Aging Successfully: Thanksgiving and kindness

We all have much to be thankful for this year, especially for the important people in our lives.

Who are the special people in your life? How have they enriched your life? When was the last time you were able to thank them for making your life better in some way?

My family is small, and not one of them lives close to me. This makes me more thankful for the friends in my life as these people continuously bless me. Many of them treat me like family, and I know they have my back as I have theirs.

In addition, I have a double blessing because some of my cousins are also dear friends, even though they are far away. Yes, I am aware not everyone is this fortunate.

While I always say “Thank you” there are times these words feel inadequate. A few, insignificant, ways in which I have found as an attempt to show my gratitude is to send a greeting card, make an unexpected phone call — just to touch base, and sometimes give a small, token gift.

Last week as I was doing research for another project I discovered that Nov. 13 was World Kindness Day. This information caused me to think about the meaning of kindness and about the people all around me.

The word kindness can be defined as choosing to do something which helps others or yourself; to be thoughtful and considerate without expecting anything in return. I then asked myself in what ways could I show more kindness to my important people and to other people who come across my path.

Here are three items from my list: 1) Smile at people. Who knows what kind of day they are having? 2) Allow others to go first. And 3) Open doors. In other words, develop a lifestyle of consideration.

Kindness creates a sense of belonging which can reduce feelings of isolation. This, in turn, improves mental health. Kindness is a wonderful win/win gesture. It helps the person on the receiving end to feel loved and validated while it helps the person on the giving end to feel a stronger sense of purposes.

Any act of kindness releases positive hormones into the brain, reducing any stress hormones already there.

Smiling is one of the easiest and kindest things we can do. The very act of smiling releases happy hormones into the body. When we smile at a person and that person smiles back both are happier, and feel more connected, and less alone, less isolated.

The Dalai Lama said, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

Email us ( with your thoughts and experiences regarding kindness. I personally reply to every email.

Next month (December 2022) will be the fourth anniversary of “Aging Successfully.” Everyone who emails us and shares what his or her favorite column was, and why, will have their name placed in a drawing. We will draw three names. Winners will receive two Martin’s Muses book of their choice. Also, everyone who enters will have their favorite column mentioned in my January 2023 column. The deadline is Dec. 31.

Crystal Linn is a multi-published author and an award-winning poet. When not writing, or teaching workshops, she enjoys reading a good mystery, hiking, and sailing with friends and family. See