthQuestion of the Month

They say that honesty is the best policy. How has being honest in a given situation proven to be just that? Share with us in the comments.

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

perception of yourself
 

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month

Say – John Mayer. “Have no fear for giving in. Have no fear for giving over. You’d better know that in the end. It’s better to say too much. Than never to say what you need to say again.”
 

video-of-the-month

VIDEO

of the Month

After 41 years, this first-grade teacher was retiring. Dozens of former students, From those who graduated years ago to those just beginning their careers, decided to hold a party and let her know just how special she was to them. You may want to grab a tissue 🙂
 

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

Honesty is not only about being truthful with others. It’s also about being honest with ourselves and who we are. Growing up in a changing world where she wasn’t always accepted, Sabrina Jalees embraced everything about herself leading her to live a happier life.
 

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely

The honest truth is that we have all lied at one point or another in our lives. But what if we took a step back to see why we feel compelled to be dishonest. Dan Ariely takes a look at not only the forces that drive us to lie, but how we can learn from it and change the way we see ourselves, our actions, and others!


Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Kindness Flash #04

vest-separator

This month’s theme: EMPATHY – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: Jeremy Swanson’s Bouquet of Kindness

For Jeremy Swanson, being kind and wanting to help others is something he does daily. He’s a fan of Life Vest Inside’s Act of Kindness cards, each card with a specific act of kindness to complete, and he carries out most of them on a daily basis. There was one act of kindness though that even this kindness veteran couldn’t seem to get to. But when he did, it led to a moment he’d never forget.

Written By Soumya • Read More >>


Everyday Kindness: An Extra Kind Mile

Ashish Jagini’s kindness journey began at his restaurant when one day he made a decision in spite of obstacles that arose. Little did he know that it would be a decision that would change his life and the lives of many others.

Written By Soumya • Read More >>


kind-connection

Kind Connection: Brian Canavan

Eight years ago when Brian Canavan found himself mentally exhausted, stressed, and unhappy, he decided to leave behind a high-paying job and pursue a new life. He slowly came to find that by helping others, he was in turn helping himself. Get to know more about Brian and see if there’s a way you can contribute advice or guidance to help Brian fulfill his Kindness Wish!

Read the full interview on the blog >>


good-newsGood News

By Orly Wahba

This month was one that was filled with tragedy in many parts of the world from Orlando to Bangladesh, to Israel, to Turkey, to Iran; the list of unspeakable acts of terror goes on and on. BUT amidst the tragedy survived and thrived the spirit of the human soul; the spirit of kindness and solidarity; the spirit of empathy and unity.

Over the past month and a half I had the opportunity to spend time in Israel and it was an amazing experience. Then on June 9th at , two men opened fire in Sarona Market (a very popular outdoor area in the heart of Tel Aviv) killing 5 people and wounding 17.

I just so happened to be in Tel Aviv the evening of the terror attack in Sarona Market. Luckily, my parents who were also in Israel and planning to be at Sarona Market at that exact time, ended up receiving a call from my cousins and so they decided to simply hang out with them at the hotel. When the news came my way of what had transpired, I didn’t know how to react, what to say, what to think, what to feel. And so when I returned back to the hotel that evening I did something many of us do in times of tragedy, I took out my phone and just began typing a letter…

Dear Hashem, (another name for G-d)

I’m speechless knowing that it could have been me standing there tonight, it could have been my parents, my cousin, my friend. But it WAS someone; someone’s friend, someone’s daughter, someone’s brother. It doesn’t matter what religion, nationality, or culture they were associated with – all that matters is that they were human beings filled with potential to bring something positive into this world.

Questions may be racing across my mind but knowing that I’m just a passenger and you are the pilot, grants me the faith, courage and determination I need to push forward. I will NOT give up on this world, no matter how ugly things will get. And I will NEVER hate no matter how much some may push. I WON’T settle for anything less than a world of kindness, understanding, tolerance and love. It starts with each of us taking a moment to truly value ourselves and by so doing come to value others.

With kindness,
A hopeful and fiercely determined soul

The very next morning I awoke and saw a YouTube video of hundreds gathering by Sarona Market, the very same place that was filled with hate the night before; hate that lead to the death of innocent people. But this video was not a video of hate, fear or aggression; it was a video of love, kindness, strength and above all hope. People of all ages locked arm in arm singing, swaying and united as though to say we will not allow terror or negativity to change who we are. THAT is the power of the human spirit and WOW how beautiful it is!

