Tag Archives: kindness

A Little Happier: Airplane Kindness, and It’s Nice to Get a Gold Star.

I love this story, told to me by a friend who is truly one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. Even just boarding a plane, she finds ways to be kind.

She’s not kind because she wants people to give her a gold star — but I was very happy that someone did give her some very well-deserved recognition. Even when it’s not necessary, it’s gratifying when our efforts are appreciated. And I very much appreciate the fact that the man sitting next to her on the plane made the remark that he did.

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Would You Commit a Random Act of Kindness If It Took 1 Minute & Could Save 8 Lives?

In the happiness world, there’s a lot of talk about “committing random acts of kindness.”

As I wrote about in Happier at Home, I’m a bigger fan of non-random acts of kindness — but there is one random act of kindness that I absolutely believe in.

If you support organ donation, please speak up about it.

Take a moment to sign the donor registry. That way, everyone can easily know your wishes, should the need arise.

Also, let your family and friends know that you’d want to be an organ donor.  Post a message on Facebook or Twitter, send out a blast email, talk about it over dinner. If and when they had to make a decision on your behalf,  in a time of grief and shock, it would be a tremendous comfort to them to know what you would want. To make it easy to find what you wrote, add the hashtag #organdonor.

This issue is particularly close to my heart. For decades, my husband had hepatitis C, which attacks the liver (he got hep C from a blood transfusion during a heart operation when he was eight years old). Well, it turns out the liver is a very, very important organ to have.  A liver transplant was definitely a possibility for him, so I became very interested in this issue of organ donation.

By a miracle of modern science, my husband is now cured. Yes, CURED. Tears well up in my eyes, even just typing those words.  (If you want to read more about one of the happiest days of my life, go here.)

He probably won’t need a new liver, but so many other people will, or they’ll need kidneys or hearts or whatever.

It’s a rare and transcendent privilege to die in a way that allows others to live. One person can save eight lives, and improve the lives of up to fifty people.

Signing the registry, telling the people you love — these are such small, easy things to do, yet could have such tremendous consequences for so many people.

It’s a random act of kindness because we don’t know whether the chance will arise, or if it does, who will benefit. But it’s an act of kindness just to raise your hand to be identified as a willing donor.

I live in New York City, and today is the very first annual Organ Donor Enrollment Day here. Sign up, speak up, today.

Many people sign up as organ donors at the Department of Motor Vehicles. That’s great, but it may be years before you’re back to renew your license. You can sign the registry or post a comment right now.

You may help many other people — and you’ll feel great, too.

Do good, feel good.  As Montaigne observed, “These testimonies of a good conscience are pleasant; and such a natural pleasure is very beneficial to us; it is the only payment that can never fail.”

Have you signed the registry, or had a conversation about this issue?

Share this post on Facebook to tell your family and friends that you support organ donation.

 

Story: The Fact Is, It’s Nice to Be Appreciated.

This week’s video story: It’s nice to be appreciated. Even if you don’t do something for the recognition — the recognition is nice.

How I love stories when virtue is rewarded! Here’s the one that I mention in the video, that I already posted, and here’s one for today:

Note that my friend’s acts of kindness weren’t “random acts of kindness “; they were very specific. But they were very kind.

How about you? Have you ever recognized — or been recognized — in this way?

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“The True Effect of Genuine Politeness Seems To Be Rather Ease than Pleasure.”

“The true effect of genuine politeness seems to be rather ease than pleasure. The power of delighting must be conferred by nature, and cannot be delivered by precept, or obtained by imitation; but though it be the privilege of a very small number to ravish and to charm, every man may hope by rules and caution not to give pain…”
— Samuel Johnson

Kindness! I think more and more about the significance of kindness for happiness.

* Flourish in Progress is a fascinating blog tracking a woman’s year without needless spending. I was thrilled to learn that this project was partially inspired by The Happiness Project. Happiness projects for everyone!

* The holidays are approaching fast. If you’re giving The Happiness Project as a gift, I’m happy to mail you a signed, personalized bookplate for the recipient. Or a bookplate for you! Just email me at grubin at gretchenrubin dot com; be sure to include your mailing address, because this is an actual thing that I’ll mail to you. Feel free to ask for as many as you’d like (they’re free).

Be Nice. It Matters.

I’m working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone’s project will look different, but it’s the rare person who can’t benefit. Join in — no need to catch up, just jump in right now. Each Friday’s post will help you think about your own happiness project.

Several times a week, I walk past the Sunshine Flowers deli at the corner of 62nd and Lexington.

Every time I go by, I smile and get a bit of a boost to keep my happiness resolutions when I see the handwritten admonition on the side of the flower case to “Be nice.”

Benice3

One of my Twelve Personal Commandments is to “Be polite and be fair.” I adopted that personal commandment years ago. I was about to get a promotion, and I was worried about whether I’d be able to do the job well. I mentioned this concern to my boss, and she said sternly, “Be polite and be fair. Then you’ll do fine.” I’ve always remembered that.

It’s important to “Be nice,” too. Henri-Frederic said the same thing, in a slightly more flowery way, “Life’s short and we never have enough time for gladdening the hearts of those who travel the way with us. O, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.”

* I loved this video — a musician took a photograph of birds on wires, and read it as a piece of music. The harmony of nature.

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