I have always believed that kindness is the truest measure of beauty. And I need only think of my grandmother to confirm that this is true. Giving, nurturing, understanding—she was all these things till the day she died, undeniably radiant, at the age of eighty-four. She smiled with her eyes and loved out loud, and that’s who I want to be.
If you’re fortunate, you’re close to someone like this, a person who exudes warmth and meets you with gentleness and compassion, even when you’re not at your best.
If you’re observant, you’ll see people from all walks of life embodying these qualities every day. You’ll see people opening their hearts and their homes and their wallets to help other people when they’re struggling.
And if you’re anything like me, you collect these little memories—snapshots of basic human goodness—to help you maintain your faith in humanity when life feels dark or unsafe.
As someone who’s ever on the lookout for new kindness stories for inspiration, I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of Brad Aronson’s new book HumanKind.
Now, more than ever, we need to focus on the good—and do good, in our own way.
HumanKind can help with both. With uplifting stories and practical tips throughout, HumanKind will touch your heart, remind you of what is truly important, and give you the tools to make a huge difference in the world through tiny acts of kindness. And all the author’s royalties go to Big Brothers Big Sisters—so just buying a copy does some good!
The book begins with Brad’s story of supporting his wife, Mia, through two and a half years of treatment after she was diagnosed with leukemia. Friends, family, and colleagues alike all stepped up to lighten their family’s load. And together, they proved there’s strength in numbers; that thoughtfulness, when multiplied by many, truly can help carry someone through the toughest battle of their life.
Further on in the book, you’ll read about a retiree who launched a project to mend homeless people’s clothes, reinforcing their intrinsic worth and mending their hearts in the process.
You’ll learn about a woman who started a movement of compassion and connection by giving out “You matter” cards, and giving sets to others to distribute through her “You Matter Marathon.”
You’ll also read about a woman with a debilitating disease who was denied a service dog, then went on to train dogs for others like herself, after her self-trained German Shephard saved her life.
The book overflows with stories like this—tales of everyday people using their skills to make a difference and turning their pain into purpose.
And Brad’s tips are simple and clear, providing a detailed roadmap to create your own impact, one tiny act of love at a time.
Like many in the world right now, you might find yourself with a lot of free time to potentially fill with enriching activities, with some Netflix binge sessions mixed in, because, let’s face it, both are ways to be kind to yourself!
Or, if you’re a work-from-home parent, like me, you may have small pockets to fill here and there that you’re determined to make count.
I can think of no better way to better yourself and the world than giving HumanKind a read.
Even during the darkest times, the world is full of light.
There are people tucked away in homes right now, smiling with their eyes at family and thinking of ways to love out loud—in isolation and beyond. There are people out there who know what it’s like to hurt and want to help create a world with a little less pain and a lot more love.
If you’re one of them, or you want to be, click here and let HumanKind be your guide. Give your spirits a lift. Give your heart some hope. Give back to those in need.
About Lori Deschene
Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal and other books and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. For daily wisdom, join the Tiny Buddha list here. You can also follow Tiny Buddha on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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