“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as you can.” (John Wesley)
One of the big lessons of kindness I talked about last week was that kindness isn’t something that I can adopt for a single year and then move on. I’ve come to the conclusion that my #1 job is kindness. That’s what I’m here for. I may not be very good at it yet, but I want kindness to be my lifetime pursuit, and one about which I can say on my very last day, “Yes, I lived a kind life.”
So, no, dear husband, rest assured 2016 will not be “a year of living bitchy,” nor—to your great disappointment—will it be “a year of learning to dust and vacuum” (after all these years, it’s time to let that one go, Sweetie).
I want kindness to remain central to my life and I will continue to practice it and follow the path on which it leads me. I want to continue to write about kindness. I am one of those people who, like Joan Didion, write to find out what they are thinking.
So, I plan to keep the blog going, but I will certainly be less obsessive about posting every week at exactly the same time. I have truly enjoyed blogging, and the knowledge I’ve gained and the remarkable people I’ve connected with have exceeded any expectations I had a year ago. I will continue to write when I have something to say or share. I will also continue to compile the quotes and other resources that I’ve been collecting on the Resources page.
Since writing has always been a central passion in my life, I also plan to write about plenty of other things in 2016 and beyond.
A few people have very kindly asked me if I might turn these musings into a book, and that is something I would certainly love to do. I don’t know how to go about it…but I’m eager to learn. At this point I’ve written more than 62,000 words about kindness (can you say verbose?), so I hope there is something to work with here. I’d also like to speak about kindness and hope to make some opportunities to spread the word in an inspiring and enjoyable way.
The beginning of 2016 marks another big change in my life, as—after more than 30 years—I am stepping down from working day-to-day in association and non-profit management and opening myself to what comes next. I’m not calling it retirement—I still plan to consult with non-profits—but there are a boatload of other things I’m eager to try, as well. I may tell you about them here as I discover and explore what’s around the corner and waiting in the wings.
Even though I’m not going anywhere and I plan to continue blogging, I do want to take a moment to thank all of you who have been reading YOLK—whether you started with me way back in January of 2015 or you just came aboard this month. I can’t begin to tell you how I have appreciated your kind and thought-provoking comments and your encouragement. You often inspired me to think more critically or dive deeper into ideas. Some of you are my dear friends, and some have become friends—even though we’ve never actually ”met”—that’s one of many really cool things about blogging and the blogging community. Thank you all for your kindness.
For any of you who may have joined our kindness community later in the year, I invite you to read earlier posts. They are launched from this home page.
A closing thought about kindness for 2015: we always have the choice to interrupt the cycle of unkindness by letting it stop with us, and we have the choice to deliberately extend kindness wherever we can. Sometimes it’s hard, and we won’t always make the right choice. But if we do our best and keep our intention in front of us, we can—little-by-little—change the world. And that’s pretty awesome.
Finally, because I like symmetry, it feels most fitting to end this year of living kindly with the same Neil Gaiman quote I used to open the year. I hope you like it as much as I do, and I hope it will inspire you to make 2016 your year of living exactly the life you most want to live. My blessings and grateful thanks to you all.
“I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.” (Neil Gaiman)