Can we be a little kinder, gentler, more loving to those around us? This requires a certain amount of conscious determination. I find that it is important to think about speaking kindly and gently, and being more present with others, even when we feel burdened and busy. We have to think about using words that convey acceptance and support. We have to think about being more generous with what we have - with our time, with what we know, with our financial resources, and with our feelings and emotions. A little kindness, a little warmth, a little affection, a little empathy goes a long way in all our relationships. We know this is true with our children, our mates, and our friends. But it's also true with others - even in chance encounters with those we may never see again. We need to live in ways that express our belief that lovingkindness matters.I like the emphasis on thinking. In other words, don't expect kindness and gentleness to be automatic. Thought and effort are required.