Practice Kindness

The best trait of any person, though essential to a good hostess, is simple kindness.  Real Simple reports this month a recent study finds that an act of kindness influences the person on the receiving end to follow suit.  One good deed "stays alive" for up to three degrees of separation, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  For example, you do something nice for someone today.  They in turn do something nice for someone else, and so on.  It's simple and it's kind, be gracious, be generous, and those around you will follow.

Gwyneth Paltrow's blog, GOOP, featured this book today: Do Good: 201 Ways to Lend a Hand by Marci Silverman.  It offers suggestions for acts of kindness.  When you want to do something nice but not sure how, Marci gives you some ideas, like "Leave sweet treats. And run."

Do Good: 201 Ways to Lend a Hand

Last week a dear friend was diagnosed with cancer. This friend prefers not to be the center of attention and detest being the target of sympathy.  She's also got a wonderful sense of sarcastic humor.  Rather than send her a heartfelt, sympathetic card I sent her a comedic movie with a handmade note with expletives describing how she must feel.  It wasn't pretty, but I think it's just what she needed.