Research continues to show that kindness is one of the most important qualities in marriage and parent-child relationships. It has been shown to improve personal happiness when people turn outward and are kind to others.
According to David Schramm, Utah State University Extension family life specialist, there are many ways to practice kindness. It starts with being observant and aware of opportunities to help people in need.
“A kind word, smile or action can help others who may be suffering,” he said. “Other simple ways include giving honest compliments, celebrating someone’s success or good news, sending a text or email that expresses appreciation and/or love, celebrating someone you love or admire, helping a neighbor, sharing food, standing up for others or donating clothing and other things you don’t need to a worthy cause.”
Schramm said he works closely with the Family Place, a nonprofit organization located in Logan, Hyrum and Smithfield, that aims to strengthen families and protect children. The organization recently launched a Be Kind Utah campaign, which is an initiative designed to increase and build awareness of acts of kindness throughout the state of Utah. The goal is to record 1 million acts of kindness in 40 days during Utah Family Month, which is the five weeks between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Organizers of Be Kind Utah said the goal of the campaign is to:
- Increase compassion in Utah communities;
- Support Utah’s effort to become a trauma-informed state by bolstering emotional resilience;
- Strengthen community bonds by developing empathy, respect and humanity among community members;
- Provide communities with support by providing information about resources.
“If all of us would slow down a bit and take more time to be kind, there would be less hurt and more hope and happiness,” Schramm said. “We can all be a little more kind in our thoughts, words and actions. We can express more gratitude and think of others before ourselves. I really believe kindness is a part of the answer to many of our social and family struggles today. We should throw it around like confetti!”
Visit www.BeKindUtah.org for information on the campaign. Participants are invited to pledge the number of acts of kindness they plan to be part of. The campaign hashtag is #BeKindUT2019.