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Library Journal, Feb. 15, 2003
Review: A Short Course in Kindness

Forrest, Margot Silk
A Short Course in Kindness
A little book on the importance of love and the relative unimportance of pretty much everything else.

Humanity is "irrevocably interconnected, for better or worse" notes Forrest (coauthor EMDR: The Breakthrough Therapy for Overcoming Anxiety, Stress, and Trauma), and she she figures it might as well be for the better. In unerringly upbeat writing, she puts in a plug for kindness. The tactics she promotes sound deceptively simple (e.g., listen, offer companionship, encourage laughter), but to perform them truly takes guts and courage. Kind and nice are sharply distinguished; the latter can be faked, while the former, which can change someone's life forever, cannot. This will raise awareness and give readers very real. if subjective, food for thought. Whereas other book, like Random Acts of Kindness, merely talk about inspiration, this actually inspires. Like one of Batman's plans, its so crazy that it just might work.

Midwest Book Review, July 2003
Review: A Short Course in Kindness
If you desire to have a kinder, gentler, more compassionate soul when dealing with others or when dealing with life itself then this book provides a roadmap to get there. "A Short Course in Kindness" points out the difference between just being nice, which many people are at times, and being truly kind. Kindness is a way of life, a way of being. The author points out techniques to learn to be kind by empathizing with others and as well as techniques to learn how to be kind to yourself (an aspect of kindness that many people overlook). Not just content to explore kindness, she also explores the enemies of kindness and how to keep them at bay. If you want to change yourself and change your world you can't go wrong with this book. "A Short Course in Kindness" is a recommended read.

A Short Course in Kindness

A Kindness Revolution
Inspiration, Personal Growth, Self Help, Spirituality

Margot Silk Forrest wants to change the world with this well designed and beautifully written little book and she makes no apologies for it, stating simply, "...the only way you change the world is one heart at a time."

This 122-page book is reminiscent of the popular little book, Random Acts of Kindness, which spawned a mini-revolution, angel pins, a website and a recognized day of its own. Forrest approaches the same subject with a different slant, a sense of humor, and a true appreciation for how acting with kindness can not only improve the quality of life for those who are recipients of kindness, but also increases personal power, and makes the world a better place to live in.

She writes up-close and personal, involving the reader in each of her stories. These are not extraordinary stories but rather simple occurrences between strangers or friends that make the reader smile while pulling at the heartstrings. Her readers will want to run out and begin showering the world with little acts of kindness, hoping only that they will be passed on to others in need.

Forrest emphasizes the difference between being nice and being kind, teaching that the first increases stress while the second reduces it. "Kindness," she says, "like fear, apathy, selfishness, and measles, is contagious. The difference is, it's contagious in a good way."

Kindness takes courage and begins at home, by first being kind to oneself. Forrest skillfully weaves in between her examples of kindness, philosophies and quotes from various writers and religions. She teaches that kindness is all about choice. "We choose," she writes, "whether to feel empathy for others, or to allow anger, denial, or depression to block our capacity for caring."

In the next-to-last chapter, Forrest offers ten tactics that help people not only become kind, but also to spread the word of kindness throughout the world through stories. She openly shares the pain of her own childhood and how she moved past that into a world of love.

And, finally, in the last chapter, she petitions for a kindness revolution. "We can change the world," Forrest says, "because we are the world."

This is a book to read and reread during those times in life of feeling sorry for oneself. The best cure for those mini-depressions is reaching out and doing something special, something unexpected for someone else.

Karen Blue
click for full review

A Short Course in Kindness

Pros: Inspirational, Insightful, Well-Written

Cons: None

The Bottom Line: I was touched by the content in A Short Course in Kindness -- it is likely you will be too.

Excerpted from the full review

Within the pages of A Short Course in Kindness, Margot Silk Forrest combines honesty, experience, and expertise to provide stories, personal testimonies, and quotations that melt together, allowing for a smooth flow in this well-written book...I am grateful for this Short Course in Kindness, feel that it has blessed me, and highly recommend obtaining a copy of the book. Also, I would suggest consideration of this book for gift giving purposes....

Content of A Short Course in Kindness maintains a principal message - "Kindness is a revolution whose time has come!” and provides Five Principle Truths:

  • "Kindness brings us into the full use of our personal power.”
  • "Our ability to give and receive kindness depends on the kindness we hold for ourselves.”
  • "There is a crucial difference between being nice and being kind: One increases stress, the other reduces it.”
  • "Kindness is love, pure, and simple.”
  • "One of the shortest paths to self-discovery is the conscious practice of kindness.”

Margot Silk Forrest explains the chilling results of unkindness. "Nothing teaches us so much about the "Nothing teaches us so much about the importance of kindness as the lack of it.” She provides true stories and eyewitness account, supportive of points made throughout the book.

Within a particular tale, I realized the difference between being nice versus being kind. This was a welcome discovery, one that literally caused me to rethink certain commitments and expectations. As Author Margot Silk Forrest states, "There is a crucial difference between being nice and being kind: One increases stress, the other reduces it.” Captivation of merely this principal offers strong enough reason to purchase this book...

[Another point she makes is this:] If we allow the unkind acts of others to outweigh the kind acts, we are robbing ourselves, and possibly allowing the 'enemies of kindness' to overtake. The author lists suspected enemies of kindness: "time, anger, pain, hatred, selfishness, self-importance, cynicism, stress, exhaustion, apathy, distrust, denial, risk aversion, pessimism, loss of faith, disdain, self-hatred, shame, and unconsciousness.”

Margot Silk Forrest also states, "Kindness has the capacity to turn the powerless into the empowered.”

