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Karla’s Korner: Resolve To Be Kind

Karla’s Korner: Resolve To Be Kind

Karla's Korner: Resolve To Be Kind

Resolve To Be Kind…

Anglican pastor, theologian and co-founder of Methodism (now the United Methodist Church) John Wesley once said “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as you can.” With the Christmas holiday behind us and the New Year quickly approaching it seems that everyone is making their New Year’s resolutions most of which involves self-improvement of some sort. While living a healthy lifestyle is necessary what if this year resolutions included doing for others in the way in which Wesley instructs us to do.

French born Matthieu Ricard, dubbed the world’s happiest man, earned a degree in Molecular Biology in the 1960’s while he also studied Buddhism. Eventually Ricard decided that Molecular Biology wasn’t the direction he wanted to take his life so he quit his job and moved to the Himalayans where he became a monk. Ricard says the secret to happiness is to put other people first. That’s it. No fancy formula to happiness just simple kindness and selflessness. Seems easy enough; or does it?

Ricard recently told TODAY “I don’t know if it’s surprising or paradoxical but the best thing people can do to be happy is to do something for others.” Results from hours of MRI tests on Ricard show what doctors say is unusually high levels of upbeat activity in his brain; the highest ever recorded, in fact.
Ricard’s deep interest in the connection between happiness and being kind inspired him to write several books; his latest published in 2015 “Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself”. Defining altruism as “the wish that other people may be happy” seems to be rather simplistic but tends to be a struggle for most of us. Quite often we seek our own happiness first often times giving others what we have left over. But what if we followed Ricard’s lead and put others first? Would we find ourselves happier or would we be resentful? My guess is if we gave of ourselves with what I refer to as a “happy heart” or sincerity we would find ourselves happier and more content with our own lives.

Canadian psychologist Elizabeth Dunn conducted a study of adults giving them large sums of money. Some were instructed to spend the money on themselves, while others were instructed to share the money with others. The results showed that those who spent the money on themselves were no more or less happy than they were when they started while those who used the money to feed the homeless, buy presents, give away random lottery tickets and various other acts of kindness were much happier than they were when the study started. The study showed that self-centered people who get what they want may find immediate happiness but find that the happiness doesn’t last. Soon they will want more for themselves and are often miserable.

Reflecting on the year as it comes to a close ask yourself what it was that gave you the most happiness in 2015. What was (or is) it that brings you joy, the kind of joy that fills you up from the depths of your soul? As you consider making resolutions I encourage you to be mindful, consider what it is that you can do for others and then stick to it, keeping in mind that acts of kindness do not have to cost a lot of money; quite often giving of your time is more valuable than money. Choosing to live a life of service, sincerity and purpose will lead to your own personal happiness.

American author and motivational speaker Leo Buscaglia shared his thoughts on the importance or value of kindness when he said “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Be kind to one another; let that kindness lead you to a life of happiness as you bask in the glow of the happiness of others. Happy New Year….



I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner, also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

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