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IS KINDNESS OVERRATED? – guest post by Shiv Harsh

Shiv Harsh has sent me a new guest post for the Kindness series, along with plenty of wonderful pictures to substantiate his thoughts, reaching back into history, as well as science. Make the most of his positivity! Thank you, Shiv!

If Kindness Is Overrated, So Is Being Human
By Shiv Harsh

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There is a modern concept: each one for himself, dog eat dog, a take-no-prisoners attitude toward the world. But we are not in a zero-sum game. For one person to win, another one does not have to lose. And how do you tabulate wins and losses anyway? The guy with the most marbles, the biggest house, the largest yacht is not always the happiest or the most satisfied.

Early humans

It was not always thus.
The value of cooperation and interdependence was learned fairly early by our ancestors.

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Early humans attacked animals, and animals attacked humans. Cooperation among humans helped them to fight off attacking animals, and also made hunting easier. There are findings suggesting that a party of Homo erectus hunted a giant baboon in Kenya 400,000 years ago.
As such, it is clear that there were both cultural and genetic reasons for cooperation. Groups of people who helped each other had a survival advantage, and their genes were passed on. Within groups also, people who were more selfish and less likely to help others often got killed, and were removed from the gene pool.

Altruism

Human beings living in small groups in ancient times realized their interdependence. As such, they had a direct interest in the welfare of their colleagues in that group. This is one reason advanced for the origins of altruism, or kindness to others, which we humans possess, but most animals do not.
However, there was one side effect of this. Our ancestors started to develop a strong sense of “us” versus “the other.”
People belonging to a small group, a tribe, recognized each other, trusted each other, and “had each other’s back.” “Others” were viewed with suspicion, because they could be hostile.
Even today, we see evidence of this kind of behavior. Members of fraternities, clubs, religions, nationalities, are more likely to be kind and helpful to each other. “Outsiders” are not as readily trusted.

Competition

This appears to have distorted our inborn tendencies. The race to be bigger, better, stronger, richer, at all costs has subjugated our humanity. Acts of kindness are sometimes seen as evidence of weakness, as a lack of the “killer instinct.”
“Do unto others before they do unto you.” Is that going to be our new motto?
Individual acts of kindness still occur. But group behavior is veering off in a dangerous direction.

Pushing back

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Altruism and happiness

Studies on students have found a clear relationship between altruism and happiness. Those people who consider themselves to be the most happy are also generally the most altruistic. Happiness makes us more open to others. Acute depression, on the other hand, makes it more difficult for people to express love for others.

Fun versus philanthropy

Martin Seligman is a researcher who has studied “positive psychology.” In one of his studies, he asked a group of students to do two different things. The first was a run-of-the-mill fun activity: enjoying ice cream, going out with friends, or watching a movie.  The other activity was an act of disinterested kindness.
The results were dramatic. There was a profound and lasting sense of satisfaction associated with performing an act of kindness. By contrast, the pleasure from movies and ice cream was short-lived.

Empathy, altruism, joy

More and more data suggest a connection between these basic human traits and emotions.
All human beings share the same desire to avoid suffering and enhance their sense of well-being. We are more alike than different. We depend on each other much more than we care to admit.

Neuroplasticity

Contrary to previous beliefs, the brain is malleable.  You can teach an old brain new tricks. Western scientists are studying with modern technology the brain activity of Buddhist monks who practice meditation, compassion and empathy. The results are astonishing.

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Monks who were studied while meditating on “unconditional loving-kindness and compassion” demonstrated the presence of powerful gamma waves on the recordings of their brain activity. These waves are related to consciousness, attention, learning, and memory.

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Some experienced practitioners of meditation show more activity in the brain’s left prefrontal cortex, compared to the right, when meditating on compassion. This reflects a larger capacity for happiness and a lower tendency for negativity.

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People who are vastly experienced in meditation obviously show the maximum amount of change. However, some changes can be seen even with three weeks of 20 minutes daily meditation.

