A woman stopped into the store last night and asked me a question I didn’t quite understand.

It wasn’t the question I had trouble with…it’s that she did her taking with her hands.


I felt bad I didn’t understand her…I tried to pick up what information that I could

Her sign language, I imagine, was perfect…mine…I’m sure isn’t so good.


So she tried speaking and signing at the same time…she had a question about a book

but between her hands and her lips…I couldn’t decide at which one to look.


Finally I looked into her eyes…smiled and said I have a plan

tell me again what you want…and I’ll listen as best as that I can.


I watched her lips and I listened…her speech was actually quite good

and when she finished I smiled and nodded…because I think I understood.


I took her to the book she wanted…and it made me feel nice

when I was able to answer her questions about the story and the price…


After buying the book and taking her bag…she was about to go on her way

when I said to her in my best sign language I hope you have a nice day…


I might have said have a nice year…or I love you….as I say my sign language isn’t so good

but she smiled, nodded her head and thanked me…so I think she understood.


I noticed she had a smile on her face as she waved to me….goodbye

and as I waved a goodbye back to her I noticed…so did I.


I guess kindness is universal…a language everyone can understand

Whether expressing it in English, 

In French 

In Spanish…


or if we’re talking with our hands.

View joy's Full Portfolio


Gandhi was a kind, nonviolent man whose wisdom is widespread…

When asked what he thought about Western Civilization

“I think it would be a good idea.” he said.


A civilization that treated all people with tenderness, 

with love and with affection

that accepted everyone in life 

without reservations or exceptions.


A civilization filled with tolerance, 

with mercy and charity…

A civilization where people work together…

where everyone was free…


As Gandhi said it is a good idea…

a civilization that is kindhearted…

and if we are going to create one…


perhaps we should get started.

View joy's Full Portfolio


Soon after World War 2 was weathered

The United Nations got together…

and after hearing of the peoples plight

created a declaration…of human rights.


Appalled at all the lives we lost

and sickened by the Holocaust

The UN set about decreeing

A set of rights for human beings.


Every person has these rights they declared

In any location…anywhere.

Every human…from their inception

Every human…without exception.


Every human is endowed they said

with reason, a conscience and should use their head

and every person everywhere should

act in the spirit of brotherhood.


Since the UN declaration 70 years ago

We have made progress…but much too slow.

We have not learned from our mistakes

and now our existence is at stake!


We must treat each person with dignity

each as a member of our family.

For when we become kind humans we will find

one world…one family…one humankind.


Or 70 years from now

If we don’t ensure everyone’s human rights…somehow…

If we continue to live in a world where human rights are bereft…


there won’t be any humans left.


I wonder what our world would be like if everyone was blind.

I wonder how our world would look…and feel in our minds.


It’s true we could not see the sunrise paint it’s colors across the sky.

We could not see our children’s smiles without the use of eyes.


But wouldn’t it be harder to be prejudiced if our sight was kept within…

If we couldn’t see the differences in the color of our skin?


It’s true we could not see rainbows, or the colors of the rose

or the change of leaves in Autumn…or the pure white winter snows.


But wouldn’t it be harder to go to war…wouldn’t all fighting have to wait

If we could not see the people…the ones we’re supposed to hate?


It’s true we could not see the oceans glimmer, or the gentle summer breeze.

We could not see it move the clouds…or ruffle through the trees.


But there would be no need for guns…to settle our disputes

If we couldn’t see the person over there whom we’re supposed to shoot.


Of course we live in a world where most of us can see…

where prejudice and war and guns…make up our history…


But sometimes I'm inclined to wonder 

if our world wouldn’t be a little more kind

If each and every one of us…


were just a little bit blind.

View joy's Full Portfolio


Trees are known for the fruits they bear.

Flowers for their distinctive bouquets.

Waterfalls are known for their overflowing beauty.

Bees for their honey and ballet.


Oceans are known for their vastness.

The sun and the moon for their light.

Clouds are known for their wispiness.

Birds for the elegance of flight.


Meadows are known for their peacefulness.

Mountains for peaks tall and grand.

Rivers are known for their perpetual currents

Beaches for their endless sand.


It seems nature has given everything in her domain 

traits to be adored.

Which makes me wonder what’s the one trait

humans are famous for?


Oh, if we could only stop our hatred of one another,

stop our discrimination and our wars,

wouldn’t it be wonderful if when we’re finally gone

it was kindness we were remembered for?


Then we could proudly take our place in nature…

like sunlight peeking through the trees

If only kindness could be as natural to humans


as honey is to the bees.

View joy's Full Portfolio


There’s a little axiom called the Golden Rule 

that is impressive in it’s simplicity.

A basic human principle regarding reciprocity.


It’s often taught in families

handed down from our fathers and our mothers.

Every religion in the world embraces it…in one form or another.


Perhaps at this most religious time for many…

This Hanukah,…Christmas…Yule…

It would be a good time to reach into the shadows

and bring back the Golden Rule.


