Author: Stephanie Dowrick
Everyday Kindness is the latest book by Stephanie Dowrick and it is a book that I think every person should have by their bedside with a chapter, or a section, mandatory reading before getting out of bed.
The chapters are extremely short which makes them super easy to read and each chapter is broken down into separate relevant thoughts, sections, stories. So you could, on waking every morning, pick up this book and open it to a random page or choose something relevant to your state of mind at the time, and read 1-3 short paragraphs that help change your perspective on the day. You climb out of bed with a new set of eyes and face the day’s challenges.
I know a lot of extremely kind people and I try to be kind to everyone I come across but there isn’t a single person I know who doesn’t still have work to do on making kindness an automatic response to EVERY situation. Granted some people have a lot more work to do than others but everyone could use a little insight.
Stephanie Dowrick approaches lots of challenging experiences and situations we come across in life and offers some perspective and insight into ways that we can change the way we think and react to the things in life that are out of our control. All of this can offer a little bit of soul searching and be applied to all of us on a daily basis so that we can see ourselves and how we can make minor changes to our own behaviour and make major changes to the world around us and the people we interact with.
Everyday Kindness is a book that you could sit and read cover to cover, absorbing all of the information in the order it was written and gain great benefit from. A lot of us can’t handle a self analysis that sustained so though we read it cover to cover a lot of the information stops being absorbed. But if you keep it handy and read a chapter each day as part of your routine it will be more beneficial – that’s just my opinion though.
A big thing that I have taken away from this is that it is just as important that we learn to be kind to ourselves in everything we do as it is to be kind to others. Our relationship with our self is the basis of all our other relationships and it is the most important relationship we will ever have – it is also the only relationship we can never get out of, never walk away from.
It also tells how everyone is different and that’s okay, which is something I think we all know on some level but a lot of the time we still expect standard responses to trauma and heartbreak, grieving and also celebrations. A major kindness we can all afford to everyone around us is to respect that their emotional responses are no less valid than our own, just because they are different to ours doesn’t make them wrong.
There are so many tiny things that we take for granted in every day life that can help make someone else’s day better if we think about our reaction and offer a kindness. In a lot of ways it comes down to the sentence we all had drummed into us growing up – ‘My mother always said if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all’. That is an attitude that has often been forgotten, and to say that it’s what you were taught often serves the same purpose as saying something unkind.
I find that is something rampant electronically, and an outlet where we all need to remember that everyday kindnesses still apply – just because you can’t see the person that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same consideration you would afford someone you are face to face with.
Everyday Kindness offers mechanisms that we can incorporate into our daily routines to allow us to lead more confident, more satisfied and happier lives. It is a book I am sure I will go back to time and time again throughout the years, because we can always use a little reminder of how our behaviours are affecting those we love.