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Clarify Kindness


1. What does Kindness look like to you?

2. Ask 3 people what Kindness means to them. In thinking about their answers, what stood out to you?

3. Here’s what we’ve heard:

  • Sargun H: Kindness is a reflection of what lives in our heart.

  • Brett A: Kindness isn't just the act of being nice to those who show sorrow, sadness, or vulnerability on the outside, but also showing compassion for those who don't outwardly show these signs, and may be hurting anyways.

  • Jesse J: Kindness is the ability to show up with the warmest, half-full resource I have in any moment.
  • Jenny A: Kindness is choosing to show love when you have a choice between choosing to love someone or choosing to be indifferent - it may take on different forms to different people, but ultimately, it’s showing you care.
  • Tracy G: Kindness is leaving everyone, everything, and every place better than you found it.
  • James L: Kindness is treating others as a human being first and foremost.
  • Marissa D: Going out of your way to make somebody feel cared of and loved.
  • Rebecca L: Doing good and seeing the good in others through small intentional acts without expecting anything in return.
  • Leanne D: Kindness is treating someone with love no matter the situation, environment, or history.
  • Moira A: Kindness is the ability to be sad and still care for those in a worse position than you.
  • Tim T: Follow my wife's example.
  • Ron I: Kindness is foregoing some portion your own comfort, so that others may find comfort.
  • Lesa A: To be kind is to be tender, gentle, understanding, sympathetic, and sweet.

4. Which do you like best?

5. Who taught you your definition of Kindness?

6. Here's our definition:

Kindness is a deliberate choice to act with generosity and consideration to bring positivity and encouragement to people.

6. Our favorite quote on Kindness:

“If a person seems wicked, do not cast him away. Awaken him with your words, elevate him with your deeds, repay his injury with your kindness. Do not cast him away; cast away his wickedness.” -Lao Tzu

7. What is your favorite quote?


8. Nice vs. Kind

Nice is reactive, Kindness is proactive.

There is a distinction that is critical for the real practice of Kindness in our life. Oftentimes we confuse and conflate Nice and Kind. The difference between the two is clarifying and motivating.

practice kindness

Here’s the problem: everyone thinks they are nice. And, subconsciously, this gives us permission to settle. Nice is unproductive. It doesn’t move the needle forward. It doesn’t shift the status quo.

Why? Nice is easy - it is reactive at its best and self-serving at its worst. If someone is nice to me, I will probably be nice back to them. If I agree with you, I’ll be nice to you. If you drop something, I might pick it up (especially if I know I might get something in return like a thank you, your approval, or your number).

You get the point. Nice is easy because it is “I”-oriented. Do I have time? Do I like you? Do I feel like it? Do I have anything to lose?

Kindness is different - Kindness is proactive. Someone doesn’t have to drop something in order for us to lift them up or encourage them. Something bad shouldn’t have to happen in order for us to practice making people feel good! Where Nice is “I”-oriented, Kindness is heart-oriented. It says, “we all need attention and appreciation. We are all deserving of generosity and hope.” It moves beyond feelings and conveniences. It is a deliberate choice to bring encouragement, support, or appreciation to yourself or others.

When we align ourselves with the deep purpose of Kindness, it motivates action even when we don’t “feel like it.” We extend ourselves beyond convenience and comfort (which happens to be the space wherein we grow).

Nice steps back while Kindness steps up. Nice happens when there is time, Kindness happens because we make time. Nice expects something in return, while Kindness is free from expectation.

To put it simply: Nice people don’t change the world, but Kind people can. So we better get to work!



Reflect on Kindness


Kindness is a practice.
by Houston Kraft

About 7 years ago, I was on a plane next to a woman who, I immediately noted, had more energy than I did. She was fidgety and enthused. I was tired and wanted to take a nap. But before I could go into “ignore mode,” she tapped me on the shoulder to introduce herself.

“Hi, my name is Helga!”

Here we go - nap time officially delayed. She kept asking me questions and, eventually, it came up that I had started an organization in high school called R.A.K.E. (Random Acts of Kindness, Etc.). As I described what we did, Helga got very serious and told me that she thought “there was nothing more important in the world than Kindness.”

