Kindness Really Does Matter!

Lately I find myself scouring the internet for a feel-good story to start my day. I particularly love those that involve practicing kindness — it always puts a smile on my face.

I recently found out that being kind is actually good for you — it increases self-esteem, improves your mood, and reduces stress.

It should come as no surprise that our new book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Kindness Mattersis quickly becoming one of my favorite Chicken Soup for the Soul books!

Here are two of my favorite stories from the book that show how you can incorporate kindness into your life — because it really does matter:

Follow that impulse to pay someone’s bill.
In Amy Mewborn's story "A Shared Struggle," Amy noticed that the woman in front of her at the grocery store checkout looked tired and frazzled. She was trying to handle an active three-year-old and a newborn, who was crying. As her items were rung up, the woman realized she didn’t have enough money so she started selecting items to put back.

That’s when Amy stepped up. She confirmed the young mother was a single mom, and then she explained that she was a single mom, too, and she had been in her shoes. She would be happy to pay for the family’s groceries. The woman started crying with gratitude.

Amy says, “The total cost for the rest of the groceries was less than thirty dollars. The man behind me and I split that total and left the IGA with full hearts that danced like the toddler.”

The biggest beneficiaries of that random act of kindness? Amy and the man behind her in line, not the young mother. We elevate ourselves and brighten our days when we do something like that for a stranger. And I’m sure that woman will turn around and pay it forward one day when she is better situated and encounters another struggling young mother.

Don’t hesitate to express your gratitude and appreciation.
In her story, The Letter, January Joyce was at the cellular phone store once again looking for help with downloading an app. She knew the kind young man named Carlos who worked there would help her.

As she waited her turn and then waited for the app to download, January watched Carlos in action, treating his elderly customers with patience and respect, rushing to open the door for someone, calling each customer by name.

The next day, January followed an impulse to do something about this. She wrote a letter to Carlos’s boss, and also mailed copies to the company’s headquarters and the CEO.

When January went back to the store for help again a couple of months later, she learned that Carlos was gone. An employee told her that someone had written a letter about Carlos and as a result he had been promoted and now managed his own store! When January also heard that Carlos and his wife had just had their first baby, she felt even better about following that impulse to reach out and compliment someone.


Chicken Soup for the Soul has been “changing lives one story at a time”® since 1993 with more than 250 books that provide hope, inspiration, and tips for a better life. Virtually every title becomes a self-help bestseller. Each book contains 101 true, personal stories submitted by ordinary people with extraordinary experiences to share. The topics are wide-ranging, but always inspirational and entertaining, covering everything from faith and spirituality to family, marriage, pets, and overcoming challenges of all kinds. Life values such as gratitude, forgiveness, mindfulness, positive thinking, and giving back are a big part of the series, with specific self-help books that help readers of all ages, from children to the elderly.