We’re approaching that time again, “the most wonderful time of the year,” they say.
Some love the holidays because they appreciate the comfort of tradition—the regalia, the reunions, the rituals.
Others delight in the nostalgia of holidays past, when all was calm and all was bright, even if just for a day.
As for me, I love the spirit of giving and the way the season often brings out the best in people.
It’s the seat given to someone with an armful of bags, the donation offered to someone with a head full of worries, or forgiveness extended to someone with a heart full of regrets.
Yes, for me it’s kindness that makes the holidays magical because it reminds me that people are good—that’s their warmth and compassion and tenderness in the world.
The truth is, it’s always there. People love and give and care every day, we just have to pay attention. And when we do, we generally feel better about life, and inspired to do better for the people around us.
This is why I love Brad Aronson’s book HumanKind: Changing the World One Small Act at a Time, which ranks high on my gift list this holiday season.
Given the barrage of demoralizing news updates lobbied at us daily, it would be easy to grow cynical and fall into despair. But our inflammatory, polarizing media only highlights part of the picture. HumanKind Is the antidote to news-induced despondency—a beacon of hope that will brighten your outlook and restore your faith in humanity.
With heartwarming stories and practical tips, HumanKind will have you smiling, crying, and opening your eyes to the countless ways you can make a difference for your family and community. And all the author’s royalties go to Big Brothers Big Sisters—so just buying a copy does some good!
Brad was inspired to write this book after supporting his wife through leukemia. The silver lining of tragedy is that we often see just how many people care, and this was true for the Aronsons. Friends, family members, and colleagues alike all showed up and helped however they could.
Brad’s experience isn’t unique, as HumanKind reveals. The book is a treasure trove of real-life, feel-good stories that show how small acts, when committed with love, can make a massive difference. And it’s chock-full of ideas to make a positive impact and find both joy and meaning through simple acts of kindness.
Imagine if more people gave others a chance when they were down—like Nick Bayer, who changed homeless teen Dante Wilson’s life when he hired him for his café in Philadelphia, inspiring Dante to mentor youth from difficult backgrounds.
Visualize a world in which we all created light where once we only knew darkness—like six-year-old Gabriel Alijalian, who inspired thousands of people to commit acts of kindness on November 3rd, the anniversary of his leukemia diagnosis.
How might it impact us all for the better if more people made it a goal to brighten someone else’s day—like event planner Heidi Berkman, who started the Bloom Project to give leftover flowers to people in hospice and their loved ones?
These everyday heroes from HumanKind all have in one thing in common: the simple decision to do what they could to make life better for someone else.
That’s something we all can do—starting with ourselves. Reading one story daily during your morning or nightly routine will ensure you start or end your day encouraged and full of optimism.
Then I highly recommend you start your own chain of hope by grabbing a copy of HumanKind for a friend, who may be inspired to do the same.
Just like we don’t have to wait for the New Year to start a new habit or create positive change, we don’t need to wait for the holidays to spread a little goodwill. At any time, we can “be the change” we wish to see and be the reason someone believes that people are good.
And the beautiful thing is that is caring is contagious. Much like good news, it only takes one tiny spark to make kindness spread like wildfire.
**If you’re looking for personalized holiday gifts, Brad will send you a FREE bookplate (a sticker you place inside the book) inscribed with a message for your loved one and signed by the author. Click here for more details!
About Lori Deschene
Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude 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. She recently launched a Mindfulness Kit to help reduce our stress and increase our peace and joy. For daily wisdom, join the Tiny Buddha list here. You can also follow Tiny Buddha on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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