Remembering Sonia March Nevis

I learned this morning that my teacher and friend Sonia March Nevis passed away.  I've been enjoying my memories of that wonderful woman, calling back the ways in which she changed my life. A Kind Gesture Softened My Heart Sonia was the cofounder of the Gestalt International Study Center on Cape Cod. Some years ago, I participated in a leadership program at the Gestalt Institute. Over the course of several days, we were assigned to teams that then were given an extended, … [Read more...]

A Hankering for Kindness

I keep wanting to be kinder. When I was a young, ambitious woman, someone planted the seed in my mind that kindness was worth more than I had thought. And as I become older and (perhaps) more mature, kindness seems ever more important. But again and again, I make quick judgments and give short answers that eclipse the kindness that lurks in my heart. The Importance of Kindness I can't resist sharing with you this little animated video illustrated by Tim Beirbaum, … [Read more...]

Imagine Being Homeless

Where do you store your precious items? Where's the old photo of your mother? Your social security card? A sweater your daughter gave you that you no longer wear? Or how about the diaries you wrote when you were a teenager? Do you have a box of precious things packed away in the back of your closet somewhere? What would you do with them if you were homeless?  What would you do if the only storage you had for your things was a shopping cart or two or three that you … [Read more...]

Together We Make a Real Difference in the World

Yesterday we honored Martin Luther King Jr here in the United States and it got me thinking about the power of one person to make a difference in the lives of others. Obviously Martin Luther King made an outsized difference. And most of us don’t have the ability, desire or opportunity for that. But the way each of us behaves influences others, sometimes in surprising ways. Inspired by a Performance My daughter Carla, a musician, once shared this story with me. She … [Read more...]

Track Random Acts of Kindness: You’ll Do Them More Often

82517. That's the number of steps I walked last week. Those steps amounted to 38.05 miles and burned 14,422 calories. That's the report I woke up to this morning when I booted up my computer. It comes from my new toy — a little black plastic gizmo I carry with me that tracks my activity, records it and gives me progress reports. Tracking the Steps You Take Changes the Decisions You Make Now, knowing that my FitBit is watching, I walk up stairs instead of taking … [Read more...]

10 Letters to Live By

In the rush of your daily life, there are probably moments -- even days and weeks -- when you forget what's truly important. This ten letter alphabet list, developed by Dr. James R. Doty, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford, is a simple way to stay connected to what matters. C for Compassion. Open your heart for yourself and others. D for Dignity. Recognize the dignity of every human being. E for Equanimity. While acknowledging the ups and downs, try to … [Read more...]

Is Kindness One of Your Core Strengths?

At the end of last week’s post about seeing what we look for, I asked you what you would choose to see. A number of people suggested traits like generosity, abundance, love, and kindness. Your suggestions brought me back many years to an “Ah-Ha!” moment in my life — a moment that lit a bulb in my mind and shifted what I look for. Recognizing the Importance of Kindness I was at a meeting of fellow fundraising professionals and, as an ice breaker, the facilitator asked … [Read more...]