I was curious why she was so passionate and, as the plane took off, she dove into a story about the last time she had been on the plane. She apologized for being so nervous and for bothering me as she explained that it was 3 years ago that she last flew. She had woken up to a phone call from her dad’s doctor and was told to get on a plane quickly to Arizona because “he’s not doing very well.”


Just as the plane was about to depart to Phoenix, her father’s physician called to inform her that her dad had passed away. For the 3-hour plane ride, she sat in stunned silence surrounded by strangers.

When she arrived to the airport in Arizona, she walked to the nearest wall, sat down, and wept. In her words, it was the hardest she’d ever cried in her life.

And here is the part I’ll never forget about Helga’s story. For 2 hours, she sat and cried while thousands of people walked around in the airport. Helga looked at me and said, “Houston, not a single person stopped and asked if I was okay that day. Not one person asked how they could help. Houston, you have no idea how much I could have used an act of Kindness in that moment.”

I took a deep breath as she finished, “You know what I realized as 3,000 people walked by? I realized that Kindness isn’t normal - it’s just not normal in our culture to be Kind.”

Kindness Isn’t Normal. That has stuck with me all these years. I’m reminded all the time that, for many of us, Kindness is NOT usually our default setting. We spend so much time worrying about our problems, our lives, our comfort, our insecurities, getting to our flight - that we walk by or ignore people in need of Kindness every day. I’m often so worried about ME that I’m really bad at taking care of YOU.

So, I’ve made it my mission to do my part in making Kindness normal. I’m always on the lookout for Helgas - for the little, proactive opportunities that surround me every day to practice making Kindness my default setting.


1. Reflections on Kindness:

  • Why do 3,000 people walk by Helga in the airport? What are the range of reasons or excuses you think that people might make? What justification might you make to not stop?
  • In your words, Nice is _____, but Kindness is _____.
  • What is the most profound moment of Kindness you have received? You have given?
  • Sometimes when I give Kindness, I expect _____ in return.
  • You do a simple act of Kindness today to a total stranger. Play out, in your mind or on paper, the maximum possible impact this act of Kindness can have in the world. Follow the Kindness to its most ridiculously improbable, but entirely possible ending.
  • Who in your life has exemplified Kindness? What did that look like?

2. What Gets in the Way?

  • Here at, we’ve realized that it’s not that we don’t want to get better at something like Kindness - it’s just that there are barriers in our way that we oftentimes aren’t even aware of. Without the time, space, or prompting, we don’t always ask ourselves these questions.
    • Incompetence - What don’t I know how to do?
      • Kindness actually requires a lot of skills to do effectively. When I don’t know how to do something, it’s easy to avoid that thing (talking to you crazy ab machine at the gym!)
      • What are the skills needed to actually practice Kindness effectively and consistently?
        • Awareness/Observation
        • Emotional Literacy
        • Empathy
        • Vulnerability
        • Vocabulary of Kindness
        • Active Listening
        • Courage
        • Self-Care
        • (Insert your own here!)
    • Which of the above do you need the most work with or support on?
  • Insecurity - What am I scared of doing?
    • Our personal insecurities often interfere with our capacity for public good. When I am afraid of rejection or failure or embarrassment, it can sometimes prevent me from acting on what I know is helpful, good, or kind. Here are some things that might get in the way of Kindness:
      • I don’t want the person to reject my Kindness
      • I don’t want the person to laugh at me
      • I don’t want others to laugh at me
      • I don’t want to fail or be awkward in my attempt to help
      • I think that others are worthy of Kindness, but I am not
      • If I can’t do it perfectly, I don’t want to do it at all
      • (Insert your own here!)
    • Which of the above do you wrestle with the most?
  • Inconvenience - What don’t I feel like doing?
    • Whether we like it or not, our feelings often dictate our actions. At, we want to work on putting our actions in motion first and allowing the feelings to come after! There are lots of opportunities for Kindness that we may not FEEL like, but can still CHOOSE to act on if we are aware, conscious, and aligned to a deeper purpose than our personal emotions.
      • What are some feelings that might get in the way for you?
      • Anxious
      • Tired
      • Hurt
      • Stressed
      • Hurried
      • (Insert your own here!)
    • When you feel like this (but know that Kindness is important), what is one sentence you can come back to that will remind you that what you are fighting for is bigger than your feelings? In short, why does Kindness matter to you?

