The Case for Love and Kindness

November 21, 2016

by Kim Childs, CPPC

As we prepare to celebrate the annual feast of Thanksgiving, it’s an anxious time in America. How are you doing? Feel free to let me know. I’m listening, and holding us all in compassion.

Meanwhile, I’m truly grateful for you – my students, clients, readers and kindred spirits – and for the important work that I get to do in this world. Last week I received an early holiday gift from a former coaching client who reports doing well and says, “I want to thank you again for all your help and guidance. It has made a real difference in my life.”

Among other tools, helping others and sharing kindness is a sure way for me to feel better when the going gets rough in my life and in the world around me. I’ve been finding ways to practice it online, in my circles, and in my neighborhood this month, and it always does my heart good. Researchers have learned that this “tend and befriend” response to life’s big challenges can lift our mood and lower our stress hormones.

My favorite neuropsychologist Rick Hanson has written more here about the benefits of “loving someone” for greater happiness and well-being. He says it’s a proven way to feel better under stressful conditions that leave us rattled, frozen, or unclear about what to do. “After awhile, you do what you can to change things for the better, but often there’s not much you can actually change, and sometimes nothing at all,” Hanson writes. “Still, there is always one thing you can do, no matter what. You can always find someone to love.”

Petey, and his paws

Loving others can range from kind words and gestures to activism and community service. What can you do this holiday week to make someone’s day better or care for someone in need? Hold this intention and see who shows up to be on the receiving end of your love and kindness.

As for me, I have a new being in my life who showed up just in time to help me tend and befriend. Petey is three months old and full of sweetness, playfulness, and affection. While I’m the one giving him a home, food, toys and love, he’s the one “rescuing” me during a tough time.

Happy Thanksgiving to you. I’m grateful for love, kindness, good people and purring kittens.

Kim Childs, CPPC, is a Certified Life and Career Coach specializing in Positive Psychology, Creativity, and Midlife Transitions. Click here to learn more and schedule an initial consultation.



  • Deb Duxbury

    Congrats on Petey. He looks so adorable!

    • Kim

      Thanks, Deb – he truly is – even when he’s tearing up the place! Blessings to you, Kim

  • Mary Zaremba

    Hey dear Kim,
    LOVE Petey and what a terrific antidote for you! Looks part sweet as you mentioned with a touch of rascal! I hope you enjoy lots of good times.
    Thanks for reaching out to all of us…OH, Uncle B is here in Albuquerque right now!
    How wonderful for us.
    Take care. Much love and appreciation to you Kim.

    • Kim

      A sweet rascal, indeed! Always good to hear from you, Mary…many blessings…

  • Laurinda Bedingfield

    I had a wonderful experience on the bus the other day coming home from Lechmere. I was sitting across from a woman who looked familiar. I asked her if she worked in the Union Sq. post office (I talk to strangers all the time – at first they think I am crazy but then they respond…lol). She said no, but she looked so familiar, I persisted. She said she worked at the State Highway Dept. in town, and we realized we knew each other from my days as Commissioner there. We used to have fun and laughs back then. I believed in a fun workplace and so did she. So she moved across and sat next to me and we gabbed and laughed and reminisced and the people around us became engaged with what was happening because I have a big mouth and was laughing. Then we got onto the subject of bad bosses. I made eye contact with the three women around us…two young beautiful black women coming home from work, a woman with a headscarf, and a middle aged woman sitting next to me. By the time my friend got off the bus, we were all engaged in laughing about bad bosses and our common experiences. I loved it. I loved the responsiveness and saw the need for people to connect with each other … especially now. We all shared a special little moment of joy…it felt like a party on the bus ride. I want more of this. People are starved for this. Or at least they enjoy it after their hard day at work. Just sharing.

    • Kim

      What a great, uplifting story about what’s possible when we connect (and reach across the bus aisle) – thanks so much for sharing, Laurinda!

  • Diane Pienta

    Loved your post and loved Laurinda’s sharing about her beautiful experience on the bus. Thankyou both! Am back in Boston after a week in PA with friends/family and will head to work tomorrow at Allandale Farm where I am newly inspired to Be the light instead of looking for it “out there” – with coworkers and customers alike!

    • Kim

      You are indeed a light in this world, Diane – lucky for all who experience your shiny self!

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