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Enrich your life by 'giving yourself away'

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Have you noticed how good you feel after being kind to someone? If more people were kind more often, our cities and workplaces would be better for all.

In his book, Try Giving Yourself Away (Updegraff PR, soft cover, $3.50), David Dunn tells of noticing a sharp metal hoop lying in the road. He decided to pick up the hoop and put it in a trash can before parking. When he returned to his car, a man came to him and said he noticed Dunn's actions and wouldn't just drive by such hazards again.

Kindness spreads. Your selfless act can inspire others to similar actions. When that happens, a spirit of community is created whether it's in a large city or a small town.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: "The only gift is a portion of thyself." If you have some talent, skill, or craft, why not share it?

Empathy is defined as feeling the needs of others or putting yourself in another's place. It can prompt us to give credit for a job well done, for an idea suggested, for help with your work, or good and prompt service.

Do you tell your partner that the dinner was good? Do you show appreciation to your child when he gets a high mark on a paper? When a salesperson shows unusual helpfulness, do you mention it? Do you thank a public official for actions you approve of? Remember that the most precious ingredient of life is humanness.

It works in willingness to listen to someone even if you're not that interested. It works when you give up your place in line to someone who seems rushed.

When you practice humanness, you will notice that suspicion, cynicism, and rebuffs go out of fashion, says Dunn.

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