Oneness

Thus the practice of compassion is a way of demonstrating oneness between ourselves and the outside world.
Joy and satisfaction are related to love and affection. Selfishness tends to breed misery.
Inner joy generates kindness. Expressing kindness leads to lasting fulfillment.

The best of life

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Being human

The term human being invokes a state of being, not just existing. Without kindness, humans would be merely existing.  And how would you rate that?

Shiv’s biography on Amazon
Shiv’s website
Shiv on Facebook
Shiv’s self-help book – “How to Lead a Satisfying Life: 11 Universal Lessons From the Gita”

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And what do YOU have to say? – Molly Gambiza – interview no.24

INTERVIEW TIME

Today I am chatting with author Molly Gambiza, who tackles some very difficult social issues in her books, such as poverty, child abuse, lack of education, etc. Let us see why she writes and what her message is.

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1. People often tend to cathegorize authors according to genres and topics. If you had to cathegorize your work, would you say you were a woman writing for women, would you choose a different tagline or avoid cathegories altogether?

I would definitely say that I’m a Woman writing for Women. I didn’t feel that way in the beginning. I always just thought I was writing for myself. But I’ve witnessed just how profound my words have been with Women and I just hope to continue to be that voice for us.

2.   So far you have publishes three novels and working on your fourth. At what point did you start considering yourself an author and why?

I used to just write to pass the time, but I guess once I had finished writing my 1st novel True Colours was when I considered myself a Writer. It wasn’t until Mistaken Identity however that I saw myself as an Author. It was when a colleague at work came to me saying how much she loved my books and had bought copies for her family that it sunk in that this was more than just a hobby now.

3. In your previous work history, I noticed ‘receptionist’. I imagine that job has helped you a lot in observing and studying human habits, character, even body language. How much of your work experience do you use in writing?

My job has definitely shaped how I write. I’m in contact with hundreds of people on a daily basis so It’s hard not to draw inspiration or learn from them. I love my colleagues and they each offer a different and sometimes refreshing perspective. Have  I ever based a character on a colleague? No, but some have certainly helped me put things into context when creating  some of my characters.

4. You come from Uganda, but have been living in Great Britain for practically half your life. You set your stories in Uganda. What are your fondest memories of Uganda that you can share with us? What do you miss?

I lived on a farm, so naturally I liked the time of harvest. Everyone in the village would get together and help each other but that was the time that I could eavesdrop on the gossip of the season. They did try to talk in codes but I was sharper than a blade and cut right through those codes. Some of those stories still make me laugh today. I miss my Mother’s Garden where the majority of these conversations would take place.

5. A Woman’s Weakness deals with quite an intimate woman’s struggle in life, her relationship expectations and reinventing herself, although it doesn’t sound like a typical romance. When you created  your main character, Eva, how difficult was it to walk in her shoes – did you identify with her or empathize? Was it difficult to leave her behind once you finished the book?

What Eva went through was a norm growing up, this was something I was all too familiar with seeing in the Village. I haven’t left her behind and  I doubt I could, because of how many times I saw an Eva type character in my Village or heard about a girl like her in the news. The issues she dealt with are the issues that I challenge with my writing. I am fortunate enough not to have gone through what she did but I could have been Eva. I very well could have found myself in her shoes

6. True Colours, on the other hand, is a social drama, with quite a heavy subject. The villain in the book is the kind relative who offers help under a disguise of something else. Was she difficult to create? What did you want readers to learn from her?

She was not difficult to create at all; some Aunts can be very cruel. I had friends and even relatives who had bad experiences just like Hilda. I wanted my readers to learn that not everyone who smiles at you is a friend and that what goes around certainly does come around. So be kind to everybody on your way up, because you will surely meet them should you fall.

7. Would you like to try writing in a different genre? Which and why?

I would love to write a few Crime Novels, 60% of my book shelf is full of John Grisham. It would be a challenge to write but one I would accept. I wouldn’t mind writing some Adventure novels as well. Wilbur Smith is another one of my favourite authors.

