Power of Kindness #4

This is the fourth of 10 weekly reading assignments and kind action recommendations using the book “The Power of Kindness” as inspiration.

Reading: Read the chapter called “Gratitude”

Read slowly and allow your mind to move toward stories in your life triggered by the reading. Pay attention to these stories, trusting they have something important to teach you.

Kind Action: Acknowledge With Gratitude a Kindness Extended to You

Pay special attention to any kindness that is extended to you this week, no matter how small. Late in the week, choose at least one of these kind acts and acknowledge it with gratitude.

This can take many forms, including expressing your gratitude to the person who extended the kindness to you. It could also take the form of paying the kindness forward to someone else, or simply by telling a friend or family member about it and why you feel gratitude for it.

As with each of these kind action suggestions, personalize your action so it provides the most meaning for you.


  1. This week I especially learned from Ferrucci’s discussion of how gratitude helps you be more open. “To be grateful is to let ourselves be known.” (p. 247) For many years I refused offers of help and tried to do everything on my own, if I could, and then one day I realized that refusing someone’s genuine offer of assistance was like not accepting a gift. If they have offered, I realized, it is more kind to accept (if I wanted it) rather than to stiffly maintain my independent attitude.

    This week in my kind action I decided to pay attention to one thing each day that someone had done in being kind to me, as a start for the “being grateful” part. I usually thank the person who has done something kind anyway, but this week I took the extra step to express gratitude to a friend who reached out to me after an awkward group interaction. And, of course, she was grateful for my expression of gratefulness.

    One other small observation about gratitude: I have tried spending time “being grateful” for good things in my life, for accomplishments and good health, and so on, and it often just slides off. Being a goal-setter and problem-solver, I too often go to “what needs to be improved?” rather than enjoying the positive results of efforts or of relationships with friends and family. One thing I have found helpful, though, is to think of gratitude in terms of mindfulness. Recently I had good news about getting a story published, and I went against my usual tendency, which is to rush out and tell all my family about it, and instead, opted to savor the moment by not diluting it with rushed communications. It felt like the euphoria lasted much longer!

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