Choosing Kindness – January 2020

Two days ago, in the lead-up to Christmas, I purchased a couple last minute items at Publix, a local grocery store chain in Florida. I had bent down to reach for the two small plastic bags and my backpack in the cart.  I glanced up and made eye contact with an older woman coming toward me with her cart—she looked right at me—an angry look in her eyes and next, proceeded to intentionally ram my cart. I was shocked—and wordless—yet managed to voice—“Well, Happy Christmas, to you!” as she went on into the store as the glass doors parted and I went out the exit.

The word kindness had been bombarding me for the last week, yet when something as “stealing” a parking space or ramming a shopping cart or some other petty act occurs, something we all have experienced—what is our first go-to or reaction? You heard mine.

I later thought about how unhappy this woman must be and what a miserable existence she must occupy based on her demeanor. Yet, my other thought was—wow—this woman must be going through something rough. In this world of chaos, rebalance and recalibration—shit happens. I couldn’t control her actions, but I had a choice in how I would respond. As I walked to my car, I thought about the fact that a simple act of kindness can make all the difference; manners, respect of another and their working on deep unresolved issues that seem to be bubbling to the surface in many.  However, sometimes—we are the ones challenged—and tested in just such a moment. Her action was only an indicator of where she was—and had very little to do with me. 

James Pawlelski, PhD mentions 6 virtues and 24 signature strengths in his talk, on “Positive Psychology.” “Signature strengths” refers to those character strengths that are most essential to who we are; taken throughout history. 

The practice of signature strengths they found, was related to the enhancement of self-esteem, and decrease in negative emotions, which contributed to an increase in life satisfaction. Kindness is eleven on his list. Love, hope, humor, creativity, curiosity, perspective, bravery, persistence, integrity, and vitality are some other signature traits on his list. 

According to Positive Psychology research findings, you are happiest when you are living consistently with your virtues and utilizing your signature strengths to successfully craft your life. In other words, co-creating your life. Conversely, when you are experiencing unpleasant emotions (about yourself), you are most likely behaving inconsistently with your virtues or (about others) someone else is behaving in ways that are inconsistent your virtues.

We all can be the way-showers of the future as we continue to move forward, leaving one old paradigm behind for a brand new one. The new humanity is beckoning us to live from a more noble, conscious place. And, I mean magnificent and humble, turning our personal metaphorical kaleidoscope to see things differently than what appears in front of us in the moment. 

We know that we must be the change we want to see in the world—and all change begins with us. Kindness is needed in our world now more than ever. It makes us feel good about ourselves when we help another. Sometimes, a sincere compliment or a smile is all it takes. It could be collecting mail for someone or picking up papers in their driveway. Or letting someone in front of you in line merging onto the freeway. Kindness doesn’t require lots of money to participate. It is a state of being and one that would be helpful as we come into 2020 full speed ahead. What will your next act of kindness be?


About Cathrine Silver

Cathrine Silver, HC, AADP, is a Certified Holistic Health Coach in private practice in Lauderdale by the Sea, Florida. She works collaboratively with clients on their desires regarding disease, relationships, spirituality, and loss. Suffering through her own loss in 2005, Cathrine motivates and empowers others to be the heroes in their own lives, becoming fully responsible for their own happiness, joy and well-being.

Cathrine holds a degree in Speech Communication from the University of Washington, is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and holds certifications in Reiki, Matrix Energetics, Hypnosis, Biological Decoding and Grief Counseling. She is the author of the book, Riding the Light Beam: How Any Woman Can Find the Hero Inside. (Website) (Blog) (email)

Cathy Silver Holistic Healing (Facebook)

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