She talks about the unfortunate misuse of power, but reminds us that acts of kindness show us the power that we have: "Kindness brings us into the full use of our personal power.”

Recommended: Yes

© 2003 by Lisa_J
Top Reviewer
Location: Washington State, USA
Reviews written: 596; Trusted by: 542 members

la estrella newspaper,  28 de marzo de 2003

 Un curso en bondad

Tal vez algunos dirian que la bondad ha quedado extinta, reservada simplemente para aquellas personas que son consideradas fuera de serie.

Otros tal vez creen que la amabilidad es importante para ensenar a nuestros hijos, per algo poco real en un mundo competitivo.

La autora Margot Silk Forrest intenta cambiar todo eso en su obra A Short Course in Kindness (Un pequeno curso en bondad.)

En este libro, Silk muestra el poder de la bondad y los cambios que puede ejercer en las vidas de la gente y el mundo.

Escrito de una manera sencilla y practica, la autora examina lo que pasa dentro de las personas, y despues esboza de una manera inteligente para vencer esos obstaculos para vivir una vida con bondad.

Curled Up with a Good Book  
A Short Course in Kindness

A Little Book on the Importance of Love and the
Relative Unimportance of Just About Everything Else

Margot Silk Forrest

L.M. Press
Paperback, 130 pages, April 2003 

Sometimes we find ourselves wandering through life, beaten down by the terrible things we see on the news, disheartened by the mean things people say to us, hurt by the nastiness we see in the world every day. Sometimes we just feel tired and wonder what it's all for. And then something comes along that makes us realize that every day has meaning, that every word that comes out of our mouths is a chance to change someone's life. A Short Course in Kindness by Margot Silk Forrest is one of those things that comes along and lightens your load along with opening your eyes.

In her small, 124-page book, Forrest is able to convey her feelings about kindness, give examples of small acts of kindness that have changed lives, and convince the reader that, as she says, "kindness is a revolution whose  time has come”.

It would be difficult to accept the concepts of kindness that Forrest  proposes if the author was someone who had never experienced the cruel ways of the world, someone who has only been shown kindness throughout her life. However, Forrest isn't shy in telling us that she has experienced enormous cruelty in her life, has been bogged down by depression, and has come around to see that kindness is not something you should just expect from others -- it is something you must offer.

Each of the 13 chapters in this remarkable little book begins with a true story of kindness that either the author has experienced herself or has been made aware of by her readers, or those to whom she speaks, or mentors (as well as being an author, Margot is also a public speaker and a mentor to those who want to express themselves through writing). The stories work effectively to draw the reader in, then treat them to a lesson that always hits home. By the end of the book, it's impossible not to see your fellow human beings in a different light.

In today's world, kindness is not a concept often encountered. On any given day, we experience jealousy, harshness, disinterest and apathy. We internalize these actions and often end up recycling them and aiming them at our friends, family, or strangers on the street. How often do we see the kind acts that happen every day, in everyone's life?

And, more importantly, how often do we take the initiative and create that kindness ourselves? Margot Silk Forrest's book will make you ask yourself these questions and, more importantly, will make you want to start changing the world, one kind act at a time.

 © 2003 by Angela McQuay for Curled Up With a Good Book

Mt. Shasta Magazine, January 2003
By Lisa Derr

Title: A Short Course in Kindness
Author: Margot Silk Forrest
By Lisa Derr

"Bush Warns of War."
"Sniper Hits D.C. Boy."
"Hamas Vows More Attacks."

It is easy to lose heart. In these days of threat, fear, and hate when children are taken from their own front porches, it's hard to remember how powerful love is. That is why we need a book like Margot Silk Forrest's A Short Course in Kindness, due out this spring.

"We are agents of positive change," Forrest writes in her new book. "We matter." Forrest, an author, speaker and activist, reminds us of the power of our own good deeds. She offers practical ideas on how to express our hearts and spirits even in these challenging times. The true stories of kindness she shares are revolutionary in their simplicity, from an anesthesiologist who recites poetry for a frightened patient to a pregnant young woman who prevents a lost wallet from being taken by thieves.

Forrest reminds us that true power comes from acts of goodness, no matter how small. "Kindness," she says, "has the capacity to turn the powerless into the empowered." She invites us to join her in a "Kindness Revolution," one in which loving deeds not only improve our lives but deepen our spiritual core.

A Short Course in Kindness is beautifully designed and beautifully written with tales, reflections and well-chosen quotations. The small format, quick pacing and crisp writing style make it an appealing and easy read.

Forrest draws some fascinating distinctions, such as the difference between being nice and being kind. Kindness, she says, is neither superficial nor sacrificial. It is an act of giving that is pure both in its impact and in its motivation. She also shows us that courage, empathy and the ability to receive are crucial to spreading kindness in our world.

Forrest includes ten strategies for creating a "Kindness Revolution," practical ways in which we can use the power of love in our daily lives. Kindness, she says, is a revolution where everyone wins.

"My intention in writing this book is to change the world," Forrest declares. "We can change the world because we are the world." This book shows us that the way to start is to look at and change ourselves and our lives, one kind act at a time. A Short Course in Kindness gave me more than a lesson in applied love. It offers a powerful antidote to toxic headlines and depressing news. It's a beautiful little book that inspires and heals.

Although the publication date for A Short Course in Kindness is not until April, Mt. Shasta Magazine readers can get advance copies locally at Village Books, or from the publisher's web site,

Lisa Derr is the author of A Song Between Lives, a novel about Spanish gypsies, reincarnation and flamenco, available through


L.M. Press
phone 805-771-9522 • fax 805-435-1472