To the world I wish to say, we must stay strong. Now, more than ever, we need to use our most valuable possession – our voice. It’s easy to get sucked into the endless cycle of hate and anger, but where will that lead us but to more hate and anger. What I’m proposing is not easy, but who said that changing world would be easy. The point is, it is in our power and it is through our voice that we can create the change we have always hoped for, but it requires all of us to speak up for tolerance, for kindness, for understanding. In my humble opinion it is through education that tolerance and love is born. What makes Life Vest Inside so special and unique is that it is an organization that embraces people from all backgrounds, races and religions. It is a place that doesn’t look at you based on a label that others may easily place on you, but that sees the power of the human potential and the fact that each and every person is unique. In our Ambassador group we have representatives from over 120 countries; each different and distinct in their own way, but the exchange that happens within this fabulous group is one of love and understanding; one of warmth and compassion. It opens people up to share and educate others about who they are, and allows others to see that our differences is where our greatest beauty lies. Let us reignite our faith in the world and humanity; stay strong my friends, stay strong!


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.”
~ Daniel Pink

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

One of the most difficult, yet extraordinarily powerful things is to empathize with another; offer comfort regardless of whether you have or haven’t been there yourself. Sometimes it’s not about what we say, but what we make another feel. Open yourself up not to simply sympathize (to feel compassion, sorrow, or pity for the hardships of another), but to do something far more courageous – to empathize; to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

question-of-the-monthQuestion of the Month

Have you ever been in a situation where your empathy for another inspired you to spring into action and offer comfort even though you were dealing with unfamiliar territory? Share with us in the comments.

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

sympathy-empathy-apathy-1
 

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month

Lean On Me – Bill Withers. “Lean on me. When you’re not strong I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.”
 

video-of-the-month

VIDEO

of the Month

Empathy is not something that can be defined by one action, one word, or one person. These young children from a school in New York City share their stories experiences with empathy and its significance in our lives.
 

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

Paul Parkin, a high-school dropout but now holds a Master’s degree and doctorate, explains how being able to receive empathy is just as important as giving it.
 

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential and Endangered

Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential and Endangered by Maia Szalavitz and Bruce D. Perry

In a fast paced world where our relationship with our devices is greater than face to face human connection, it has become more challenging to empathize with others. Bruce Perry illustrates how empathy is more important than we may think and discusses how the simple act of practicing empathy can build stronger and healthier relationships.


Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Kindness Flash #03

vest-separator

This month’s theme: PERSPECTIVE – the power of positive thinking and discovering the silver lining to every cloud.

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: Our Warm and Fuzzy Kindness Ambassador

Amanda Yates was on her way out of the bathroom when she heard someone crying in one of the stalls. Caught off guard and awkwardly placed in this position, she didn’t know what to do.

By Amanda Yates // North Carolina, USA • Read More >>


 

Everyday Kindness: Deanna’s Calling Card of Kindness

As she walked into the pharmacy, Deanna saw a young man sitting on the ground in tattered blankets – a sight that unfortunately is not so uncommon in New York City.

By Deanna Liderman // New York City, USA • Read More >>


kind-connection

Kind Connection: Marwa Ben Njima

Sometimes we find love and acceptance in the most unexpected places, Marwa Ben Njima, called ‘the butterfly ambassador’ by many, found a new family the day she decided that she wanted to learn more about the Life Vest Inside Kindness Ambassadors. Get to know more about Marwa and see if there’s a way you can contribute advice or guidance to help Marwa fulfill her Kindness Wish!

Read the full interview on the blog >>


good-newsGood News

When the financial crisis hit Greece in 2009, Konstantinos, a local man, was broke and faced hardship like he hadn’t faced before. Not only that, he saw children in the streets fighting over rotten food. But from the struggle of despair came kindness from his heart. Konstantinos decided to see the silver lining. While he couldn’t magically cure the financial woes everyone was facing, what Konstantinos decided to do was see the silver lining and try to make a difference. He began cooking huge meals for those who needed it – all for free. And just like any other act of kindness, it can spread! As he continued doing this, others in the market would donate food for meals. By no means is Konstantinos rich, except in his heart.

Whether it be a small bump in the road or a large mountain to climb, obstacles present a challenge to us – but not only to overcome them, but to bring out something better because of them. Perspective allows us to see that. As Samuel Grafton once said, “A penny will hide the biggest star in the Universe if you hold it close enough to your eye.”

