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Optimism and Kindness


by Victor Perton

Kindness and optimism are two traits that positively impact people's lives: There is a strong connection between the two.  Kindness and optimism have the power to transform lives in the most beautiful and meaningful ways! These two extraordinary traits can truly work wonders, bringing a ray of hope and light to even the darkest of moments.

Kindness is being considerate, generous, and empathetic towards others. At its simplest, optimism is an expectation that good things will happen and that things will work out in the end.

Nicola Hepenstall told me that small acts of kindness can make a big difference. She is optimistic because she knows she can change people's lives by doing small acts of kindness. She believes that the little things matter the most, and she can do them each day. Professor Catherine Crock AM, Chair and Founder of the Hush Foundation, shares a similar sentiment. She believes that kindness and goodwill are contagious, and interacting with them can bring good things in life.

Mimi Kwa emphasizes that kindness and optimism are contagious and good for physical and mental health. Spreading positivity and kindness can be done for selfish or selfless reasons, but the result is the same. Louisa Keck also believes finding small pockets of kindness and good in daily life can bring optimism. Appreciating the moments that make us smile, the people in our lives, and the life we get to create with them can generate gratitude and excitement.

Diane Kilkenny believes that random acts of human kindness come from where you least expect them and when you need them the most. Michelle Clement agrees and sees humans being kind to one another as one of the sources of her optimism. Debby Lissaur, Chief Positivity Instigator at Optimism, Inc., feels optimistic when she sees random acts of kindness and has meaningful, hope-filled conversations with random strangers. She believes that no matter how bleak things seem, it is a passing moment in time, and humanity always prevails.

Elizabeth Lim believes that helping those around us see the world in a more optimistic light harnesses the kindness in humankind and sustains the peace and tranquillity we all deserve in our lives. Christina Pagano has confidence in the essential goodness of the world's citizens, who aim to do their best in the day and execute remarkable acts of kindness. Diksha Dutta believes that optimism is hard work, but it is also magic. So she made it a habit, and soon she experienced events that made her believe that magic happens to those who combine hard work with kindness, positivity, and optimism.

Stephen Cornelissen is optimistic when he sees ordinary people doing extraordinary things with kindness and courage, creating change for themselves and others. Sonia McDonald believes optimistic leadership is about being brave, kind, and courageous. It means knowing we can overcome anything and focusing on being authentic and kind to ourselves and others.

As an optimist, Karen Stanford feels lucky to see hope everywhere: She sees inspiring people following their dreams, people being kind to each other, and children giving her reason to be optimistic every day. Likewise, Lori Lewis believes that helping others without expecting anything creates eternal optimism. One small act of kindness reminds us that we are never alone and genuinely are here to give, not to receive.

Libby Mears is optimistic when she sees the strength of communities that have overcome adversity, seeing people included who are usually excluded and people willing to display gentleness and empathy.

Nicola Hepenstall, Deputy Chair, South Gippsland Water

 "What makes me optimistic? I know that I can change people’s lives by doing small acts of kindness. It’s often the little things that matter the most and I can do that each and every day!"

Professor Catherine Crock AM, Chair and Founder of the Hush Foundation

"What makes me optimistic?  Kindness and goodwill are contagious. I aim to interact with kindness and goodwill at all times and then good things come ."

Mimi Kwa, Presenter and MC

"Optimism and kindness are contagious. They are good for the heart and soul. They improve heart function, overall health and well-being and they cost you nothing. Your reasons for spreading positivity and kindness are unimportant. Do it selfishly to help your physical and mental health. Or do it selflessly and altruistically. The result is the same. So just do it.”

Louisa Keck, Head of Participation - Reach & Wake by Reach

"What makes me optimistic are finding the small pockets of kindness and good in day-to-day life. Appreciating the moments that make me smile and the ones that take my breath away. Feeling gratitude for the people in my life and excited about the life I get to create with them."

