What would your advice be to young people who are beginning to lose hope because of the troubling news they see on a daily basis?
Love people, especially ourselves. Love is the beginning, the middle, and the end to the path of hope and happiness. Love is the best antidote I know of for combating the negative effects of “media spread downer-fodder.”
We can show self-love through kind self-talk, developing healthy eating and sleeping habits, working hard, and so forth. As we love ourselves, our confidence grows and our ability to love and positively impact others grows.
We show love to others through simple acts of kindness such as a smile, giving praise, writing a note of appreciation, letting someone know personally how much you appreciate them, and so on.
That advice was given to me years ago and it has paid huge dividends.
Tell us about The Kindness Givers’ Formula. Is this Formula evidence-based?
The Kindness Giver’s Formula is a simple 5-step transformative guide that empowers us to reach hearts, change lives, and heal the world around us through love.
- Embrace a love-focused mindset/heartset and Determine to be a Kindness Giver.
- Think of and Plan ways to be a Kindness Giver.
- Look for and Act on opportunities to be a Kindness Giver.
- Invite and Encourage others to be Kindness Givers.
- Reflect on and Record experiences both with giving and receiving kindness.
Embracing a love-focused mindset allows us to see and think of ourselves and others as human beings who deserve to be valued and appreciated. Those thoughts naturally lead to a heartset (belief and feelings) that drives us to think and plan and then act to show value and appreciation for both ourselves and everyone around us.
We then look for opportunities to do so and the happiness that generates inspires us to invite and encourage everyone around us to do the same thing. It becomes absolutely contagious. Reflecting on and recording those happy experiences ingrains them in our mind and engraves them into our hearts.
With regards to being evidence-based, anyone can do a Google search on “the impact of kindness on mental health,” for example, which returns 16,800,000 results. The top result from the Mayo Clinic says:
“Kindness has been shown to increase self-esteem, empathy, and compassion, and improve mood. It can decrease blood pressure and cortisol, a stress hormone, which directly impacts stress levels. People who give of themselves in a balanced way also tend to be healthier and live longer.”
That is powerful. Think about what that says about the tremendous impact kindness can have on our mental-health and well-being!
Can you give an example of this formula working in real life?
Yes, I absolutely can. A perfect example happened to me just yesterday.
I had just purchased six 50-pound bags of landscaping bark from Menards and was heading to my SUV when Carter, a young man whom I know from church, called out to ask if he could help me load the bags in my vehicle. I was filled with gratitude for his kindness. He saw a human being in need and acted to help meet that need.
It didn’t stop there. When he saw dirt on the bags, he offered to load the bags in the back of his truck so I wouldn’t get my seats dirty. We loaded them up and he followed me to my house where he helped me unload them. He then asked if he could help me spread the bark out. He also noticed my lawn needed cutting and asked if he could do that for me (he happened to have his lawn mower in the truck bed as well). I couldn’t believe it. It was his day off. He had plenty of things to do, yet here he was offering to help me take care of my yard. It truly touched my heart. In reality, I really needed help yesterday and his timely service lifted my burdens and allowed me to get everything done on time. I will never forget it!
That is one example. I could share dozens more, both from my own life and from others.
How did you become so passionate about kindness and empathy?
Love shown to me by my dear mother, as well as friends and strangers alike during times of great challenge personally and in my family. I’ve been blessed with so many soul-touching experiences, I can’t help but feel driven to give back.
Are there any well-known role models who show these traits?
There are some wonderful role models who show these traits.
One well-known person who comes to mind is actor Tyler Perry. He uses his wealth to create opportunities for people and help dozens of organizations that are striving to spread kindness throughout the world.
Another well-known role model is Shaquille O’Neal. He personally goes out of his way to show kindness and uses his wonderful foundation to do tremendous good in the world.