Choose Kindness for Yourself, Others and the Planet

Choose Kindness for Yourself, Others and the Planet

We need to double down on kindness.

Choosing kindness for yourself, others and the planet is good for the health and wellness of all.  We are living in extraordinary times with a pandemic that is escalating around the world and impacting our medical and economic systems. We tense as we hear daily news and work to keep ourselves and others safe. It is easy to get lost in anxiety. We have always needed kindness but even more so now. We need to double down on kindness. With so much negativity, we all need to increase positive messages to keep our balance. Kindness is the simplest thing you can do to make a difference for yourself, others, and the planet. 

All people respond positively to kindness. Think about a time when someone said something kind to you. In response, something inside lights up.  Remarkably,  this is true when a kind word or gesture comes from someone you know or a stranger. Even random acts of kindness have a positive impact. Kindness is a gentle and powerful way to lift someone up. When someone is kind to you, it makes you feel good.  You want to pass it on.  Kindness is contagious and it gives joy to both the giver and the receiver. 

Let’s amp up our kindness!

As we begin, we can look to Bernadette Russel for inspiration. She decided to do daily acts of kindness every day for one year. Her book, The Little Book of Kindness, shares her ideas on acts of kindness and is a great place to help you get started. 

The Little Book of Kindness cover.
Be Kind to Yourself

Start with being your own best friend and giving yourself positive messages and taking kind actions. They do not need to be big, but they have a big impact. This is how you build your strength and it enables you to be kind to others. One way to get started is to create a list of the things that you like. Focus on small things that bring a smile to your face or give you a moment to relax. For example, I love my morning tea and a cappuccino in the afternoon. I have made it a habit to sit a few minutes and relax while sipping my hot drink. They are the little things that help me get out of my head and enjoy a moment. This is only one example, but there are many little things that I try to do each day. And on the days that I do not have treat moments, I am grumpy. So start your list of ideas including treats, people you can laugh with, movement, eating healthy, meditation, reading, listening to music, and so on. Once you have your list, make it a habit to be kind to yourself several times a day. 

Be Kind to Others

The best thing you can do for someone else is to say “how are you doing?” and then listen. They are almost magical words – “how are you doing?”. When someone asks you this in kindness, you relax and feel cared for. As people we are social and it feels so good to have someone else see you and care about how you are doing. Your family, friends, and strangers can all benefit from kindness. When it comes to family it is easy to get stuck in routines, so shake it up with a little surprise kindness. 

In The Little Book of Kindness by Bernadette Russell, there is a whole section on how to be kind to the people you love the most. The top ten list includes treating them to breakfast in bed, leaving them notes that they will find later in the day, and making them their favorite food. When it comes to strangers it can be more difficult. We know that being kind to others that you do not know is putting yourself out there. You smile but you may not get one in return. It is a risk but well worth it. Because even if you do not see it, it does make a difference. You have the power to make a difference. There are so many ways to be kind. For example, it can be a smile, holding a door open, a thoughtful note, thanking someone, being a good listener, treating someone to coffee or tea. There is even an organization, Random Acts of Kindness Organization ( with materials and ideas. So select some kind of activities that suit you and share them with the world. It will make you happier and give joy to someone else.

Be Kind to the Planet 

Humans and our planet are intimately linked. We need to be able to make choices that benefit the planet and all life. One of the best ways to be kind is to be more environmentally aware. Stepping back and thinking about actions and how to reduce your footprint. There are many ways to do this and you will hear much more about this in 2020 from One Planet Life. To get started, look to be more thoughtful in shopping. Consider if you need new or can buy used. Buy more durable goods and buy from companies that are making changes to reduce their footprint. There are B-corporations that are dedicated to environmental sustainability. For example, Patagonia has wonderful products and is deeply focused on the community and causing no harm to the environment. Another example is Looptworks, a business that re-purposes and epicycles abandoned, pre-consumer, and post-consumer materials into limited edition products. Reduce your water usage to save on this most precious resource. Reduce the use of single-use plastic that is clogging up our waterways. Plant a tree in your area or support our local parks, wetlands, and local  land. Or donate to an organization such as One Tree Planted Organization (  

 It’s time to get started by identifying your kindness list. Make sure you start with actions for yourself and then move on to others and the planet. Here is a Little Kindness Tracker. It is a simple tracking form that can help you give this aspect of life more attention. Get better balance in your day with kindness acts to increase your positivity. Think about it as your kindness journal. Let yourself feel good about the little acts of kindness by jotting them down. Then once a week, take a look and reflect on the happiness you are creating through kindness. 

