A Year of Living Kindly by Donna Cameron
Published: September 25, 2018
Publisher: She Writes Press
Genres: self help, non fiction, memoir
Rating: 3 stars
Recommend to fans of: ways to be kinder to others, other people’s inspirational journeys, improving society as a whole
Foodie Vibes: homemade chocolate chip cookies and conversation to share with a neighbor
Being kind is something most of us do when it’s easy and when it suits us. Being kind when we don’t feel like it, or when all of our buttons are being pushed, is hard. But that’s also when it’s most needed; that’s when it can defuse anger and even violence, when it can restore civility in our personal and virtual interactions. Kindness has the power to profoundly change our relationships with other people and with ourselves. It can, in fact, change the world.
In A Year of Living Kindly—using stories, observation, humor, and summaries of expert research—Donna Cameron shares her experience committing to 365 days of practicing kindness. She presents compelling research into the myriad benefits of kindness, including health, wealth, longevity, improved relationships, and personal and business success. She explores what a kind life entails, and what gets in the way of it. And she provides practical and experiential suggestions for how each of us can strengthen our kindness muscle so choosing a life of kindness becomes ever easier and more natural. An inspiring, practical guide that can help any reader make a commitment to kindness, A Year of Living Kindly shines a light on how we can create a better, safer, and more just world—and how you can be part of that transformation.
Thank you to NetGalley, She Writes Press and Donna Cameron for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.
Donna Cameron set off on a year long commitment to live more kindly. After realizing she was consistently nice but not always kind, she wanted to change that behavior within herself. First she started a blog about her journey and then she wrote this book.
To clarify, nice is benign, easy, passive, safe. Kind is going above and beyond to truly connect with another person on a human level, even if only for a few minutes.
I enjoyed the book and overall concept. We definitely need more kindness in the world. There were many examples of ways to be kind in all areas of life. If one doesn’t know where to start, it’s easy to take the author’s examples and mimic them until you find your own way. She inspired me to jot down little quotes or encouragement on post its to leave for family and friends, to make sure they know they are seen and appreciated. I definitely wouldn’t have done this if not for reading the book. I also liked the benefits listed for living more kindly. I wrote down a lot of relevant information for myself.
However, I wish there was a bigger focus on kindness to oneself. She states it’s the most important type of kindness, but doesn’t focus on it much. Also there are many chapters about kindness and raising children. For someone who doesn’t have kids, this isn’t particularly relevant.
A Year of Living Kindly is good but has a lot of information to take in. Perhaps a book to reread and possibly even discuss in a book club if you participate in one.
How can you act kindly today?
Share your ideas in the comments, to help give others some great ideas!