8. Since A Woman’s Weakness is getting its sequel soon, do you maybe see it as a movie or a TV-series? Who do you see portraying Eva? Do you have specific images of real people in your head when you write about characters  or are your characters strangers you meet along the way, as you write?

Well I didn’t even have those thoughts until my eldest son brought up the idea. To be honest, I haven’t given it much thought but who wouldn’t want to see their work on the big screen?  Thandie Newton would be perfect for Eva’s part, she’s beautiful in person, and after a brief encounter actually reminded me of Eva. I don’t really put faces to my characters, but every now and again someone says or does something like a character in my book.

9. If you could interview any famous woman in human history, who would it be and what would you like to talk about?

OPRAH, I would pick her brains for the secrets to her success. She is an amazing Woman who has worked incredibly hard for what she has and has faced many challenges. I would ask her what pushed her and kept her going when the World was telling her to quit.

10. What do you appreciate most in life?

My Family, nothing else matters, I live and breathe for them…… But in close second place, it’s handbags. I have an addiction, lol!

11. Would you like to add anything about your current work or send a message to the readers?

I would like to send a big thank you to all of my readers. I appreciate the support you have all been showing me, keep an eye out for my new releases and I hope you stay with me on this journey. It is an honour.

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Molly’s website
Molly’s books on Amazon

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Rain washes over

No data
No stress
No imminent goal

Just hear its sound
Just hear the rain

Let the patter of raindrops
Wash over your soul

It will all pass
It will all be OK

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IS KINDNESS OVERRATED? – guest post by Adam Lynch

Adam Lynch joins the guest blogs today with this story on kindness. Enjoy his story and read about Adam in his bio addition below.

