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March 2019
Practice a little more kindness.

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“No act of kindness is ever wasted.”
- Aesop -
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It sometimes amazes me how much complaining we hear as we go through our days. People get so frustrated with seemingly unimportant things and things that they can neither change nor control, and yet they let those things affect their outlook on everything and everyone. There’s just not enough kindness out there.

We get frustrated with the cold and the snow, and then with the sun and the melting, and then with the heat. We complain about the puddles and the potholes, the traffic and the trash. And too often we forget to enjoy the splashing we can do in those puddles, the rally driving we can challenge ourselves with as we navigate the streets, the fact that we can get anywhere we want with relative ease, and the opportunity we have to beautify our neighbourhoods by helping to clean up.

It’s a matter of perspective. Why stress about the things that we can’t do anything about anyway? The weather will be the weather. The traffic will be the traffic. We have the ability to choose every day how we will look at what’s going on around us. And how kindly we will react to the people we encounter. Let’s challenge ourselves this Spring to see the wonder and the joy around us and to practice a little more kindness.

Why not quietly do a kind deed, choose not to judge, and consider that the person you are getting frustrated with might be going through one of their worst days. Let’s cut each other some slack. We’ll all feel better when we do.

Happy Spring!

Janet
TimeSquared
janet@timesquared.ca

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Recipe:

A classic. A standby. A reliable treat. Make some and share them with someone else. That’s kindness in action.

Cinnamon Snickerdoodles

1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup whole almonds

In a large bowl, beat the butter with 1 ½ cups sugar until light and fluffy.
Now beat in the eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Stir into butter mixture until combined.
In small bowl, mix together 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls, rolling each one completely in cinnamon sugar.
Place the balls 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.
Press one whole almond into the top of each ball.
Bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes or until cookies are golden on the bottom.

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In an article in www.mindbodygreen.com several simple ways to demonstrate kindness are presented. A few of them are:

a. Just do it…and zip it. 
As in: keep your kindnesses to yourself. Kindness isn’t about showing off or telling the world what a sweetheart you are. Just do it quietly, without fanfare. The author found out (somewhat accidently) that someone he knew well had been quietly delivering meals to homebound people several times a week for over a decade. Turns out not even his closest friends knew about his volunteer work and that’s just the way he liked it.

b. Know your limits. 
Kindness is not about martyrdom. It doesn’t mean being a doormat or allowing yourself to be taken advantage of. When it comes to kindness, it’s just as important to know when to say no, and how to say it with kindness. For those who have trouble turning people down (as well as those who don’t), the most useful phrase in the English language is “I would love to but…” – it’s kind, gentle and firm – and enables you to put boundaries in place when needed.

c. Practice unconditional kindness
Judging who is worthy or deserving of your kindness isn’t really kindness at all. True kindness is a gift that’s given freely across the board, whether someone appears to “deserve” it or not. Everyone is “worthy” of kindness and respect, even if you don’t particularly like that person.

d. Put yourself in the other person's shoes. 
Empathy and kindness go hand-in-hand, so learn to cut people a little slack. They may be going through a rough patch, so there’s no need to pile onto their pain with harsh words or aggressive responses. In the words of Plato, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Keep this in mind to inspire your acts of kindness every day.

 
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