Perspective isn’t seeing the world through rose colored glasses when things are going bad. It’s about seeing the opportunities to rise above adversities; it’s finding the potential in in situations with little hope; Perspective isn’t about ignoring the trials and tribulations we may face, it’s about seeing that there is still hope and using that as an opportunity to brighten the world.


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all—he’s walking on them.” ~ Leonard Louis Levinson

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

We may not be able to prevent the obstacles, mishaps and curve balls from coming our way. But determining how those hardships impact you is a choice we can all make. The next time life throws a curve ball your way, take a glass half full approach and find a sense of calm, knowing that their is an untapped strength inside of you, that you are on the verge of discovering.

question-of-the-monthQuestion of the Month

Have you ever been on the verge of giving up and calling it quits? How did you gain perspective and what inspired you to keep on pushing forward? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

photo-of-the-month-june

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month

Imagine by John Lennon

video-of-the-month

VIDEO

of the Month

Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty? It’s the question many of us have debated with our friends or family! But did you know your brain is actually more active when imagining positive events and less so when thinking of negative events?

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

Making Positivity Stick – “One drop of positivity can wash away an ocean of negativity.” Caitlin Haacke was bullied and went through other hardships growing up, but she chose to see the positive side of things. Using kindness, she changed the world and helped others see the positivity in their lives.

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown

Sometimes our negative perception of ourselves allows us to feel like we aren’t enough and can’t accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. But what if we could change the way we see things, the way we see ourselves – so that we can more readily embrace the good in every situation.


A message from our Partner: Character Day:

Join us on Sept 22, 2016 for the third annual Character Day! Character Day is an exciting global day where students and educators from around the world screen short award-winning films on the science behind social and emotional learning and character development from different perspectives. Students then dive into free printed discussion materials and resources rooted in evidence-based research that explore the questions, who am I? Who do I want to be in the world, and how can I develop those character strengths (resilience, grit, empathy, courage, humor, curiosity, etc)? All participants are also invited to join an online global video conversation that unifies all the events around the world.

Last year Character Day saw over 6,700 events in schools, classrooms, and organizations with people joining in from 125 countries. Your Character Day event can look and feel any way you would like it to be…..any time of the day, anywhere, and any size. Some schools do campus-wide assemblies, other teachers do specific events in their classrooms. Companies and organizations plan short events throughout the day. The creativity is up to you, and the materials are all free (Films, Periodic Table of Character Strengths Poster, printed discussion materials, a robust online hub of resources and lessons plans and an online conversation with leading experts on Character education from multiple perspectives). You can watch the acclaimed films “The Science of Character” (8 min) and “The Adaptable Mind” (11 min) to get a better sense of what types of films will be shown on Character Day.

Once you sign up, there will be monthly webinars to hear others talk about their inspiring experiences and ideas for hosting different kinds of Character Day events. All you need to do is register (which takes 2 minutes) and all of these materials will be provided for you. Please sign up at CharacterDay.org!

character-day

Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Kindness Flash #02

vest-separator

This month’s theme: COMPASSION – the power of reaching out and connecting with someone in their time of need.

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: Small Budget, Big Heart

Despite her small budget, Isabella’s heart is larger than life and she would soon find out that it would be her greatest asset in making her wish a reality.

By Isabella Grass // Barranquilla, Colombia • Read More >>


Everyday Kindness: Kindness and the Avalanche of Love

When Louise and her daughter set out to make a difference, they never envisioned that their act of kindness and compassion would start an avalanche of love.

By Louise Zarback // Hernando, USA • Read More >>


kind-connection

Kind Connection: Rosie Hendrix

It’s easy to embrace the kindness lifestyle when things are going our way but when life throws unexpected obstacles in our path it becomes daunting, as our Welcoming Ambassador, Rosie Hendrix, recently discovered. Get to know a bit more about Rosie and learn how she overcomes adversity by embracing kindness. Plus, see if there’s a way you can contribute advice or guidance to help Rosie fulfill her Kindness Wish!

Read the full interview on the blog >>


good-newsGood News

The recent earthquake in Ecuador reminds us how fragile life truly is and that in an instant a person’s life can be changed forever.

Many lost their possessions, their homes, their loved ones and most valuable of all the will to continue pushing forward. It’s precisely in moments like these when we are able to catch a glimpse of the essence of man; the compassionate spirit that lives within us all.

The aftermath of the earthquake has not only led to donations pouring in from around the world, but messages of hope, support, and love.