The True Power Of Kindness

By Adam Lynch

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      It was the season of fall in a small park by an expanding lake.  It was a place of stillness and beauty, one where an old man named John always visited to cleanse his daily stresses.
      Today however, the shading of the greeneries was darker than ever before, light fading every passing second as the leaves became released from their ties.
       The thriving greens that were once so beautiful and healthy have now become old, weak and have lost their energy…
       “I wonder,” pondered John to himself. “Have I reached my limit? Have I already achieved everything I will ever achieve? Can I no longer bring service to the world?”
       “There is only so much a man can do for himself,” said a young man suddenly as he approached John, appearing dirty and poorly dressed. “But there is always something he can do for others.”
         “Who are you and what do you want from me?” inquired John defensively.
          The young man smiled warmly.
          “I’d like to know your name, sir.”
           “What benefit is that to you?”
           “No benefit, sir. I’d just simply like to connect with you.”
          “John. My name is John. Now what do you want from me, money? Fine, then it’s yours!”
           “That is not why I approached you this evening, sir.”
           “Well, you sure look like you could use it.”
           John analyzed the young man’s dirty body and torn up clothes.
           “You may be right, sir,” he admitted. “But I am not thinking of myself this very moment.”
           “What do you mean you’re not thinking of yourself? Look at you! You clearly have needs to attend to, so why worry about mine?”
             As John stared at the young man skeptically, the young man smiled tenderly at him.
          “Something inside of me wanted me to tell you something, sir,” began the young man. “I can’t explain why, but a voice inside of me told me to tell you that your time is not yet up, but is, in fact just beginning. The small still voice inside of me wanted you to know that he has a big plan for you and that you have nowhere yet reached your fullest potential. Lastly, the voice inside of me wanted you to know that you are very loved, and that nothing you have done or will ever do will change that.”
           Astonished by the young man’s unexpected words, John sat speechless, turning away briefly to wipe away the sudden tears from his eyes.
            “Who told you to say this and why have you bothered to tell me?” he interrogated.
           “It is the god inside of me, sir. He has instructed me to act on your behalf.”
           “Well I never asked you to do anything for me! And why is this ‘god’ asking you to do things for me? Shouldn’t he be taking care of you?”
             “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38. God has told me that all my needs will be taken care of, therefore instead of spending my time worrying about myself, God wants me to attend to other people’s needs, while he attends to mine.”
           “How do you know your needs will ever be attended to? I mean, it’s great to think of others in your time of struggle but can you really do anything for others when your own needs aren’t met? Don’t take this the wrong way but what can you do for others in your current position? You clearly don’t money or power, so what can you possibly do to offer benefit?”
          “You’re correct, sir. I do not have any money or power, but I do have a dream. I have ambition, and most importantly of all, I have love.”
          “Love? What security can that bring?”
          “It brings the security of happiness, sir. Without happiness, everything we work for becomes meaningless.”
           Feeling exposed, John turned away from the young man’s eyes, lightening the tension on his face.
           “Well I can’t argue with that…tell me, son, you said you had a dream. What is it?”
           “It is my dream, sir to open up a dream care center that will provide not only food and shelter for the homeless, but offer them hope and inspiration from God’s word for their futures. I do not wish to limit this center to only the homeless however, but for anyone who’s willing to join our big family.”
         “That cost quite a bit of money, son. How do you plan on gathering the funds for this when you’re wasting your time with an old man like me?”
        “I believe God has called me to execute this plan, but I also believe he doesn’t want me to wait until the plan is accomplished to begin helping and showing love to others. I may not have money or power, but I do have willpower. As long as I have that, I can get started doing what I’m called to do right now!”
          “You’re a good lad…and also very brave, but you still haven’t answered my question. How are you gathering funds for your project?”
           “My brother and I are gathering funds at various churches we speak at. So far we’ve already managed to gather some blankets, coats and food to send out for the homeless. While they eat, my brother and I preach words of hope and inspiration to them. It’s no dream care center but it is a start. We may not have much, sir, but you’re welcome to join us on our sermons every Sunday after church. We don’t have the best food or quality items, but we always offer the kindest of love.”
          “So you truly are serious about this. You’re not just another one of those talkers, are you?”
            “All I know, sir, is that with God, I can do all things.”
            “I’ve never met a man like you, who’s willing to trade security for the risks that go with helping others.”
             “In the end, sir, love and kindness will always be the most important things in our lives. We all have needs, yes, but if we trust that God will supply for us, then we have all the time in the world to help supply for others.”
            “You said you are taking donations at your church?”
             “Yes, sir, the one just up the road from here.”
             “Then let me acquire happiness by helping you acquire yours. It’s almost embarrassing to admit, but the time you set aside for my behalf has really sparked new life in me. You may not have money or power but somehow you brought me new hope; hope I thought I’d never find again. All this time I thought kindness was overrated, but somehow your acts of kindness made me feel like I wasn’t just simply an old man taking up this planet’s resources and space. What you’re doing for this community is a wonderful thing, and I’d very much like to join in on your efforts to spread it to the world.”
             “So you mean you’ll join us for Sunday?”
             “No, you fool! I mean I have decided to fund your entire project.”
              “Wait, what?!”
              “You’re absolutely right, son! It’s kindness that makes the world go round, not power and competition. We shouldn’t have to tower over others to ensure our own needs are met, but instead we should use our resources to give to others, and have them give to us. Giving! That’s real business right there!”
               “Are you certain you can afford this? I’m not sure you realize how expensive this project really is. My brother and I have been gathering funds for almost three years now.”
                “I know I may not look like it, son, but I’m an extremely wealthy man. The fact that you did not realize that warms my heart even more about you. You’re actually willing to set aside your own time for others without expecting anything in return from them at all. That’s truly inspiring.”
              “I cannot thank you enough, sir. I don’t even know what to say.”
             “Good, then don’t thank me. You shouldn’t even have to thank me because kindness is never earned, it’s given…and given to you it shall be…with nothing expected in return!”             
           

