Dear Claire.

Happy World Kindness Day! For Monday, that is. I’m not quite sure why 13th November was chosen as the day, but it’s a good one for us to celebrate exactly what we’re trying to write about: little acts of kindness that can make a difference to others and to ourselves.

World Kindness Day is a day to engage intentionally in small acts of kindness – anything from saying a kind word to a friend to carrying the groceries in for your neighbor; thanking a veteran (since it’s also Veteran’s Day here) or buying a stranger a cup of coffee. Or maybe signing up for Helpful Peeps! The bigger purpose of World Kindness Day really resonates with me: to help us “look beyond our differences and realize we are citizens of the world”: www.worldkindness.org.

What’s interesting to learn as well is that we gain ourselves from being kind to others. And there’s real science behind that. I don’t know if you had a chance to see any of the TED talks I linked to last time, but one of them is a fascinating talk about making stress your friend. In 14 minutes you’ll find out about some of the research that shows how one of the stress hormones, oxytocin, is also a hormone that encourages you to reach out to others to get support – and that when you do, or when you connect and offer support to others, the very same hormone strengthens your heart. Physically as well as metaphorically!

Our ability  to connect with each other more as we write this blog together is something for which I am very grateful! And that’s a topic for another day – gratitude. Because before the next couple of weeks are done, we’ll also be celebrating Thanksgiving!

With love,
Sam