By Sunny Simon
Not long ago I was playing Monopoly with my two young nieces. At one point, Alina, who is six, decided she wanted to gift some cash to her sister whose bank account was rapidly dwindling. When I inquired of Alina why she would just give money away, she simply replied she had more than enough. At that moment I was torn between which lesson to impart. Was it more important to explain the object of the game was winning, or should I cast the rules aside and let Alina continue with her act of kindness?
I needn’t have struggled with the decision because Aisaylnn, her ten-year-old sister, wisely stepped up to field this coaching moment. She very sweetly lavished praise on Alina and made it clear how much she appreciated the gesture. Aisalynn then explained a win was more meaningful if earned fairly.
Without missing a beat, the game continued leaving me with a warm glow over what I had just experienced. The life-lesson lingered with me throughout the day causing me to examine my actions. How often have I acknowledged I had more than enough? Do I give generously and frequently? Do I possess the bigheartedness of a little girl? Having pondered this I decided a kindness campaign is definitely something to keep on the front burner.
As I’ve mentioned before in my columns, I’m a tracker. Weighing, measuring and logging results are motivational in my world. Alina’s charitable example prompted me to initiate a Kindness Journal. Knowing at the end of the day I must log in a minimum of five benevolent or thoughtful acts keeps me in grace. Sometimes my actions involve giving physical items away as I truly do have more than enough. Other deeds may be as simple as reaching an item from the top shelf in the grocery for someone in a wheelchair.
My challenge for you this week is to take kindness to heart by acting on it daily. Make a caring gesture expecting nothing in return. Typically your kind deed will live on. Here’s some geeky brain stuff: scientists have coined the term, “upstream reciprocity” to explain your act of generosity inspires others to also pay it forward. Another bonus: givers also experience a brain boost in a release of endorphins which are “feel-good” chemicals.
Each night when I finish my journal entries I cannot help but smile and think how much you can learn by playing a board game with a six year old.
Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com