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About the author (provided by himself):

Adam’s website

Adam’s book

Adam Lynch has been writing books since the third grade. He’s always carried a passion for creating stories and developing characters. From super hero picture books to his newly released novel “Making Dreams Into Reality”, published by Tate Publishing Enterprises, Adam Lynch is taking his love of  imagination to a level he is able to contribute to the world.  
In addition to Lynch’s writing career, he has professionally recorded two songs, one of which was released on a compilation CD.
He has graduated the Music Careers Mentoring Program, from which he studied under Tom Hess, and within the program, he has also collaborated with twelve professional musicians around the world on various projects such as the compilation CD in which they’ve self recorded, produced and distributed five thousand physical copies word-wide.
As of now, Adam Lynch is seeking literary representation for his second novel, The True Spiritual Nature of Love and is immediately getting started on his third novel.
Adam Lynch has big ambitions for his future. He will stop at nothing until his dreams are made into a reality.

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IS KINDNESS OVERRATED? – guest post by Everett Morris

Today’s guest Everett Morris shares with us his views and personal experiences with kindness. Another author from the Books Go Social facebook authors group. I hope his post makes you think. Read more about Everett following the links posted below.

Is Kindness Overrated?

I believe the substance of kindness itself is not overrated, it’s overlooked. It’s forgotten. It’s frustrating. And this is why.

As a kid, my father would bend over backwards for complete strangers. We admired this about him. And this is just one incident in a line of many.

As we were travelling down a main road in our town, we saw a semi-truck parked on the side of the road with the hazard lights on. Now, we had a Suburban, so if he needed any mechanical assistance, that was out of the question. If he needed any significant help, these were the days before cell phones, so we couldn’t exactly call anyone. But my Dad stopped anyway. He walked to the driver. Meanwhile, we’re all scratching our head. After about ten minutes, we see Dad and the driver laughing it up. The driver walks to the end of the trailer, opens it up and gives us five cases of yogurt. Not small boxes, mind you, but rather sizeable boxes of yogurt. In that day and age; the mid 80s, the drivers could open the trailers. Now, they’re sealed. Our Dad told us as we helped move these boxes to our truck that all the driver needed was directions. That was it. Just the simple task of telling a driver to make a U-turn, take a left and a right earned our Dad a ton of yogurt. It meant that much to the driver. Nowadays, when we see people on the side of the road, we just drive past them. Who knows what they need? A jump, a flat tire? Directions?

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Another incident, in the more recent years, my Dad had the idea of stopping to help someone in need. It was a beautiful day; not a cloud in the sky. We were just coming down the road after a day on the lake not catching a thing. We find a SUV in the culvert on the side of the road. It was obvious the driver just wanted to pull off to the side, but misjudged the distance. Odd, but unfortunate. So, my Dad tells me to pull off and see what we can do. They were trying everything they could do to get their tires deeper. I offered my assistance; after evaluating which tires were less buried and using that to the advantage. We got the truck out of the mire and pulled it into an adjacent driveway. Everyone was appreciative of our efforts. In the end, it was because they had seen the garage sale, they tried to stop quicker than normal and had just driven off the road.

I don’t know if my Dad was the only one to pull over and help someone like that, but I do know that it’s become contagious on my part. I even notice at my job that people are less likely to help one another. I see it as a micro society. Here we are in this world, we try to get along, but as soon as someone needs a hand, they just move along.

Kindness, to me, is something we hope everyone acts upon, but no one “has the time” due to some appointment, meeting, or if we’re on our way to a soccer game. Kindness needs to be refocused on, accepted and acted upon.

It boils down to doing the right thing at the right time for no reason whatsoever; but just because the recipient would appreciate it. Do the right thing because we, deep down inside, hope that someday, someone would do the same for us.

I use experiences with my Dad to illustrate my thoughts because he was, and is, a daily inspiration to me. We all, myself included, should aspire to be one step better than we are, to realize our potential is greater than we imagine. And that starts by doing one thing for one person. Then, like something contagious, it spreads.

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About the author (from his Amazon profile):
Author O. F. Marz (Everett Morris) and his book

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BEDTIME STORY, ANYONE?

