I once shared this quote, which was written by an unknown author.
“You know who’s going through a lot right now? Everybody. Just be kind.”
It got me thinking about all the struggles we assume other people don’t have—because we’d never guess from the looks of them.
You’d never guess that your confident colleague struggles with PTSD from childhood abuse and neglect.
You’d never guess that your boisterous brother-in-law beats himself up because he doesn’t earn enough to get his family out of debt.
You’d never guess that your collected cousin cries in the bathroom every day because she’s overwhelmed by parenthood and scared she’s messing it up.
You’d probably also never guess how many times you’ve been someone’s lifeline, simply by being kind.
A hug, a hand, an ear, a compliment—small acts of support and encouragement like these can help someone believe in themselves and their future when they feel like giving up.
And it’s not just the gesture itself that makes a difference, though a little bit of support can provide a massive amount of relief. It’s the reminder that there are good people out there who care and want to help.
There’s little more powerful than reminding someone there’s more love in the world than hate. Give someone the gift of faith in humanity, and you’re literally giving them the world—a world of light to believe in, no matter how dark things may seem.
This is why I keep re-reading and gifting Brad Aronson’s book HumanKind: Changing the World One Small Act a Time. After a hard day, the kindness stories act as a cleanser for my palate. They touch me, restore me, and inspire me to be someone else’s reason to believe in people.
And all the author’s royalties go to Big Brothers, Big Sisters, which means buying a copy is an act of kindness for both yourself and someone else.
I’ve written about the book several times now, so it’s possible you’re already familiar with Brad’s story. Perhaps you know that he wrote this book because of the support he received from his family during Mia’s battle with leukemia. The book contains both inspiring stories as well as practical advice to help make a difference.
It is possible that you don’t know someone who needs the book, but they will be referring to it over and over again. You might see them highlight certain pages or dog ear pages which give them peace. Maybe they will even pass it on to someone else, whose life will become better. Someone who’s going through a lot right now, though no one would guess or believe it.
That’s the thing about kindness: it ripples in ways you could never anticipate and will likely never know. But you can know you’re being the change you want to see, and that you’re changing the world even if you don’t see it.
True to form, Brad has generously offered ten copes of HumanKind to Tiny Buddha readers, four of which I’ll giveaway here on the blog (the others on social media).
To enter to win a copy, share an act of kindness you’ve recently received or witnessed in the comment section below.
Entry is possible until midnight PST Sunday, April 17.Th. I’ll update this post with the winners after I choose them and will also send a follow-up email next week.
If you’d like to buy a copy for yourself or a friend now (which I highly recommend!Amazon has one available.
About Lori Deschene
Tiny Buddha was founded by Lori Deschene. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, Tiny Buddha’s Worry 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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HumanKind was the post The Inspirational, Uplifting and Inspiring Book Everyone Needs to Read (Giveaway! Tiny Buddha was first to publish this article.