Category: Be Kind

Andy Smallman is a go-getter. He’s a teacher, and when he realized he didn’t like the way schools were educating students, he started a new one.

It’s been up and running in Seattle since 1994. But Andy isn’t just a go-getter — he’s a go-giver, too.

“Let me start by saying I’ve got this thing for the number 143 and have for ... Read More


Have you felt it? That overwhelming need to dispose of all clutter now that the holidays are over?

I’ve cleaned out one closet and have about seven more to go. I’m clearly not the only one feeling it, because I got a letter from a woman in Wisconsin whose need to downsize meant an upswing in kindness.

“I was in purge mode ... Read More


My friend lost her dad just days after Christmas. I’ve never been in a situation where I needed to console a friend after a parent’s death, so I was on new ground.

Am I talking too much or too little? Am I loving her in the way she needs to be loved or in the way I would want to be ... Read More


Have you tired of your New Year’s resolution yet?

Maybe you hoped to avoid the feeling of failure by not declaring one. That’s sort of the route I take.

While I’m not big into resolutions, I did set an intention for 2019. I learned this practice from some friends who come up with a special word at the beginning of each year. ... Read More


I know kindness is contagious because I’ve witnessed it in action time and time again. Hundreds of stories from readers like you have solidified my belief that kindness goes around and comes around much more frequently than we could imagine.

Sometimes, we do an act of kindness that prompts someone else to “pay it forward.” We never know where the kindness ... Read More


My brother and sister-in-law love to snowmobile. I’ve never really gotten the whole winter sports culture, but I’ve heard you can’t mock what you haven’t tried, so I’ll assume there is something awesome about it.

They tell me on a good day, the restaurant parking lots in northern Wisconsin are empty of cars but full of snowmobiles. It all just sounds ... Read More


You know those super awkward moments where everyone is standing in an elevator and no one is talking? They seem to happen anytime we find ourselves in a contained area with a bunch of strangers.

I had a moment like that recently when I was flying somewhere by myself. I had parked the car in the cheapest airport lot, which meant ... Read More


Want to really enjoy this holiday season? Try giving to others out of delight, not duty.

Sure, there are gifts we feel obligated to give. But the magic of Christmas comes when we re-create the spirit of the season for another person just because we feel like it. It’s not hard.

Ask Katie Kringstad, the director of children’s ministry at First Lutheran ... Read More


Have you ever bitten off more than you could chew?

I’m not talking about the Christmas ham — I’m talking about a project you thought you could handle, but couldn’t. That’s what happened to Oscar Bergos from Moorhead, Minn.

Luckily, kindness pulled up to save the day.

“About 15 years ago, I had a cottage out near Detroit Lakes, Minn. Although I was ... Read More


For the record, you should never do anything in front of children that you might find embarrassing when talked about in front of adults.

When we go on vacation, I like to hunt down the town’s best specialty bakery. I have a tendency to buy two flavors of cupcakes at a time because it just feels like too much pressure to ... Read More