I have a special mug I use each day to drink my morning chai. It has a few quotes on it and one of them is this: “Generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

What is kindness? I think it is the willingness to do something positive, considerate and meaningful without thought of compensation. I think it is a next door neighbor to generosity.

This time last year I was packing my bags to return to India and I was writing about the Four Agreements: Be impeccable with your word, don’t make assumptions about other people, don’t take anything personally, and do your best.  Perhaps I will add a fifth – be kind.

There was a saint in India who had a simple saying – Be Good, Do Good. I have that written on my door, right above the door handle to remind me of this simple edict. I will also add – Be Kind.

Kindness has a healing energy. Everyone responds to it, everyone heals from it including the person being kind because genuine kindness springs spontaneously from the heart and bathes the kind person with the healing energy of itself as it moves through to someone else. It is both a blessing to be kind and a blessing to be treated with kindness.

As we end this year of great global and local turmoil and suffering, I ask you to think about the value of kindness in your life and how to spread kindness in your own life.  Whether it is random acts of kindness or deliberate, planned choices, I ask that you add “be kinder” to your New Year’s list as a way to remind ourselves not to keep score, but to give lovingly for what goes around will eventually come back around again.

May you have a healthy, happy, prosperous and kind New Year!