Diane Kilkenny, World Commerce and Contracting

 "What makes me optimistic?  That random acts of human kindness come from the places you least expect them at the times you need them most!"

Michelle Clement

"Humans being kind to one another is one of the sources of my optimism. It's also something that I look forward to every day."

Debby Lissaur, Chief Positivity Instigator at Optimism, Inc.

"I am optimistic for the future when I see random acts of kindness, and when I am blessed with meaningful, hope-filled conversations with random strangers. No matter how bleak things seem, it is but a passing moment in time. Humanity always prevails in the end."


Elizabeth Lim

“I believe helping those around us see the world in a more optimistic light during difficult situations, puts the kindness in humankind and sustains the peace and tranquillity we all deserve in our lives.”



Christina Pagano, Pagano and Company Public Relations

 “I do remain confident in the basic goodness of the citizens of the world, most of whom wake up in the morning, and regardless of where they live or under what circumstances, aim to do the best they can in the course of the day.  And in many cases, execute remarkable acts of kindness.  I see that in New York City every day.”

Diksha Dutta

"Optimism is hard-work, but it is also magic. I made it a habit.  Soon there were a series of events that made me believe that magic happens to those who combine hard work with kindness, positivity and optimism."

Stephen Cornelissen, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood

“Leadership is a capability that exists in every person. We see so many examples of it each and every day, from walking down the street, seeing our colleagues at work, watching the news or witnessing acts of great kindness and/or courage. The unassuming people who undertake these acts are those I find infectiously optimistic; ordinary people doing what essentially should be ordinary things but doing them extraordinarily well. These are the people who go about creating change for themselves and others in a way that really matters."


Sonia McDonald, Leadership Author and Speaker

"Optimistic leadership is about being brave, kind and courageous as a leader. To be optimistic means knowing that we can overcome anything. The power of being focused on being true and kind to oneself and others is leadership."



Karen Stanford, Teacher

"Being an optimist I am lucky enough to see hope everywhere. Inspiring people following their dreams, people being kind to each other and as a teacher, the children give me reason to be optimistic every day"




Lori Lewis

"Helping others without expecting anything in return creates eternal optimism. One small act of kindness serves as a reminder we are never alone, and how we truly are here to give, not to receive."



Libby Mears, CEO, Leisure Networks

"I am optimistic when I see the strength of communities who have overcome adversity, seeing people included who are usually excluded and when I see people willing to display gentleness, empathy, compassion and kindness."

Jodie Ginsberg, Chief Executive, Index on Censorship. 

"In a world in which it's easy to feel bombarded by the negative, I am constantly uplifted by the stories of those striving to make the world a better place - through small acts of kindness and grand acts of sacrifice. Human beings are essentially good. Knowing that is enough to champion the case for optimism."

Sam Banzi

"I believe that optimism is a catalyst for personal growth and positive change in our lives and communities. What makes me optimistic? The unwavering resilience and determination of individuals, the collective acts of kindness that ripple through society, and the endless possibilities that each new day brings. These are the sparks that ignite hope and fuel my optimism."

Fi Bendall

 “In an era where people’s mistrust of government and business is at all-time high. Where we as people simply don’t believe and at times don't believe in each other, optimism needs to thrive. But how? Humans need hope and hope needs humans. The most amazing stories of human kindness, and warmth still permeate this “mistrusting world” we live in.  In a world crisis, everyday heroes rise to the top in their kindness to others.  In terror on our streets, people rush to help people.  On the street look around you for daily inspiration to be optimistic…only today I saw people on the street rushing to help an old lady with her groceries that had spilt all over the sidewalk in Manhattan.  The human being still embodies hope and optimism to drive and change our world for better.  The more technology speeds at us, the more we need to touch and feel human kindness. Kindness breeds optimism, and optimism breeds hope. We have to hold on to that as our pessimism and mistrust is a weakness, our optimism and belief is our true power  and empowerment.”

