Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.Plato
I think we as a society currently lack basic human kindness toward each other. It seems we were a lot kinder to each other a mere two years ago. This saddens me. I understand the current world happenings are contributing to our inability to show kindness and I think our full, busy and stressful lives are a big contributor to our lack of kindness. We just don’t have time for it anymore and due to social distancing, we don’t have a lot of opportunities to show this value.
I have yet to find anyone who disagrees with this.
I wish someone would.
I think if we were just a little bit kinder to each other, we would all feel better, be less stressed, and feel a bit less isolated.
Karyn Hall, PhD, says “Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Affection, gentleness, warmth, concern, and care are words that are associated with kindness. While kindness has a connotation of meaning someone is naive or weak, that is not the case. Being kind often requires courage and strength. Kindness is an interpersonal skill.
Quite often I see that infamous bumper sticker “Practice Random Acts of Kindness.” I like that concept and yes, I sometimes do pay for the toll for the car behind me, although FastTrack, the automated toll payment system here in the San Francisco Bay Area, has put a slow down to that random act.
So I think random acts of kindness are great, but they are just that… random. What if I actually go through my day consciously choosing to be kind to those whose paths I cross? What if I were to be a kind and loving person? What if all my words were kind words? What if I was considerate, helpful and humane to all beings? What if I was loving and affectionate even in those moments I think someone doesn’t deserve my love and affection?
Malcolm Cohan, the founder of The Rocket Ship, has a great tool that helps me to be a kinder person in almost any situation. When I feel my kindness drain from every cell in my being toward someone else, before I react in a negative way, I just say “Totally Cool”. That’s it. Those are the magic words for me. “Totally Cool.”
This gives me that second or two to gather my thoughts and answer the question, “What kind of a human being do I want to be in this situation?”
I also challenge you to try for a few days to consciously walk through your life with an intention to be a kind person. I find in these masked times that even a hand wave is welcome to those that receive it.
When you are doing this, I hope our paths cross. Wouldn’t that be nice to come across a truly kind person when you need one the most?
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.Leo F. Buscaglia
Written by Pat Obuchowski