“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible ” His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama

In his last interview, Aldous Huxley, a renowned humanitarian, philosopher, and prolific author, was asked what advice he would give people just starting out. After considering this for a few moments, this very wise man said with slight embarrassment, “Try to be a little kinder.”

Those sentiments echo Deer spirit’s message in the Children’s Spirit Animal Cards: “Be Kind to Yourself and Others.” Like the other 23 oracle cards in this deck, in addition to facilitating a deeper connection to Spirit and the natural world, the spirit animals represented encourage values that almost all parents would agree with and help children develop attitudes and behaviors that serve them well in getting along in the world.

As Deer spirit says in the extended message in the guidebook:

There’s something called the golden rule that you may have heard of, which says, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Another way of saying this is that whatever you put out will come back to you. So if you’re kind to others, people, animals, and plants, then that kindness will come back to you. If you’re mean to others, then you’ll find meanness comes right back at you.

Of course there will be moments when you don’t feel so kindly toward others, but try to get back on track by doing something nice for someone. And don’t forget to be nice to yourself. If you get angry or upset with yourself, let it go as quickly as you can, perhaps by talking to a trusted adult or a friend and getting their help. This doesn’t mean you always have to be nice, but just do your best as much as you can. And don’t try to be perfect—just kind!

Further, with the support of parents there are action steps children can take, such as:

  • Today do at least two nice things for someone else and see how it makes you feel.
  • Help out your sister or brother with a chore.
  • Look for opportunities to help others out, such as helping a younger child with a task or cleaning up after others.
  • Be willing to apologize to someone if you have hurt their feelings, whether or not you meant to do so.
  • Share something with another child, such as food or a toy.

One man, Bob Votruba, has taken this message quite seriously. Two years ago he embarked from Ohio with Bogart, his Boston Terrier, on a 10-year cross-country journey dubbed “The Kindness Bus Tour” to encourage Americans to perform a million acts of kindness in their lifetime (www.onemillionactsofkindness.com ). His bus is decorated with various statements and drawings pertaining to the message.

On his website, Bob wrote, “One Million Acts Of Kindness is a goal—a goal for each person to individually perform One Million Acts Of Kindness in their life . . . It is a constant mind-set of kindness every day of your life for the next fifty-five years . . . (It’s) a great way to create a safer, more caring world . . . Let’s start a kindness movement in this country today to change the direction this world is headed!! You are the change that this world needs.”

Perhaps, as Mr.Votruba has suggested, this coming generation will be known as the kindness generation. It’s through examples like his the message from Deer spirit, and adults who model kind words and behavior that children will learn the powerful effect kindness has on others. And as Deer spirit has suggested, it will come back to you.

“The love you take is equal to the love you make.” The Beatles

Dr. Steven Farmer is a licensed psychotherapist, shamanic practitioner, international lecturer, and ordained minister. He is the author of several best-selling books and other products, including Children’s Spirit Animal Cards, Earth Magic, Animal Spirit Guides, Power Animals, Earth Magic Oracle Cards, Power Animal Oracle Cards, Messages from Your Animal Spirit Guides Oracle Cards, and Sacred Ceremony. Dr. Farmer hosts his own radio show, Earth Magic® Radio, Thursdays 4-5PM Pacific on Contact Talk Radio.com. In addition he offers workshops on Earth Magic®, shamanism, and earth-centered spirituality as well as private consultations for intuitive readings and shamanic healing in person or remotely. He makes his home in Laguna Beach, California with his wife Jesseca and stepdaughters Serena and Arianna. For more information please visit his website www.EarthMagic.net.