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If You Really Want to Change the World: 4 Ways to Be Kind

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou

I’ve now reached the age in my life when every so often, I get an email or text informing me that someone I know has died. Some of the people who have have been former supervisors or teachers from high school. Others have been the parents of friends or elderly members of my church.

At one time, the news that someone had died was shocking to me. Now it’s nearly a monthly occurrence, and I’ve become accustomed to it.

Whenever I receive one of these texts or emails, I always go in search of the obituary. This may sound macabre, but I love a good obituary. I like to learn what people chose to do with this one life that they were given. I particularly like the obituaries in which you get a sense of who the person was. Aside from their accomplishments, what was that person really like?

Because the reality is that your accomplishments aren’t what will have mattered most about your life.  Instead, what matters about your life is how you made people feel, as so aptly put by Maya Angelou. Another way of putting it is this: Were you kind to others?

Why does kindness matter so much? Because is the only real way to change the world for the better. For example, I can give you $20, and you can use that to buy one meal. Certainly, that is a nice gesture.

But what if I encourage you? What if I take the time to specifically identify your gifts and talents? What if I explain to you that you have the ability to do great things with your life? Then my kindness potentially has changed your life.

Kindness is powerful. In fact, being kind is the most important thing that we do in life.


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Maya Angelou

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