I recently had a pretty significant milestone birthday (29, AGAIN!), and there’s nothing like those last few minutes of an entire decade ticking down to midnight to put one into reflection mode. A LOT can happen in 10 years (marriage, kids, dogs, house, jobs…whoa) and I believe it’s actually good for our souls to reflect on how far we’ve come (with steps both forwards and backwards) in a fixed period of time.

In ancient days, it is said that on roads everywhere, menaces lurked ubiquitously. Travelers who reached another mile along their journey marked the distance they had come by adding a pebble to a pile of stones left by others before them. Such a reverently placed “milestone” was an offering of gratitude for making it that far.

This is what I think a milestone birthday truly is about: gratitude.

Someone I greatly respect sent me these words on my birthday:

“On your special day, allow me to offer you a small stone to place on your milestone. As you reflect back on your life, be kind to yourself and acknowledge with gratitude that you have arrived here. Then, take a moment to remember how kindness has lifted your spirits along the way. Remember what others did for you that gently got you here. Finally, vow to pass such power, the ability to lift spirits, forward.”

What acts of kindness have been shown to you along your journey? I have crystal clear memories of when people have been kind. They are powerful memories. Mark Twain once said that kindness is “the gift the blind can see and the deaf can hear.”

So as I enter this new decade, and whether you have too, or are leaving one, or are just hanging out in the middle, may we all go out into the world every day with gratitude, and passing along the amazing power of kindness.


-Dr. Charity Wicks


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