Our kids have never been ready sleepers. They would skip naps any time they could, and postpone evening sleep for as long as possible. They still do. This was probably why my husband and I started telling so many stories, making that silly mistake of creating interesting ones which kept them up even longer. However, repeating them and making them rhyme helped, which my job as a teacher taught me. You just have to write them down, because if you repeat, you have to repeat without changes. After a while, you get over your own ego and realize kids are actually only into bedtime stories for your voice and your time, so selflessly devoted to them in such moments. Some stories and rhymes still remain.
Here is one of those rhymes, which I created around a rhyme used in preschool English teaching – Little teddy, Turn Around. Thinking of turning it into a picture book, after some editing and illustrating. What do you think?

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LITTLE TEDDY’S BEDTIME RHYME

ONCE UPON A TIME
IN A FOREST FAR AWAY
THERE LIVED A BEAR FAMILY
WHO LIKED TO PLAY.

BUT WHEN IT GOT COLD,
DADDY BEAR SAID:
‘EAT WHAT YOU CAN
AND LET’S GO TO BED.’

SO BEAR AFTER BEAR
TO THE CAVE THEY WOULD GO,
TILL SPRING WOULD COME
AND THE SUN WOULD GLOW.

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SO GRANDPA SAID ‘GOOD NIGHT’,
BUT TEDDY DIDN’T SLEEP.
AND GRANDMA SAID ‘SLEEP TIGHT’,
BUT TEDDY DIDN’T SLEEP.

AND BROTHER SAID: ‘HERE’S BALL’,
BUT TEDDY DIDN’T SLEEP.
AND SISTER SAID: ‘HERE’S A DOLL’,
BUT TEDDY DIDN’T SLEEP.

AND DADDY SAID: ‘PLEASE, PLEASE,
PLEASE, TEDDY, SLEEP.’
AND MUMMY SAID: ‘PLEASE, PLEASE,
PLEASE, TEDDY, SLEEP.’
BUT TEDDY SIMPLY DIDN’T,
COULDN’T, WOULDN’T FALL ASLEEP.

AND SO THE FOREST FAIRY CAME,
AND TO HIS NOSE SHE FLEW,
AND SAID: ‘YOU WILL SLEEP, TEDDY,
I HAVE A MAGIC RHYME FOR YOU.’

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LITTLE TEDDY, LITTLE TEDDY, TURN AROUND.
LITTLE TEDDY, LITTLE TEDDY, TOUCH THE GROUND.
LITTLE TEDDY, LITTLE TEDDY, WIGGLE YOUR NOSE.
LITTLE TEDDY, LITTLE TEDDY, TOUCH YOUR TOES.
LITTLE TEDDY, LITTLE TEDDY, DON’T YOU CRY.
LITTLE TEDDY, LITTLE TEDDY, REACH UP HIGH,
LITTLE TEDDY, LITTLE TEDDY, TURN OFF THE LIGHT,
LITTLE TEDDY, LITTLE TEDDY, SAY GOOD NIGHT.

AND TEDDY SAID: ‘GOOD NIGHT,’
AND FINALLY FELL ASLEEP.
AND AWAY THE FAIRY WENT,
AND THE BEAR’S SLEEP WAS DEEP.

AND THEN SPRING CAME,
AND THE SUN STARTED TO GLOW,
AND IT GOT WARM,
AND THERE WAS NO MORE SNOW.

GRANDPA SAID: ‘WAKE UP, SLEEPY HEAD,’
BUT TEDDY DIDN’T WAKE.
GRANDMA SAID: ‘COME ON, GET OUT OF BED,’
BUT TEDDY DIDN’T WAKE.

BROTHER AND SISTER
TICKLED HIS PAWS,
MUMMY AND DADDY
TICKLED HIS NOSE.
BUT TEDDY SIMPLY DIDN’T,
COULDN’T, WOULDN’T WAKE UP.

AND SO THE FOREST FAIRY CAME,
AND TO HIS NOSE SHE FLEW.
SHE SAID: ‘YOU WILL WAKE, TEDDY,
I HAVE A MAGIC RHYME FOR YOU.’

