Crystal Cathedral

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Kindness Korner

Four More Suggestions

1. Say “thank you”. Whatever anyone does for you- if they fill out a form, hand you a check or receipt, point something out---say “thank you”, or “I appreciate your help.” I even pour it on my dentist: “thank you for the way you take care of me” I have said. Surprise people with words of appreciation.

Example: I answered a phone call from the Laguna Playhouse. The call was promotional. She was selling tickets for their upcoming series. For a variety of reasons there was no chance we would be interested. Not only that, her call was intruding on an important project on which I was working. Nevertheless I said “Thank you for calling us. I appreciate your interest in our attending your productions.” Needless to say she concluded the call with warmth and kindness.

2. Show Interest. Ask, when time allows, about their work, their car, their home, their children or grandchildren, pets, vacations, trips…. “when time allows” is an important qualifier here. Asking, and then leaving, cancels everything gained. Attentive listening is vital. Showing interest is a powerful form of loving kindness.

3. Smile Generously. Your smile is always available. Remember to turn it on. Anyone, regardless of age, or level of intelligence, can lift another’s spirits by giving a smile. Not only is that person lifted, you, the one smiling, are too. There is evidence that putting on a smile makes the person offering the smile feel better. Smiling may even raise our immunity level. Recent research suggests that even when Botox is applied to a frown, taking it away, the person is often less depressed and more positive in their outlook. The muscles of the face seem to be connected to the chemical system. Frowns generate bad chemicals. Smiles produce beneficial chemicals. Turn it on!! Brightening others lifts your own spirits.

4. Notice and Mention Feelings. Our goal is to lift another’s spirits. But it is very comforting and heartwarming, when someone simply acknowledges our feelings and accepts them. We heal another that way more than when we try to change their sorrow, fear or anxiety saying something. For example, noticing a tear in someone’s eye, say “you’re feeling sad…” That is more heart warming than “Cheer up”! Hurt feelings are healed far more by naming them-“ that hurts doesn’t it,” than by reminding them that Jesus cares. Jesus’ love is effectively communicated by caring people showing understanding. That helps far more than than efforts to take the feeling away.

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