Despite his busy schedule during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln often visited the hospitals to cheer the wounded. On one occasion he saw a young fellow who was near death. ?Is there anything I can do for you?? asked the compassionate President. ?Please write a letter to my mother,? came the reply. Unrecognized by the soldier, the Chief Executive sat down and wrote as the youth told him what to say.

The letter read, 'my Dearest Mother, I was badly hurt while doing my duty, and I won't recover. Don't sorrow too much for me. May God bless you and Father. Kiss Mary and John for me.? The young man was too weak to go on, so Lincoln signed the letter for him and then added this postscript: ?Written for your son by Abraham Lincoln.?

Asking to see the note, the soldier was astonished to discover who had shown him such kindness. ?Are you really our President?? he asked. ?Yes,? was the quiet answer. ?Now, is there anything else I can do?? The lad feebly replied, ?Will you please hold my hand? I think it would help to see me through to the end.? The tall, gaunt man granted his request, offering warm words of encouragement until death stole in with the dawn.

There are people all around us each day who need to be encouraged, need to be inspired, and need a reason to smile. Someone once said; "Every time we come in contact with another human being, we've an opportunity to show kindness."

Kindness is the one language that the deaf can hear, the blind can see, and the poor can understand. Here are some ideas on how to show kindness. Some of them may seem insignificant, but they WILL make a difference in your life, and in the lives of others:

1. Smile to the people you come in contact with at work, at home, at the store, at the bank, and everywhere you go! You'd be surprised how much difference that can make in someone's day.

2. Place a coin in an expired parking meter.

3. Give another driver your parking space.

4. Send a gift to a co-worker or friend who needs cheering up.

5. Next time you go up a toll-road, pay the toll of the car behind you.

6. Thank someone for doing a great job.

7. Go out of your way to help others.

8. Write a note of thanks to someone in your past who has made a difference in your life.

9. Shovel your neighbor's sidewalk or mow their lawn.

10. Find a place in your community to volunteer.

There are opportunities all around us everyday. This list is just a short idea list, I'm sure many people can come up with hundreds of other ideas to show kindness and to brighten other's lives. One of the best things about kindess is, the more you give away, the more you get in return.

In reality, we shouldn't have to be urged or reminded to do these kind of things, they should just be part of our daily life.

? 2004 - Joshua Goodling.
About Joshua Goodling - At the age of four, Joshua was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only one week to live. That was over 34 years ago, so it's been a long week. He is now an inspirational and motivational speaker, seeking to encourage and inspire others to make a difference in today's world. You can visit his website at He is also the founder of You can contact him at [email protected]