Have Courage and Be Kind

For some people, being kind is like breathing- they do it constantly without thinking.
For me, being kind is more like breathing correctly during yoga- I'm generally pretty good about it but sometimes I forget and have to be reminded that I need to do better. 

I've been pretty heartbroken since the election in November. It's tested my resilience and my commitment to intentional optimism. 
To be clear: I'm not heartbroken that the candidate I supported lost, I'm heartbroken that people who believe in violence and hatred feel like they've won. 

No one knows better than me that in politics, sometimes you lose. 
Sometimes what you hope for and dream of and work for doesn't happen. 
That's life. That's normal. 
C'est la vie. 

What I refuse to accept is the normalization of hatred. I refuse to accept the normalization of violence.
This is America. 
We always rise and show that we are worthy of the promise of the pursuit of happiness. 
Too often it takes longer than we want it to.
Too often we have to fight back against our own apathy to embrace the better angels of our nature. 
But we must. 

I am not perfect. I have been unkind and I will be unkind, but in small ways and in large ways, I hope you'll join me in committing to intentional kindness and optimism as we face these next four years. 

Kindness, empathy, and compassion are the most basic ways we can fight hatred in out every day lives.

Five Ways to Show Kindness:

1. See something, say something. 
If you see someone being harassed or treated rudely, have the courage to engage with the target by saying something like "Oh my gosh! Sarah?! I'm so glad to see you! It's been so long!"

2. Stop and help.
If you see someone struggling with their shopping bags, offer to help. If you drive by a house where an elderly woman is trying to rake leaves from her motorized scooter, pull over and ask if you can help her. If there's a parent traveling alone with a baby on your plane, offer to hold that baby if mom/dad needs to go to the bathroom. 

3. Donate feminine care items.
Homeless shelters around the nation are in dire need of bras and feminine hygiene products. 

4. Donate your time.
Is there a cause you believe in? Volunteer for it. 
Personally, I'm all about helping girls develop courage, confidence, and character so I volunteer for my local Girl Scout Service Unit. I also love my local library, so I've gotten involved with a group who wants to support it. 
Put your time where your heart is. 

5. Hold the door and smile at people. 
Especially for people who might worry that they're unsafe these days.
Little kindnesses add up. 

You don't have to be perfect, you just have to try. 
Every small effort to make the world a better place does matter.
So do it. 

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