Power of Kindness #7

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

Reading: Read the chapter called “Joy”

Take time to read and to enjoy your reading. Look forward to it before you come to it, perhaps like you’ve done at some point in your life for a dinner date or a night out.

Kind Action: Smile

Yes, your assignment this week is to smile. That may seem simple or even silly, and the instruction is not intended to be interpreted as a kowtowing to someone. Instead, the idea here is to cultivate a genuine and warm smile.

Consider Ferrucci’s example of how babies “protest and grow restless” when their mothers put on an impassive face. So in your interactions with others this week, be positively expressive with your facial expressions. Smile. Pay attention to how smiling affects your mood. Note when you find it difficult to smile. Consider how smiling may change the responses you receive from others.

Practice this for several days before taking time to really reflect on the experience. Let the process unfold. Try different kinds of smiles and in different settings. Consider the relationship between smiling and kindness.

By the end of the week, I hope that you’ve found the experience to have been both an act of kindness to yourself and to others.


  1. This week I way I did the Kind Action was to try to smile when I thought about it. Sometimes women are criticized for smiling too often in a habit of “smoothing things over,” so I tried to keep in mind the idea of making myself feel happier rather than trying to appease someone else’s unhappiness. I think it helps one to feel in a better mood, especially when so many around us today are feeling upset or discouraged about the current social and political climate. I remembered that I read in a book recently about research that indicated smiling (even when it’s just making the motion, vs. frowning) generally results in a more optimistic mood.

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