Chapter 5 – Staci Erickson
What was the inspiration behind Kindness 180?
I began Kindness180 for personal reasons. I was having a hard time connecting with people on a personal level. Long story short, I was abandoned by my father simply because I was a girl. He wanted a boy and when I was born and I was not that little boy, he checked out. For years I dealt with rejection which caused me to build up some pretty high walls. I knew that I was going to have to start letting people in, but I didn’t know the way. That’s how Kindness180 was born. The 180 fits in great for the school year but it really means thinking about kindness in a way that is different than what we typically think. Kindness is an action and not a feeling. Sometimes showing kindness is easy, but sometimes we may not feel like showing kindness, especially when others hurt us. These types of challenges may be “forgive someone that may have hurt you”. Other challenges are to do something to brighten others days. I found that I grew more confident and I was able to connect with people more easily when I went out of my way to show kindness to others.
What’s an example of kindness you share with others?
Forgiveness. I am by no means perfect. I mess up a lot. I have bad days where I simply don’t feel like being in a good mood. I have to give myself a pep talk, snap myself out of it, and choose to be happy. So when I see someone else who is having a bad day and isn’t being kind to others, I have to remind myself that I have been there. I have to forgive the hurtful or mean spirited things that were done towards me.
What advice would you give to others who are trying to cultivate kindness in the world?
The smallest acts of kindness are often free and can make the greatest impacts. A kind word or gesture can go a long way. Every time you come in contact with others, try to show them a small act of kindness. If we are honest with ourselves, we know this isn’t always easy. We get overworked and overstressed and we may not always show kindness. If this happens, take a deep breath, forgive yourself, and try to make it right with that person. Learn from that experience and do better next time. Often times I think people mistake “kindness cultivators” as someone who is perfect. They don’t have a bad day and they live in a land of sunshine and rainbows. However this is simply not true. Those who are kindness cultivators have the same struggles as everyone else. The difference is kindness cultivators make an intentional effort to impact others peoples lives in a positive way.
Connect with Staci:
- Twitter: @staci_erickson2
- Instagram: @stacitoday
- Website: http://principalteacher.blogspot.com
- Twitter Hashtag: #kindness180
Staci’s Favorite Kindness Quote