Practice Kindness


At, we think that compliments get a bad rep for being “fluffy.” While some compliments can be entirely surface level, we believe that the true skill of complimenting others is a beautiful example of the practice of Kindness. To give a genuine, powerful compliment you must first see something good or worthwhile in someone else, muster up the courage and vulnerability to say something, and then have the vocabulary to accurately articulate the goodness that you see.

Complimenting others can be fun and light and playful, but it can also be an incredibly powerful exercise in celebrating and honoring people we care about. So, our first step is to develop our vocabulary of Kindness in order to more specifically recognize others. While “pretty” or “nice” are pleasant enough, they are overused, broad, and basic. There are so many profound words that we can use to make our Kindness more specific, genuine, and connected to the person we are trying to show love to.

We aren’t claiming these words are in perfect order from most basic to most meaningful, but we wanted to get the process started and give you space to add in a few of your own.

Vocabulary of Kindness:

Nice, Kind, Empathetic, Compassionate, _____, Mother Teresa
Cute, Pretty, Beautiful, Gorgeous, _____, Breathtaking
Aware, Considerate, _____, Attentive, Thoughtful, Present
Helpful, Caring, Supportive, Sympathetic, _____, Selfless
Creative, Inventive, Visionary, Ingenious, _____, The Real OG
Capable, Talented, Gifted, _____, Accomplished, Revolutionary
Motivated, Determined, Driven, Ambitious, Relentless, _____
Dedicated, Devoted, _____, Loyal, Faithful, The Pope
Smart, Clever, Intelligent, Brilliant, _____, Mind-Expanding
Funny, Comical, Entertaining, _____, Hysterical, Pant-Wetting
Calm, Peaceful, Relaxed, Tranquil, _____, Serene
Positive, Encouraging, Blissful, _____, Peacemaker, Mr. Rogers
Original, Unique, Special, _____, One-of-a-Kind, Transcendent,
Respected, Trustworthy, Admired, Honored, _____, Revered
Good, Gracious, Benevolent, Altruistic, _____, Saintly
(Create Your Own!)

It’s time to put our Vocabulary of Kindness to work! Here are 45 prompts to send a message of Kindness to someone in your life. But not just anyone! Specificity helps increase relevance to the recipients and encourages action.

Read a card every day and think of a person in your life that the prompt reminds you of (there are 45 in case not all of them fit just right). Then, fill in the blank and send them a text, a picture, a tag on the ‘Gram, a phone call, a letter…

To My Person Who...

  • ...first introduced me to kindness  
    • I am so grateful for your _____. Your kindness has had a _____ effect on my life. I am ____ and _____ because of your influence.
  • ...made me the person I am today
    • Your ____ challenged me to ____. It deepened my interest in _____ and made me a _____ person. Thank you, forever, for your _____.
  • ...I call my best friend  
    • You are the most _____ best friend. I do not know what I would do without your _____ and especially without your_____. You are the _____ to my _____.
  • always the car DJ
    • You drop beats better than _____. Your taste in music is tastier than ____. I will always give you the aux so we can sing-a-long to _____ and dance to _____.
  • ...makes me laugh until I cry  
    • I just wanted to remind you that nothing makes me laugh harder than when I am around you - not even _____. Remember that time when you _____? I still cry-laugh thinking about it. You bring _____ and _____ into my day.
  • ...I love the most
    • I want to make sure you understand how _____ you are in my life. I love you more than a _____ loves _____. I am grateful for your ____ and forever have been changed by your _____.
  • ...picks up the Netflix bill
    • In case I forgot to say it, you are absolutely _____ for hooking me up with Netflix. I probably owe you _____ and at least one _____.
  • ...tells me when I have something stuck in my teeth
    • You are the person who will always tell me when I ____ and be lovingly honest when I ____. I appreciate you always making sure that I look as good as ____ and feel as ____ as _____.
  • the best hugs
    • Did you know that your hugs are _____? They make me feel like a _____ wrapped up in a _____. They are even better than _____.
  • ...sends me the funniest GIFs
    • I feel like you get my _____ sense of humor. I think my favorite thing you’ve ever sent me was _____. The GIFs you send not only make me _____, but they help brighten my day!
  • …pushes me to believe in myself  
    • Without your constant ____ I would never have been able to accomplish ____. Because of you, I am _____ and _____ and feel confident enough to do _____ in this world.
  • …enjoys dancing in the rain  
    • A free spirit like yours never minds getting _____. You are bold, _____, and _____.  I am always inspired by your _____ and am forever grateful that we are ____.
  • …finds the “hole in the wall” places
    • Are you a _____? Because I swear you always hunt down the best _____. Remember that time we went to ____ and had _____? 
  • …has the cheesiest jokes
    • I love your willingness to tell the cheesiest jokes. I can always count on you to make the room feel ____. Your puns are _____ and your one-liners are beyond _____.
  • …takes care of me when I’m sick
    • I feel like you are always the one to show up and make me feel _____ when I feel _____. If I haven’t ever told you, I am so grateful for your endless _____. You are like ____ healing ____.
  • ...takes me out of my comfort zone
    • Sometimes I am too comfortable. You always _____ and push me to ____. Like that one time when you forced me to _____? I am a better person because of it.
  • ...talks me out of bad ideas  
    • Thank you for being the voice of ____ in my life, without you I would have ____ and that probably wouldn’t have been the best idea. You are more wise than ____ and more honest than ____.
  • the best brunch date  
    • You know what my favorite time of the week is? Brunches with you. You are always so ____ and remind me to ____. We have the most ____ talks over good ___ and _____. 
  • ...actually showed up to help me move
    • Moving stinks. But I don’t think I will ever forget how you showed up and made it ____. With your ____ and your _____, the day went so much more _____. Remember how hard it was to move ____? Yeah, I think you saved my _____.
  • ...helps me build my IKEA furniture
    • The only thing that drives me more insane than building IKEA furniture is ____. But you made it ____. You have the gift of ____ and you are more patient than ____.
  • ...always gets the party started
    • Before you come, the parties are ______. When you join the party, the party gets ________. I think it is partially _____, but mostly _____. You are more fun than a ______ _____-ing a ______.
  • ...will give me their last bite of food
    • You know you are ______ when you give someone your last bite of food. I don’t know what I did to deserve that bite of ____, but I will tell you that I love you for generosity, your love of ____, and your ____.
  • ...will sing-a-long to oldies with me
    • The best friends are the ones that blast _____ and sing-a-long at the top of their longs. I know I can always count on you to know all the words to _____. The trip we took to _____ would not have been the same without you.
  • ...will eat dessert with me multiple times a day
    • I think you know that my favorite dessert is ______. I am so ____ that I can always count on you to eat all of the _____ and ____. You know what they say: calories are temporary, _____ is forever.
  • ...I share inside jokes with
    • Remember that time when we ____? I will never forget how you ____ and I will always laugh when I think about _____.
  • ...makes me feel empowered
    • You have given me ____ and shown me how to _____. I cannot thank you enough for your encouragement, your ____, and most of all your ____. You are more empowering than _____.
  • ...knows me better than I know myself  
    • I feel like you know me better than I know myself. You are ____ at understanding my feelings. You know to say, “ ____” when I’m going through something hard. You even know that I ____. Who could ask for a more _____ human than you?!
  • ...has memorized my coffee order  
    • Just wanted to drop you a note to tell you that your moment of _____ did not go unnoticed. You are so thoughtful, you’d out-thoughtful  _____. Not only do you know my coffee order, but you also _____. 
  • ...will cry when I cry      
    • You always have my back when _____. If I didn’t have you, I would probably _____. You support me with your ____ and love me with your _____.
  • ...tags me in memes
    • The memes you tag me in make me feel ____ because ____. My favorite is obviously _____. If you were a meme, you’d be _____.
  • ...loves me unconditionally
    • Your love is ____ to me. I am so ____ to have you in my life. Without you, I would be ____. Thank you for always ____ and _____. 
  • ...sings ridiculously loud in the car with me
    • I am so ____ to have a friend that is willing to _____ with me like you. My ____ would be so quiet without you _____.
  • ...inspires me to be my best self
    • I am forever _____ to have you in my life and your _____ makes me feel like I can be myself and that I can _____ with you supporting me.
  • …is always learning
    • You inspire me with how you push yourself to learn _____. You always have cool facts about _____. I love your _____ to grow and learn more. 
  • …is my gym buddy
    • Thank you for always helping me _____ even when it’s really _____. I appreciate you always pushing me to _____ and your words of encouragement mean _____ to me.
  • …calls an Uber/Lyft
    • I can always ____ on you to call an Uber/Lyft. You make ______ feel _____. Thank you for being my _____ when _____. 
  • ….is always down to hang out
    • We don’t need any fancy plans or _____ reasons to get together because when we hang out it looks like _____ or _____ and it feels like _____.
  • …has the best smile
    • Your smile is brighter than ______ and I swear it lights up the entire _______. Dentists and teeth models agree: your smile is ______.
  • …has amazing hair
    • Your locks are so lovely, even _____ is jealous. I just wanted to remind you that you are ______ inside and out. If I had half the _____ of your hair, I would be ____.
  • the best at DIY projects
    • Your DIY skills are unparalleled. I have no idea how you make _____ out of _____, but I swear you are a ______. I just wanted to remind you that you are so ______!
  • braver than anyone I know
    • Superheroes have costumes, but you don’t need a cape or mask to be ____. That time when you _____? Yeah, I remember thinking _____. Thank you for your bravery in this world.
  • my brother from another mother
    • I don’t know how we weren’t born in the same family because we are both so ____. I feel like you are my brother, especially when _____. Thank you for your _____ in my life.
  • my sister from another mister
    • I don’t know how we weren’t born in the same family because we are both so ____. I feel like you are my sister, especially when _____. Thank you for your _____ in my life.
    To My Person - Front.jpg
    • ...helps make the world a better place
      • There is so much negativity in the world, but you have always been _____. I admire you so much for your _____ and am constantly inspired when I think of you doing _____. The world needs way more ____ and a whole lot more You.
    • …is there when I feel alone
      • Whenever I’m having a rough time and I think no one’s there, you show up like _____ in _____. You make me so _____.

    Live Kindness


    1. Sometimes the concept of Love feels so big that practicing it or living it with consistency seems nearly impossible. Love is abstract, which makes it hard to put into action. That’s why we break down Love every month into something more digestible and more tangible like this month’s Practice of Kindness.

    But even Kindness is a massive concept.It’s like the menu at the Cheesecake Factory - sometimes when there are too many choices, our choice-center gets overwhelmed and we give up, settle, or avoid it altogether. So, every month, we will break down our monthly Practice into a simple structure to make it easier to understand and commit to something tangible, specific, and actionable. We call this structure Intersectional Thinking. It’s like a venn diagram for action-oriented brainstorming. For the month of Kindness, we used ‘Groups of People’ and ‘Timeframes’ as our primary circles. Wherever they intersect, we have provided some sample ideas on ways to Live Kindness! Make sure to add a few of your own.

    With: Myself



    • Write or type out a list of your favorite quotes, affirmations, or things you love about yourself. Cut them up, put them in a jar or box, and pull one daily. Recycle them back into the container or write a new set at the beginning of each month.



    • Write down 4-5 things that you love to do in short bursts (read, stretch, meditate, pray, exercise, write, cook, etc.). Choose the day of the week that you find most stressful or challenging. Block out 5-30 minutes in your calendar and protect that time on repeat to do something entirely for you from your list!


    • Give yourself permission to buy or make your favorite dessert once a month guilt-free. Make that big batch of chewy, warm cookies and eat the whole thing or share with people who will make you feel awesome for whipping up your famous _____!

    With My: Significant Other



    • Establish a “non-negotiable” routine that you want to commit to for your significant other. Something like, “I will always wake up and sing you a song” or “I will always give you an extended kiss before you leave for work” or “I will always make you a fresh cup of coffee to start the day.”


    • Throughout the month, leave a “Love Story Snippet” of how you fell in love with that person. The first week: what you liked about them when you first met. Second week: favorite date and why. Third week: when you first started falling in love. Fourth week: why/what you love about them today.


    • Commit to a monthly “Something New” with your partner. Each month, come up with something new that you’ve never done before and use it as a date. It could be as simple as “try to make croissants” or as advanced as “take a flying lesson.”

    With My: Family


    • Get a pad of sticky notes and write a note of the day to someone in your family. It can be a simple compliment, a thoughtful quote, a memory, or a word of encouragement. Challenge yourself to place it in creative places where they will find it throughout their day!



    • Once a week, call a family member that is not local and spend at least 15 minutes on the phone discussing the highlight of your/their week.


    • Volunteer to be in charge of a monthly game night with your family. You choose the food, the game, the movie - whatever your crew would like. You can even send out formal invitations to make it special.

    With My: Close Friends


    • Create a group text with your close friends and build a morning check-in system. Everyone writes 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 (1 being “I’m in need of support” and 5 being “I’m on top of the world”) in the thread as an indicator of how they are feeling and it gives you a quick pulse of who you need to reach out during the highs or the lows.


    • Send a message of appreciation to a close friend with one thing you love about them, want to encourage them on, or are grateful for in your relationship with them. You can use our “To My Person Who…” prompts from this month’s Practice!


    • Curate a playlist and share it with close friends. Send out a monthly message to your crew letting them know about 1 or 2 new additions that are your favorites.

    With My: Friends/Acquaintances


    • Try to intentionally find one thing to compliment someone on each day. The compliment could be in person, online, via text - whatever avenue works best. Exercise that new vocabulary of Kindness!


    • Start a routine where friends can gather to do an activity that you are in charge of coordinating. It could be sending an email out to 10-20 friends to get a weekly volleyball match going. A bowling squad. Cribbage Crew. Coffee and Crafting. Take on the details of where and when and be in charge of reminding people each week to show up (and bring other friends!)


    • Find a friend each month and celebrate their “quarter birthday” or their “half birthday” or their “10-months-until-your-birthday birthday.” Use it as an excuse to spend an hour or two with them. Bring cake if you can - that would be awesome.

    With My: Community Members/Strangers


    • Make a point to hold the door open for at least one other person. Smile and tell them to have a beautiful day.


    • Once a week, “prank call” someone who works for your city - council people, water, electric, post office. Instead of asking for something, just thank them for their service.


    • Buy a stranger’s drink or snack on the first day of each month to kick things off with good karma.

    2. What have been the most rewarding moments this month so far when practicing Kindness? What is it about these things that have been meaningful to you?


    3. Using the list above or the ideas you created on your own, choose ONE THING that is actionable daily or weekly that you will commit to doing consistently in order to Live Kindness in your life?


    4. Why is this consistent act of Kindness important to you?


    5. What will most likely “get in the way” of doing this thing consistently (time, energy, location, environment, etc..)?


    6. When that thing inevitably does get in the way, how will you overcome it to make sure you stay true to your Practice?


    7. I will tell _________, ________, and ________ about what I will be doing to Live Kindness.


    ______ will be my accountability partner who I have asked to remind me on _______ day at _____ am/pm.

    I will set up a repeating calendar event on _________ at _______ am/pm to remind myself.


    8. When I look at _________, I will be reminded to Live Kindness.


    9. I will go post on the Facebook group today to share with others what I am committed to!