kindness Tag

What are you saying? The Practice: Speak wisely. Why? "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Ah, not really. Often it's words - and the tone that comes with them - that actually do the most damage. Just think back on some of the...

How do you talk to people? The Practice: Try a softer tone. Why? Linguists like Deborah Tannen have pointed out that most communications have three elements: Explicit content – “There is no milk in the refrigerator.” Emotional subtext – Could be irritation, blame, accusation Implicit statement about the nature...

In the neighborhood? The Practice: Love your neighbor. Why? This practice might sound extreme or pushy, and I want to tell you what I mean by it. Everyone has lots of neighbors, and they come in many shapes and sizes. Obviously the people living across the street are neighbors, but...

What can you do when there’s nothing you can do? Love Someone. Sometimes something happens. Perhaps your cat takes a turn for the worse, there’s a money problem, or it’s on a larger scale: maybe there’s been an election and you’re grappling with its...

What Are They Feeling? The Practice: Tune into others. Why? Imagine a world in which people interacted with each other like ants or fish. Imagine a day at work like this, or in your family, aware of the surface behavior of the people around you but...

Feeling a little sour? The Practice: Drop tart tone. Why? Tone matters. I remember times I felt frazzled or aggravated and then said something with an edge to it that just wasn't necessary or useful. Sometimes it was the words themselves: such as absolutes like "never" or always," or...

What are your intentions toward others? The Practice: Be benevolent. Why? Benevolence is a fancy word that means something simple: good intentions toward living beings, including oneself. This goodwill is present in warmth, friendliness, compassion, ordinary decency, fair play, kindness, altruism, generosity, and love. The benevolent heart leans toward...

What could you offer? The Practice: Make the offering. Why? One of the strangest and most meaningful experiences of my life occurred when I going through Rolfing (ten brilliant sessions of deep-tissue bodywork) in my early 20's. The fifth session works on the stomach area, and I was...

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