In the scheme of things, our lives are a millisecond in history compared to whats happened and what’s to come. As consequence, a majority of us strive to make a mark with little thought to the consequences that come with it. Our days are made up of the main prerogative of looking and analyzing our own success or likeability. Un fortunately, the times when thinking of others comes into play, is either out of benefit towards ourselves or how it comes across to the people we surround ourselves with.
Often times we forget the suffering that other’s outside our lives carry before our own. We forget that our love and understanding can be expansive. We take the kindness that we receive from others for granted and distribute little of our own. We forget to ask questions like: How have others taught me to choose kindness? How am I bringing kindness into my own life, so that I can bring it to others? You’re the start of kind. The people you surround yourself with, how you treat yourself, and the actions that you choose are what it means choose kind. Choosing kindness is more than donating money or calling a long distance friend. It is a daily practice that you choose to bring yourself and the people around you. It is a practice we often forget. To choose kindness we are extending compassion and understanding to our own and others sorrows. We are saying to others and ourselves: I hear you and I am here for you. Which I know sounds a lot like marital counseling advice, but sometimes you need to set aside your pride to accomplish a larger picture. In the end, we are choosing to allow others to speak out and suffer less; this is also the start to learning how to love.
Kindness is often something that I forget to extend to myself. It’s easy to lack understanding when we are looking at our flaws. It’s even easier to lack compassion for ourselves. Often we have the feeling of mediocrity, lack of self worth, and hatred for the things we cannot change. How do you choose kind for yourself? Do you acknowledge these flaws? Do you I hear you and I am here for you to yourself? By pushing aside your own self –hatred and by dismissing the acknowledgement of compassion for yourself you are turning away from kindness. Happiness cannot exist without the acknowledgement of suffering.
Once you can choose kindness for yourself you are able to bring it to others. You are able to extend the same amount of compassion and understanding that you would to yourself. When others treat you with hatred or bring their burdens to you, you should extend your kindness to them. Love is as expansive as you allow it to be. It’s easy to forget that others carry the same burdens that we do. By simply choosing to listen, we are choosing kindness, because we are extending our compassion and understanding to someone other than our self. In part we are starting to create an environment in which people look at you in appositive light and ar able to reflect our actions upon them and the people they love.
You can practice choosing kindness by simply being there for others. You can make someone’s day easier by doing something for him or her. You can smile and display love in the capacity of offer joy. You have the ability to choose to offer kindness everyday through active listening and the kindness you extend yourself. But more than often we forget, we get frustrated at our own suffering, and we miss the opportunities we have to practice understanding. So while mindful of how we treat others and how we treat others and how treat ourselves, remember to choose kindness.
Can you recall a time somebody was kind to you? Now change the scenario and think of a time you were kind to another person? Call to mind their reaction and how you responded.
Move into your heart and notice the feelings there. If you read no further than this point, you know that kindness affects the user and experience-leaving a lasting impression.
In this fast pace world, kindness and compassion takes a back seat to selfies, self-interest and expendable human interactions.
Every person is waiting is waiting to be discovered or become rich, believing that holds the key to their happiness. Yet when they attain success, they long for their former life having underestimated the trappings of the fame and celebrity.
I enjoy this quote by Professor David W. Orr:
“The plain fact is that the planet doesn’t need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it”
Kindness is fundamental to human existence. We are thrust into the world as newborns and enriched with the kindness of our parents’ nurturing for the following years.
Humans are the only mammals with a prolonged gestation period. Other creatures rely on support for a brief time before becoming self-reliant. We are powerless at birth and depend on our caregivers to provide for our needs.
Therefore, kindness is sewn into the framework of our DNA. We are literally wired for kindness. Each individual has opinions on how to improve world, though no one wants to practice kindness.
Do no harm
World peace will not arise from overthrowing dictatorial powers or ending conflicts between nations. It will happen when humanity raises its consciousness beyond that of fear and hatred.
I have often repeated that peace is only a thought away. Its motives emerge through kind thoughts towards oneself and others.
“Unconditional love flows through specific channels of respect, integrity, purpose, meaning, value, response-ability, forgiveness, kindness, and compassion of our new, naturally ethical lives,” says author and psychotherapist Loch Kelly in Shift into Freedom: The science and practice of open-hearted awareness.
Kindness is not something that demands hard work. It originates from the simple act of doing no harm to others.
It involves judging less; however compelled you might be to do so. The ego is quick to judge because it is victimized and hurt, so it retaliates in revenge.
Kindness, however, bites its tongue. It does not seek to be right but rather to preserve peace of mind. You gain little by giving someone a piece of your mind, other than inciting and separation. It was the Lebanese-born poet khalil Gibran who wrote:
“I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”
“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see” –Mark Twain
It might be clear to you that fighting force with force is not the way towards peace. But you might ask, does that mean allowing others to treat me unfairly?
No, not by any means, though you needn’t retaliate with overwhelming force. I am not implying you become a doormat; however I urge you to accept the lessons contained within the experience. Are you letting others treat you unfairly on some level? Or unconsciously giving them permission to do so?
“no matter how anyone responds to your kindness, just by repeating out loud the words you didn’t hear often enough or never heard at all, you guarantee yourself to be the one who exists each scene of life more healed, aligned and expanded than the moment before,” affirms author matt Kahn in whatever Arise, Love That that: “A Love Revolution that begins with you.”
Benefits of kindness.
Kindness has many benefits including increased happiness and a healthy heart. It slows down the aging process and improves relationships and connections, which indirectly boosts your health.
People believe kindness is particular to those of religious faith because of their moral vows. Kindness does not require you to be of religious faith or even spiritual. Demonstrations of kindness are observed in man’s best friend, the dog. Cats show kindness and are treasured for their emotional connection.
Kindness broadens your life’s frame of reference and is a symbol of respect to value the receiver.
It influences the giver more than the receiver and has correlations with enhanced mental, emotional and physical well being.
People believe kindness signifies weakness and being taken advantage of. Its important to delineate between kindness and being a door mat to others. You can be kind and assertive when others attempt to profit from your kindness.
Author Matt Kahn states:
“When human interactions become a way of practicing self-acceptance by treating others with more patience, kindness, and respect, a constant need to be heard shifts into listening as an act of love”
You should in no way undermine your self-worth at the expense of others, but simply practice kindness while upholding your integrity.
Be kind anyway
It’s no surprise wicked acts have a greater impression on us than acts of kindness. We are alerted to fear more than goodness.
Psychologists believe we are wired to detect that which threatens our survival and happiness. We give attention to acts of cruelty in the news because it is perceived as threat to our survival.
In these times of disingenuous social media interactions, unkindness abounds as people hide behind screens.
This does not make it appropriate to abuse others. There is a person on the other side of the screen with feelings we must take into account.
An important lesson in kindness involves asking yourself:
How would I handle being the recipient of this? If it doesn’t fell good avoid the behavior.
“Hurt is hurt, and every time we honor our own struggles of others by responding with empathy and compassion, the healing that results affects all of us,” avows author and social researcher Brene Brown in Rising Strong.
I wish to leave you with a passage from mother Teresa’s poem titled Anyway, in which she states: “People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.”
Incorporate the smallest acts of kindness into your everyday life and notice the ripple effects.
The butterfly effect in Chaos Theory asserts that a tiny event in one region of the globe can have a substantial effect somewhere else.
Armed with this knowledge, it is the Dalai Lama who reminds us that if you can’t be kind, avoid harming others.