We usually know what the kind thing to do is – and kindness when it is done to us, and register its absence when it is not. We are never as kind as we want to be, but nothing outrages us more than people being unkind to us. There is nothing we feel more consistently deprived of than kindness; the unkindness of others has become our contemporary complaint. Kindness consistently pre-occupies us, and yet most of us are unable to live a life guided by it.
Kindness is a good habit and it has a reverberating effect that echoes and creates waves for a good life. Helping others brings a deep satisfaction to both – the receiver of the help, and the one who provides the help. By recognizing another’s need for help and acting on it in a compassionate manner, makes the recipient feel valued. It also brings a feeling of pride for the giver and they feel better about themselves. Over time people who do good deeds develop a happy and joyful personality that attracts those they associate with. Like a magnet, kindness begets kindness. Kindness makes people want to be around us. One of the most common responses to kindness is gratitude – and that means people appreciating what we’ve done for them and seeking out our company.
- Do one kind thing for yourself each day which doesn’t involve buying something. Congratulate yourself on your achievements, or have a long, relaxing soak in the bath!
- Do one kind thing for someone else each day. Open the door, give a genuine compliment, or donate some money. Do something, anything, as long as it helps somebody else.
- Resist any urges to be unkind. Stop and reflect: What are you hoping to achieve from this? And if someone is unkind to you, don’t take it personally.
“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino