One of my favorite columns in Woman’s Day was The Kindness Project. The idea behind it was simple: We showcased our readers’ kind acts toward others. The column was one of the most popular in the magazine, and we always had a steady stream of submissions from people eager to share their good deeds.
As the idea of turning the column into a book took shape, I began to gather more stories and to ask others how they had witnessed and experienced kindness. I found myself totally immersed in generosity, and it had a wonderful effect. I was more attuned to kindness around me and noticed kind acts almost every day: a man helping an elderly stranger into a seat on a bus, a bunch of zinnias from a community garden appearing on a sick neighbor’s doorstep. I was even inspired to kindness myself—I’m the bad driver on page 347 who bumped (gently!) a woman’s fender and left a gift card on her windshield.
I came to realize that this book isn’t just about kindness. It’s about the instinct to reach out to others to connect and the warmth we feel when we genuinely help someone. It’s about forgiveness, civility, mercy, and love. A single act of kindness, whether to a friend or stranger, can become a spool of generosity that unwinds and touches the lives of so many.
It’s my hope that one—or maybe more—of the ideas, stories, or quotations in this little book of optimism will spur action. Kindness is exactly what we need in our fractured world—it provides the simplest path to healing. Let’s all begin.
“This inspiring collection is like a call to kindness. If you feel the impulse to do good in the world, the ideas in this book will quickly set you on the right path. You might find yourself addicted!”
—Joan Lunden, journalist, advocate and New York Times best-selling author
“Kindness, gratitude, and service have real power to transform our lives, which is why this inspiring little book can have such a huge impact. Susan Spencer gives us a year’s worth of ideas for how to both change the lives of those around us and become our better selves.”
—Arianna Huffington, founder/CEO of Thrive Global