Kindness is the easiest way to make the world better!  Choose kindness with us! 

International Day of Friendship

International Day of Friendship

Honestly, if someone told me at the beginning of 2020 that one of the most important days to celebrate this year would be the International Day of Friendship, I may have thought they watched a few too many Hallmark movies leading into the holidays. Please don’t misunderstand, I relish and rely on friendship in every sense of its meaning in my life.  Thanks to the uncertainties and challenges presented during the first half of 2020, however, my hope for greater friendship in the world and within my personal community has grown exponentially.

Around the world, people are dealing with major friendship challenges including: social distancing and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; heightened racial discord and political partisanship in the US; and, global impatience between countries and cultures.  As a result, the need for us all to take a pause to contemplate and celebrate friendship is of greater importance.

When the United Nations (UN) proclaimed the International Day of Friendship in 2011, they did so with the idea that, “friendship between peoples, countries, cultures, and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities”. The UN considers friendship in its broadest definition and as “a shared spirit of human solidarity.” 

On this International Day of Friendship we have an opportunity to think about how we can increase our tolerance of differing points of views and cultures.  We can consider ways to reach out to our local and global communities with empathy and care to heal old and new wounds. Together, we can create positive momentum toward peace and mutual respect for the betterment of all.

Here are few ways we recommend you celebrate on this International Day of Friendship:

Reach out to friends near and far and let them know you are thinking of them. 

It’s amazing how quickly a simple text, email, or video call from a friend can elevate a person’s mood. 

Volunteer in your community to help a stranger in need. 

Whether you support your local food bank, deliver meals to seniors in need, or lend a hand to your neighbor, sharing kindness and love will leave you and your new friend feeling grateful.

Share and promote peace, tolerance, and equality.

At home, in your community, and across your social media channels celebrate and share friendship.  All of us at One Planet Life will do the same.  Join us on Instagram at #OPLFriendshipEveryday.

World Population Day

World Population Day

The UN World Population Day seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population in our world.

We are in a world of 7.5 billion people. Sometimes it seems as if we are a world of egos each focused on our individual needs. Deep down we know that we are connected and the winning strategy is to work together and to lift each other. 

Of the 7.5 billion people in the world, ~1 Billion live in extreme poverty with an income of less than $2 per day per person. For many of the people in poverty, the problems are compounded by rapid population growth and vulnerability to climate change. 

In 2019, the Nairobi Summit on population took place in Kenya. World leaders and community members from 163 United Nations countries reflected on the agreements made in the 1994 landmark population conference, and agreed that greater urgency is needed – we need to “Accelerate the Promise.” They created the Nairobi Statement and the Nairobi Commitments – five themes and 12 global commitments to achieve the goal of “three zeroes” – zero preventable maternal death, zero unmet need for family planning, and zero gender-based violence or harmful practices.

Studies show there is a close relationship between population, development, and individual-well being.

In the book, Factfulness, by Hans Rosling, we learn that in 1800 the average number of children per woman was almost 6. By 1965 it was 5 children per woman and in 2017 it was 2.5 children. What accounts for this dramatic change? There were many changes around the world between 1800 and 2017 which raised the standard of living for billions of people. The results: “As billions of people left extreme poverty, most of them decided to have fewer children. They no longer needed large families for child labor on the small family farm. And they no longer needed extra children as insurance against child mortality. Women and men got educated and started to want better-educated and better-fed children: and having fewer of them was an obvious solution. “ Page 84-85. What is amazing is that this trend happens in all countries around the world. Therefore, we have clarity that moving out of poverty enables families to be healthier, better educated, and increase individual opportunities and well-being. So while we have made progress there is much to be done. And we know that reaching the three zero goals and lifting people out of poverty is key. 

On this World Population Day, let’s take time today to reflect on our connected humanity. Every person you help is important.

What does the world population mean to you?

What is your role in humanity?

How can you make a difference?

We look forward to your thoughts on how to help some of the most vulnerable people in our world. Please leave us a comment below.


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