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The Kindness Countdown

by Barbara Gruener, Monthly Columnist

Ah, December, the last month of the year, a time to gather friends and family and celebrate and reflect upon what the year brought and what the new year is likely to bring. What special promise does this month hold for you and your loved ones?

As we count down our days from the first of the month to the last of this year, I’m thinking about the most promising, no-cost gift that I can give away: KINDNESS. It works like a boomerang, really. Every time I give a kindness away, kindness seems to come back my way, usually when I least expect it because kindness begets kindness. And guess what? It’s a learned behavior, something we can teach our children, first and foremost through modeling.


So as we launch into this month of merriment, I’m going to see what happens when I set out to do kind acts, not randomly but planned. I’ve created a Kindness Countdown Calendar to help focus me on one specific, simple gift-a-day, something that I can do that will result in a kindness. I’ll start with acceptance. On December 1st, I’ll intentionally seek out a situation in which I could be more accepting or I’ll offer acceptance to someone in a way that I haven’t before. It’ll be a gift that I give to someone else – intentionally, deliberately, on purpose – but I’m also fairly certain that it will find its way back to me. And since it takes about 21 days for a habit to form, I’m going to stay with this plan all month long as a count down to 2013. Habitual kindness…..I like the sound of that, don’t you?


Here’s the calendar in case you want to join me or challenge your students to do so.


Kindness can change our world; how might you be different tomorrow by the kindnesses you show today?









About the Author

Barbara Gruener

A bilingual educator who was raised on her family’s farm in Wisconsin, Barbara Gruener has been the counselor and character coach at Westwood-Bales Elementary School in Friendswood, Texas for the past ten years. She’s also a motivational speaker and loves to influence and impact workshop participants in her signature Sing, Dance, Laugh and Build Character sessions. When she’s not at school, Barbara likes to write, read, knit, bake, and spend time with family and friends.  Check out Barbara’s uplifting blog, Corner on Character, to read her inspirational stories about positive people and elevating experiences.


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Joanne M.
Joanne M.

Thank you for sharing. I have been an admirer since I discovered the Corner on Character.