The Kindness Diaries star, Leon Logothetis

"This is a fun exercise that builds your kindness and courage muscles. Be first to smile at someone as you pass them on the street and make eye contact with them. We can get so focused on ourselves and shut the world out, but it doesn't have to be like that. Instead of waiting for someone to speak to you, take that leap to be the first to say hello, or to smile, or ask them how they are. I promise this will be a game changer for you in your life!"

Victor Perton

Ancient meditation practices like the “Loving Kindness” meditation and related compassion meditations are particularly beneficial.  Compassion meditation strengthens the connection between the prefrontal cortex and the brain’s circuits for optimism, joy and happiness.  The benefits are apparent right from the beginning of meditation practice and they increase with time spent.

By opening your heart and mind, meditation provides lasting feelings of peace and serenity while creating tremendously positive changes in your life. Staying positive, and its array of life-transforming benefits can be easily learned and integrated into your life starting right now!


Gratitude JournalProject Optimism has produced "The Optimist's Gratitude Journal: 100 days to share and develop your gratitude" which is very helpful.


Bishop Philip Huggins

"What makes me optimistic is that if we are attentive to what we let ourselves think about, it will shape the words that we use so they'll all be poetry, and our actions will create beauty, they will be truthful, and they will be kind"


Deborah Spratling

"Optimism for me is hoping that whatever life throws at me I have the ability to bounce back from it. I recognise that I have the choice on how I interpret a situation or experience and that old early conditioned self-critical and self-defeating thoughts, no longer have any hold or power over me. I choose now to be kinder and more self-compassionate."



Geetashree Deka Gupta FRSA

"What makes me optimistic?  Every human core is capable of non-judgmental warmth, empathy and kindness."

Tara Bevan

"People helping other people makes me optimistic. A little kindness goes a long way, and if each person can do their bit, that is definitely something to be optimistic about!"


“His eternal optimism, kindness and competitiveness inspired us always to reach higher.”

Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents and Chairman Tucker Link on T. Boone Pickins

Optimistic, brilliant, diplomatic and kind, Steve led by bringing out the very best qualities of those around him.”

Ron Richard on Steven Minter


Pico Iyer

“So why am I an optimist? Partly because I’ve been working in the mainstream media for 35 years now, and I know not to trust it. It’s always a single act of brutality that captures headlines, while a hundred acts of everyday kindness are ignored, and more and more, in the global neighborhood, our “news” is just the equivalent of small-town gossip. We’re living in the age of Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama and more charitable efforts than ever before, but it’ll always be the Las Vegas gunman or the ISIS operative with a knife who knows how to dominate our attention. My optimism comes from a deeper source, though, than simply knowing that what we hear and read isn’t a fair register of what is really happening. As a traveller, I witness everyday people whose lives are much more nuanced and often brighter than our notions of them."



Rabbi James M. Bennett

"This is the candle of our faith, our hope, our optimism, our action, our willingness to remember the prophet Micah’s words: 

“Do justly, love kindness and walk humbly with God.”

Read More: Optimism, Spirituality and Religion

Geetashree Deka Gupta FRSA

"What makes me optimistic?  Every human core is capable of non-judgmental warmth, empathy and kindness."

(Read The Optimism of Geetashree Deka Gupta FRSA)

Jonathan Chrimes

"The glimmers that come from acts of kindness often trigger the vibe and stoke optimism."

Joseph S. Nye, former Dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

“Remember, in the words of the song, the best things in life are free: a kind word;  a gentle kiss from someone you love; a slanting shaft of afternoon sunlight coming in the window; a green shoot in Spring; a snowflake on your sleeve in Winter. All you have to do is remember to slow down and smell the flowers.”


Harry Styles: Treat People with Kindness


Maybe we can find a place to feel good 
And we can treat people with kindness 
Find a place to feel good

Tim McGraw's "Humble And Kind"



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