Kindness Lessons Learned from a Board Game

Free Happy Woman Enjoying Nature. Beauty Girl Outdoor.

Not long ago I was playing Monopoly with my two young nieces. At one point, Alina, who is six, decided she wanted to gift some cash to her sister whose bank account was rapidly dwindling. When I inquired of Alina why she would just give money away, she simply replied she had more than enough. At that moment I was torn between which lesson to impart. Was it more important to explain the object of the game was winning, or should I cast the rules aside and let Alina continue with her act of kindness?

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I needn’t have struggled with the decision because Aisaylnn, her ten-year-old sister, wisely stepped up to field this coaching moment. She very sweetly lavished praise on Alina and made it clear how much she appreciated the gesture. Aisalynn then explained a win was more meaningful if earned fairly.

Life Lesson

Without missing a beat, the game continued leaving me with a warm glow over what I had just experienced. The life-lesson lingered with me throughout the day causing me to examine my actions. How often have I acknowledged I had more than enough?  Do I give generously and frequently? Do I possess the bigheartedness of a little girl? Having pondered this I decided a kindness campaign is definitely something to keep on the front burner.

My Kindness Journal

I’m a tracker. Weighing, measuring and logging results are motivational in my world. Alina’s charitable example prompted me to initiate a Kindness Journal.

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Knowing at the end of the day I must log in a minimum of five benevolent or thoughtful acts keeps me in grace. Sometimes my actions involve giving physical items away as I truly do have more than enough. Other deeds may be as simple as reaching an item from the top shelf in the grocery for someone in a wheelchair.

Your Challenge

My challenge for you this week is to take kindness to heart by acting on it daily. Make a caring gesture expecting nothing in return. Typically your kind deed will live on. Here’s some geeky brain stuff: scientists have coined the term, “upstream reciprocity”

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to explain your act of generosity inspires others to also pay it forward. Another bonus: givers also experience a brain boost in a release of endorphins which are “feel-good” chemicals.

Each night when I finish my journal entries I cannot help but smile and think how much you can learn by playing a board game with a six and ten year old.

Please let me express my gratitude to you for reading Life on the Sunny Side. I welcome your comments and would love  input on how you raise the bar on kindness. 

8 thoughts to “Kindness Lessons Learned from a Board Game”

  1. Years ago when we were RVing full time, I played Mexican Train – a domino game. One game still sticks in my brain. We 5 or 6 women were playing. I am a very competitive person especially when it comes to sports and games; I want to win. Noticing a couple of the other women were making moves that helped the person next to them I pointed it out and asked why. Why not, was the answer, it’s just a fun game. Hmmmmm. Lesson learned. Do I still like to win – yes. I play Pickleball and play to win. However, I’m there for anyone learning the game and take a competition break and play to help them improve. My thanks to those women playing Mexican train so many years ago.

    1. Caroline…Thanks for the post. I love your term “competition break.” Great philosophy. Sometimes winning is all that counts, at other times…fun is more important.

  2. There is a big difference between my husband and me when it comes to competitiveness in games or sports. In business, we’re both competitive against each other, so that’s different. The incident I’m thinking of that makes me laugh, is about Rick and I playing golf with good friends. Something I said made Rick ask me “Don’t you want to beat Mary?”, to which I said, “No, I couldn’t care less”. He looked at me like I was crazy, because he fully intended to try to beat Chuck. When Rick golfs with his guy friends, they all compete against each other & winning is THE goal! The important things to me were hanging out with my friend, being outside & enjoying the afternoon.

    1. Nancy…I’ll golf with you any day if you let me win. 🙂 Seriously, good for you for enjoying the company, the exercise and the beautiful weather more than who scores what.

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