A well known song we sing at my church provides a great reminder: “Kindness begins with me!” President Gordon B. Hinckley once asked the question, “Why do any of us have to be so mean and unkind to others? Why can’t all of us reach out in friendship to everyone about us?” Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin added, “Kindness is the essence of greatness and the fundamental characteristic of the noblest men and women I have known…Kindness is how a Christlike person treats others.”
With this in mind, I thought of five simple ways we can spread sunshine and kindness to others.
Leave a kind note
One of my friends looked really gloomy and sad. I tried talking to her but she didn’t want to talk about it. The next class period I wrote a scripture on a sticky note (Moroni 8:17) – it says “And I am filled with charity which is everlasting love; wherefore all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation.” At the end of the note I wrote “From your Heavenly Father”. Then on the back I put my name on it. That day I put it in her locker and the following day she gave me a big hug and told me that she really needed that note that day. I felt so good inside that I made her frown turn upside down – it’s a feeling I want to last forever.
Sit with someone who sits alone
I had a special experience a few years ago. I was walking outside after lunch and saw one of my classmates sitting on a swing. She had a sad expression on her face. I had a strong feeling to go talk to her, which I knew was coming from the Spirit and I never want to ignore the Spirit, so I walked over and sat on the swing next to her. We started talking and she looked happier and had a big smile on her face. Ever since that day we have become best friends. Through life you may have a burning feeling to help someone or talk to them. I’ve learned that’s the Spirit talking to you and I can tell you this, when the spirit tells you to do something – just do it!
Share your testimony
One day in concert band I had just finished a test and my stand partner asked me about my Young Women’s medallion necklace. I started talking about it when (of course) the teacher told us to stop talking. So, my stand partner took out a notebook and asked me to write what I was going to say in the notebook. I took it and wrote down my testimony about the blessings I received from earning my Young Women’s medallion. At the end of class, I gave her the notebook. The next day she told me she read it and was inspired to earn her Young Women’s medallion too. It felt good sharing my testimony, which not only strengthened her but mine as well.
Leave a treat at someone’s door
This is a simple and FUN way to cheer up anyone’s heart and stomach. When my family makes cookies we try to think of others. We get about five plates out, fill them with cookies and put a sticky note that says Love, The Oakeson’s. Then, we head out to deliver them. Every family we’ve ever gone to have had these huge smiles on their faces when we hand them a plate of cookies.
Give a phone call or text someone you haven’t talked to in a while
After church one day I had a feeling to call a friend whose name suddenly popped into my head. I picked up the phone and dialed her number. She answered and we talked for a while about a lot of things. It was great talking to her. At the end of the phone call she told me that my call made her day. It felt so good knowing that I made someone’s day.
In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma teaches us an important truth: that which we send out will return to us again. He said, “See that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again. For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again.” (Alma 41:14)
Remember, kindness begins with you!