LITTLE TEDDY, LITTLE TEDDY, OPEN YOUR EYES,
LITTLE TEDDY, LITTLE TEDDY, LOOK AT THE SKIES.
LITTLE TEDDY, LITTLE TEDDY, LISTEN WITH YOUR EAR.
LITTLE TEDDY, LITTLE TEDDY, SPRING IS HERE!

AND ONE EYELID WENT ‘POP’,
AND THEN THE OTHER ONE,
AND TEDDY STRETCHED AND SMILED
AND RAN OUT IN THE SUN.

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IS KINDNESS OVERRATED? – guest blog post by Beverly Tiernan

As many of you already know, I have invited guests to my blog to discuss the question of whether kindness is overrated in this day and age. Several authors have already shared their views, more to come. The posts are either essays, poems, quotes or even stories. Author and educator Beverly Tiernan has sent me this interesting quote and picture. Her opinion on the matter is stated below the quote. Read more about Beverly below her post.

Acts of Kindness

The Buddha once said “When one becomes enlightened, two things flower simultaneously–kindness and wisdom. If you are a seeker of knowledge, I must talk to you through my wisdom. If you are a seeker of being, I will talk to you through my kindness. Wisdom can miss the target, but loving kindness can never miss.”

Kindness cannot be overrated.

B. J. Tiernan

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More about Beverly and her book:

B. J. Tiernan’s Amazon author page

Standing on a Whale – on Amazon

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IS KINDNESS OVERRATED? – guest post by Margaret Ann Loveday

Today’s guest is author Margaret Ann Loveday, who promotes her threads of love principle as a living example. Read what she has to say about kindness, and you can find out more about her and her book below her post. Thank you for sharing this, Margaret…

Is Kindness Overrated – NO NEVER – There is never enough!

In a world filled with tragedy, loneliness, heartbreak, stress, sadness, war, suffering, hunger, prejudice, injustice, greed, hatred and natural disasters; where ever there is a need, kindness will be required.

Kindness can come in many ways,  lend a hand, cook a dinner, fix a fence, mow a lawn, write a letter of encouragement, give a gift, send a card, say a kind word, give a smile or a hug, hold a hand, give a kiss, show affection, these are acts of kindness.

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‘Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless’
Mother Teresa

We see kindness displayed all around us when disaster strikes. Great organisations are built on kindness, organisations like ‘Red Cross’ and the ‘Salvation Army’, they operate on a basis of kindness to give in time of need. 

During a recent storm, a man, risked his life to save two people, in a flash flood; another saved horses stranded in a flooded river, acts of kindness are endlessly displayed.

We see people working together and helping each other. Mother Teresa said, ‘If you can’t feed a hundred, feed one’.  Why do we watch on in time of disaster, or tragedy willing each other on, praying for each other, feeling that lump in the throat, the tears in our eyes, feeling another’s sadness?  Why do we feel moved to help? 

Because kindness has its origin and very essence in love; and love, is the essential part of every human being … Love is an ever powerful force that knits the fabric of humanity together.

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“All you need is Love” sang The Beatles.

‘Love is kind’ says the Bible.

Kindness is the fruit of ‘Pure Love’.  One small act of kindness towards another person, an animal and nature; can warm a heart, save a life, bring light in darkness, change a circumstance, make a difference, and change the cause of history.  Giving kindness even gives to the giver, for as we spread kindness it warms our own heart and satisfies our longing to love.  

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Kindness … No, it could never be overrated.  We can not exist in this world without ‘Love’ and its fruit – kindness.  It is as important as air!  Is air over-rated?

Margaret Ann Loveday

About the author and her book (from her Amazon author page):

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Blurb for Margaret Ann Loveday’s book Emily:

“Love; Capture Your Heart, Appreciate Life and Believe the Impossible”
A story of love’s journey; miracles, adventure, family, hopes and dreams fulfilled.  Set in an Australian beach and bush setting, it encompasses the beauty of the environment, the Australian culture and way of life.
Emily is blessed with an optimistic charismatic personality and is adored by everyone except her parents. Her loving Great Grandmother Ruby fights to give Emily the right to life, and raises her on love and good, old fashioned values. Ruby encourages little Emily to succeed and excel beyond all odds, with her simple faith which propels her towards her highest hope of finding the love she craves.
Orchestrated by a series of miracles, the thread of love entwines around the broken hearts of three people, bringing them together and healing them completely.

