There are two things I know for sure about kindness.
- Kindness is not weak.
- Often, kindness not easy.
Kindness is often characterized as an individual who is missing his backbone. Someone who apologizes for something that’s neither his responsibility nor doing or who is standing in the background being trampled on and taken advantage of because he has no boundaries.
True kindness, however, is neither weak nor easy. It takes strength, patience, and wisdom to be kind. The “kind” acts that we do to be “nice” in order to avoid conflict, confrontation or seem mean aren’t kind at all. Unfortunately, by being “nice” we neglect the potential negative impact of our actions.
Everyone has heard of people doing random acts of kindness, and paying kind acts forward without expecting anything in return for themselves. The payout or payoff as many self-help people would say is that they get a good feeling and make their own lives happier just by doing kind acts for others. If you are kind to yourself, kind to others, and kind and gentle to the earth, as Michael J. Chase has said in speaking engagements, your life will be better. Also your relationships are sweeter and your health is much improved.
Chase is a unique person. He did not experience much kindness in his early life; rather, he endured hard times that caused him to do much soul searching. Eventually, he had a startling and profound realization that completely turned his life around. Rather than keep this new knowledge for himself along, he decided to share it with others and teach them what he had learned. The main way he did this was to write a book about the philosophy of kindness, which explains how spreading good feelings helps everyone in the world.
He’ll be the first to tell you that kindness is about much more than just being ‘nice’. Paying for the coffee for the car behind you at the drive-thru is being kind; and taking brownies in for your coworkers is kind. As he asks in “Am I Being Kind” it’s far more than just being nice, and once you discover these things deep inside yourself, you’ll truly understand its full potential for enhancing your own life.
It’s so easy to be kind if you just think about it as you go about your day. It won’t take anything from your wallet, but it certainly pays in at least a moment or two of happiness for everyone involved. When you do something kind, hopefully it encourages that person to do the same; and it continues from one person to the next and the next and the next. The result? A better outlook, a renewed sense of the good in others, a desire to be kind and experience the positive feelings for you and others. Don’t just read about it here though, try it for yourself and see how your attitude and mood changes; it’s hard to be negative or depressed after a simple act of kindness.
Even if you’re depressed and feel like you have nothing to give to others, you should realize that this is not true. The next time you have that negative attitude, turn it around by doing something kind for someone else. Share positive feelings, and in turn you will feel more positive about yourself and your life, and so will those around you. Everyone benefits when people are kind.