We have all experienced and will continue to experience the unexpected hardships of life and so it is our duty as citizens of humanity to empathize with those who are struggling to lift themselves up, knowing full well that in our time of need the greatest gift comes in the form of compassionate support. Compassion isn’t defined by one action or word, it’s simply being there for someone when they don’t the strength to be there for themselves. As long as we are present and our eyes are peeled, an opportunity to show compassion will present itself.


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
~ Mother Teresa

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

We all come from different backgrounds, cultures, religions. Sometimes we allow our differences to overshadow the fact that we are all citizens of humanity. Be a bit more mindful to show compassion to someone that you would normally be quick to judge.

question-of-the-monthQuestion of the Month

When were you faced with a choice to show compassion or walk away? What made you stop? Share with us in the comments.

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

kindness-photo-of-the-month
 

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month

Heal the World Michael Jackson “And the world we once believed in will shine again in grace.”
 

video-of-the-month

VIDEO

of the Month

A cab driver learns a lesson in compassion and discovers that sometimes it’s the small things in life that make all the difference.
 

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

If only we all had the courage to say what we know deep in our hearts to be true – that love and compassion is the essence of all people.
 

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

The Compassionate Samurai Being Extraordinary in an Ordinary World by Brian Klemmer

The Compassionate Samurai by Brian Klemmer

Does being successful require one to lower their ethical standards? Some say yes, but Brian Klemmer illustrates how success and values such as compassion go hand in hand to produce extraordinary results.


jolanda kranenburg

Illustration by Jolanda Kranenburg / BeHappyDoodles.com

Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives

The Kindness Flash #01

vest-separator

This month’s theme: PERSEVERANCE – the importance of never giving up!

everyday kindness

Everyday Kindness: Visited By Kindness Not Once, But Thrice

I was fourteen when my dad got into an accident on Oct 20th, 2008; an accident that would change my family’s life.

By Mary Saju // Salmiya, Kuwait • Read More >>


Everyday Kindness: Warmth Amidst the Cold

In 2009, I lost my job of 7 years, and I found it impossible to restart my career. My heat and power had been turned off several times, the first time being a cold December night.

By Ken Burns // Somerset, NJ, USA • Read More >>


kind-connection

Kind Connection: Jeff Kuske – Mayor of the Ambassadors

Everyone has a story that has served as part of making them who they have become. LVI Kindness Ambassdaor, Jeff Kuske’s story wasn’t always about the pursuit of kindness.

Read the full interview on the blog >>


good-newsGood News

With the recent tragedies taking place around the world, it’s becoming easier than ever for people to fall into the trap of seeing the world and the people in it in a very negative light. It is precisely this reason, that now more than ever, we must remember that kindness, unity, acceptance and love is exactly what we need to dispel those who are rising above to challenge the very essence of humanity.

To borrow the words of Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, from an article I recently read, the only true way to combat negativity is, “Not with cynicism, but with optimism. Not with despair, but with possibility. Not with division, but with unity. Not with exclusion, but with inclusion. Not with fear, but with compassion. Not with indifference, but with love.”

What I’m suggesting is no quick fix. It’s not a magical solution that can take effect with the snap of finger. It’s something that takes patience, that takes courage, that takes trust, that takes belief, that takes vulnerability. But, one thing is for certain – good will always trump evil. More difficult to achieve – YES! But more powerful than you can believe!


kindness-quote-of-the-monthKindness Quote

“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” ~ Christian D. Larson

act-of-kindness-of-the-monthAct of Kindness

Have a project you stopped halfway through and haven’t gotten around to finishing? Don’t give up! See it till the end! You can do it!

question-of-the-monthQuestion of the Month

Have you ever overcome an extremely difficult challenge even when others doubted you? What was it and how did you manage to persevere?! Share with us in the comments.

kindness-media-of-the-monthKindness Media

lvi-hr

photo-of-the-month

PHOTO

of the Month

kindness-photo-of-the-month
 

song-of-the-month

SONG

of the Month


video-of-the-month

VIDEO

of the Month

4 talented young people learn a valuable lesson that they hold onto for the rest of their lives.
 

talk-of-the-month

TALK

of the Month

Jimmy Valvano’s 1993 ESPY Speech. “Don’t give up . . . Don’t ever give up!
 

book-of-the-monthBook of the Month

book

There are many times in life when we find ourselves in situations where the challenges we face seem too overwhelming. In “David and Goliath,” Malcolm Gladwell shares stories of how people used their “disadvantages” to help them succeed, and how seemingly impossible obstacles can actually be overcome. After reading this book you’re bound to start seeing the challenges in your life in a whole new light.

Subscribe to The Kindness Flash | Archives