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IS KINDNESS OVERRATED? – guest blog post by Lexa Harpell

Today’s guest blog post on kindness comes from an Australian author with a big heart. Here’s what Lexa Harpell has to say about it. Read more about Lexa below her post.

Maybe we should first look at what Kindness means:

‘An act of Kindness is a spontaneous gesture of goodwill towards someone or something – our fellow humans, the animal kingdom, and the kingdom of nature.’

‘Kindness is a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others. It is known as a virtue, and recognized as a value in many cultures and religions.’ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kindness

 

Hmmmm is it overrated?

Personally, I believe it is quite underrated. There is immense power in just one small act of kindness – it can change a person’s life – a belief – a decision – history. The beauty and mystery of kindness is that we may never know who or how – just a knowing that it will – for the goodness of all our essential being.

Firstly, an act of Kindness can never be challenged!

They can mend broken relationships, change toxic workplaces, fill our hearts and souls with brilliant light where darkness once lived.

Great leaders throughout history practiced and included kindness as part of their values:

Dali Lama – Mother Theresa – Mahatma Ghandi – Nelson Mandela to name a few.

Philosophers – poets – writers – sages:

Lao Tzu wrote:  ‘Kindness in words creates Confidence – Kindness in thinking creates Profoundness – Kindness in giving creates Love.’   ‘Great acts are made up of small deeds.’

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Aesop wrote: ‘No act of kindness, no matter how small, is every wasted.’ and ‘Great acts are made up of small deeds.’ His fables each had a moral – using the qualities and natural tendencies of animals to focus on wisdom.
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Our media is filled with much violence, destruction on a daily basis. Then…. they feature one small act of kindness within this news and it ripples throughout the world – faster than you can blink your eyes. This speed shows us that the people in the world want – desire – need this one basic fundamental element in their lives.

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There are many heartfelt stories like this through time.

Being Australian, and knowing the devastation our bushfires can bring, this simple image spread across the globe as fast as our bushfires blazed in 2009. An exhausted firefighter who had been fighting our fires for days on end gave Kindness to a koala with badly burnt feet.

It touched and opened people’s hearts from afar. People from many countries began making little booties for the feet of all the badly burnt koalas saved. We were soon inundated with thousands of pairs of booties.

This is the stuff we humans live off, we yearn to make a difference in life, it is part of our inherent nature.

 

Show a little Kindness – it can change your world – or your perceptions of it.

Lexa Harpell

About the author (with her kind permission, from her Amazon page):

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Lexa recently moved back to where she was born and raised, the beachside suburb of Bondi in Sydney, Australia. I bought back many childhood memories and her decision to publish her Ode to her Mother.

The inspiration for the book came as Lexa searched without success for a perfect birthday present. Her Mum was heading into her 90th year, and her dementia was accelerating.

A book of recollections and fragmented memories from childhood, written simply as a child would write in the hope mum would understand. The little acts of love from mother to daughter over the years, and reflected on how those acts had shaped her as an adult.

She found the process a healing and powerful one. “My intention was to give a heartfelt gift to my mum; it also turned out to be the greatest gift I gave to myself.’

Lexa’s book on Amazon

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Anita Kovacevic

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Good night!

A WRITER’S LULLABY

I wish I could tell
such incredible tales
tales of lovers and bravery and magic and time…
I wish I could make you
see all that I see
smell the scents, feel the heat, hear the chime…

I wish that my words
could change
what is bad
what is cruel and abusive and bitter and low…
I wish they could touch
something magically deep
to make people read, believe, love and know…

I shall be like a child now
and go to sleep calm
and dream my stories and their colours and words.
And perhaps I’ll wake up
with my wishes come true
or at least feel as rested as do all free birds.

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