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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: A think tank for kindness? In this era, we need it

Members of the public participate in a mindfulness training class inside the chapel at UCLA Reagan Medical Center on Sept. 23 in Westwood.
Members of the public participate in a mindfulness training class inside the chapel at UCLA Reagan Medical Center on Sept. 23 in Westwood.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As American philosopher Eric Hoffer suggested, “We are made kind by being kind.” (“New UCLA institute will study — and spread — kindness,” Sept. 25)

Do unto others as you would have them do to you. It is better to give than to receive. These moral tenets have been with us since the origins of civilization. Nevertheless, the lessons of kindness must be taught, reviewed and renewed with regularity.

Thank goodness for the UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute. At this period in the 21st century, kindness is a resource that must be sustained, practiced and valued. Without kindness our social climate is in danger.

Ben Miles, Huntington Beach

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To the editor: Thank you for highlighting the new kindness and mindfulness institute at UCLA.

In 2003, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and as part of my personal healthcare, I decided to do one good deed a day. It shifted my mindset from a pity party to a positive approach during my journey. That philosophy kept me upbeat through 15 months of horrendous treatment.

I have continued practicing that philosophy. One day, I said to a woman who was sitting in her car, “You look fabulous today!” Her response: “You have no idea how much I needed to hear that.”

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I’m 16 years clear as of November, and I attribute it to giving myself to others. Thank you again for the article.

Rosemary Chiaverini, Sherman Oaks

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To the editor: I recently visited the kingdom of Bhutan in hopes of finding Shangri-La. I did not quite accomplish that, but instead I did better. I found myself.

While Bhutan’s economy is based on exporting electricity to India and its domestic necessities are based primarily on agriculture, the country’s main offerings to the rest of the world are compassion and kindness.

In seven short days, I found the people to be genuinely in tune with their fellow countrymen and nature. Their existence is dedicated totally to not harming anyone or being the cause of someone’s misfortune. Their feeling of kindness applies to all human beings but is not spared on other living creatures.

I have since tried, on my return to L.A., to be more mindful and patient wherever I happen to be. I have noticed a difference in myself, and that in itself was worth the trip.

Homer Alba, Glendale


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