A rule that teaches us a simple truth

It has but one goal…one aim…

That you should treat me with kindness and respect…

and I should treat you the same.


So when…whatever God we believe in,

thinks about us when this holiday, or any day, is done…

he or she will have a reason…


to bless us every one.

View joy's Full Portfolio

@be kind

I know I look at the words through simple eyes

I consider this a gift with which I’ve been blessed

I’ve grown to think that simple eyes lead to simple solutions

and simple solutions are often the best….



Every year tens of thousands of elephants are killed

this to many is a moral outrage…an insult…an affront…

which is why Ellen Degeneres created a campaign to fight this atrocity…

and calls it @Be Kind To Elephants


A noble cause…a wonderful cause…with elephants we should learn to coexist…

But did you know elephants aren’t even ranked in the top 10 on the endangered species list?


Shouldn’t we also be kind to the gorilla and the rhinoceros, to show them that we care…

to the tiger…the panda, the sea turtle …as well as the polar bear?


Shouldn’t we coexist with every animal in every ocean, jungle and plain?

Perhaps @Be Kind to Elephants is to narrow…

Perhaps we need a @Be Kind To All The Animals campaign…


But we’re also cutting down our rain forests…

The way we’re endangering our plants and our environment is totally insane!

Perhaps we need to expand our scope again…

how about…A @Be Kind To Animals, Plants And The Earth campaign?


Wait, when you stop to think about the amount of refugees in the world,

the amount of abject poverty…

the amount of wars and hate and narrow-mindedness…

the amount of prejudice and bigotry…


We certainly can’t leave out the people of our world …So here I ascertain

@Be Kind To People, Plants, Animals And The Earth…should be our daily campaign…


Perhaps the perfect way to coexist…so that all are intertwined…

would be to broaden the scope by shortening the name…how about just…@Be Kind!


If everyone thought ‘Be Kind’ to every animal, every plant and everyone they see

this could be the type of world we all would like it to be…. 


It’s a simple way to look at things, I know…

But think how the whole world would be blessed…

If ‘Be Kind’ was our first thought before we acted….


Wouldn’t this simple solution be the best?

View joy's Full Portfolio


The year was 1906…it was yesteryear in paradise

when a sad young girl came to her dad…and he gave her some advice.


She didn’t think herself a beauty…as far as beauties go

and the other girls in school back then were quick to tell her so.


Her father asked what was bothering her…noticing remnants of the tears she shed…

(How is it parents can read sadness even in our silence…

when not a word is said?)


She told him…and he sat her down as the wind in the treetops twirled…

“Let me tell you,” he told her then, “how to become the most beautiful woman in the world.”


This little girl whose self esteem was low…perked up both her ears….

How to become beautiful…why that’s just what she wanted to hear.


“All you have to do is be kind,” he said, “kindness is not only beautiful…but right.

Never say a hurtful word to anyone…always be helpful and polite.”


“Treat others as you would like to be treated…there’s beauty in that too

And you will find that kindness…and its beauty…will be returned to you.”


Is there beauty in kindness? Of course there is…for that’s what kindness does…

and from that day forward everyone remarked…how beautiful she was.


And as she grew up and grew older…until the day her life was finished….

Her kindness was unmistakable…and her beauty never diminished.


Be kind an you’ll be beautiful…It is still such wonderful advice


As good today as the day it was given…yesteryear in paradise.

View joy's Full Portfolio




On a visit to a hospital recently

I was following a man holding a bouquet of beautiful blooms

“I’m going to visit my wife,” he said,

“but I’m having a little trouble finding her room.”


I helped him navigate the hospital maze.

When we arrived I said, “This is your wife’s room, I believe.

I know she’ll love her flowers.”

and then I turned to leave.


“Would you like to meet her.” The man asked.

After all, you couldn’t have been any kinder…

Besides, she’d never forgive me if I didn’t introduce her

to the man who helped me find her.


We entered the room together…

and after placing her flowers in a vase

he told her why I was standing there

and a smile lit up her face.


“He’s never been very good with directions.” She said.

“Hey,” he interrupted, “I found you all those years ago…

“And as long as there are people to help me.” he smiled

I’m never letting you go.”


I stopped in the doorway on my way out…

thinking…how they make beautiful duet…

when I heard him say, “It’s true sometimes I may get lost

but my vows…those I’ll never forget…


I lingered in the doorway a little longer

Hiding in the background…like a little kid…

and after hearing the vows he said long ago

I’m certainly glad I did…


“Your happiness makes me smile.” he said.

“Your sadness brings a tear to my eye.”

When you have everything you’ve ever wanted…he smiled holding her hands…

“Then, honey, so do I.”


You never know when fate will smile upon you.

It could happen following a man with a bouquet of blooms…

while watching two strangers remember their vows


in the doorway of a hospital room.

View joy's Full Portfolio