Kindness- A New Normal

kindnessLately, we have been seeing so many unkind things happening in our world that I really feel the need to be extra kind for no particular reason. I just think that in so many ways, “Be kind” is some advice that many of us need to hear right now.

Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. While many think that kindness is related to someone being naive and weak, it really is not the case. When we make the decision to be kind, we are showing strength and courage.

Kindness is a willingness to celebrate someone else’s success, give a kind word or a smile, opening a door, helping the elderly or a neighbor, giving a compliment, donating old clothes…noticing when someone is suffering and meeting their need among many other things. Being kind just feels good, doesn’t it? When you do something for someone that they were not expecting, big or small, it just feels good. It feels good to ignore our tendency to be distrusting and unbothered, to assume positive intent, to just be good to kindness2someone despite it all.

When you decide to be kind, you can change your world and the world of those effected by you. You know how good it feels when you tell someone that you appreciate them, when you let someone go ahead of you, or when you give someone a compliment. It feels good for you as I am sure most people appreciate your kindness.

Because things are weird everywhere we go lately…I say, just be kind!

For the most part, I am genuinely kind. I love to help people. I love to give when I can, whether it is something tangible or just a smile or compliment, that is just how I am built.

The way people have been behaving and feeling in these recent times can make it hard for you to want to be kind to them. I do have to admit that I am not ALWAYS in the mood to be kind, especially when I know it will not be appreciated. Can we rewire our mind to react to things in our life with a default of kindness?

kindness4As hard as it may sound right now, I believe that you can! I am attempting to be intentionally kind and it really hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. The thing that has helped me to be kind to others has been to hold my judgment of the person for later…period. Half of the time, I don’t even give it a second thought and that’s the point.  Do not judge! I mean seriously….snap judgments that we make cause us to withhold being kind to others, not to mention, they can put us in a bad mood. So…hold your judgment.

For example…

  • Your date is a no-show…instead of calling them everything but a child of God, realize that an emergency may have come up, something may have happened to them…life can get crazy. Things happen to all of us that stop our plans in their tracks.
  • They mess your order up in the drive-thru line. We can’t all get every single thing right all day long. We can just wait for them to correct the mistake. It is not that serious. We never know what has happened to them to get them off track.
  • Someone cuts you in line….take a deep breath. Maybe they just weren’t paying attention because they are thinking about some bad news they received?  We never know but no need to ruin the rest of our day.

If we can work to reduce our snap judgments of anger, distrust, cynicism, or jealousy, wekindness1 will have more room for kindness and understanding. We all have a choice. We can walk around choosing to be rude, choosing to hate, hold resentment, or whatever…or we can just be kind. I am choosing kindness….(praying that I can follow through because some people…anyway)

Making kindness your default reaction will impact your life more than you know. Of course we cannot guarantee that the same kindness will be shown back to us…that is just life. We are only accountable for how we live our own life and we all know that we get what we give in this life.

The more we train our brain to react with kindness, the easier it will be to just be kind…even and especially to ourselves. People mask their pain through mean acts and words…when we realize that, we will see it in ourselves when we react/respond to others.

kindness3We can’t forget that kindness includes being kind to ourselves. Are you treating yourself kindly? Speaking to yourself sweetly? Are you motivating yourself the way you do your friends and family?

We are given many opportunities throughout a day to practice kindness. I believe that kindness is one value that can add more satisfaction to our lives and strengthen our current relationships and  building a bridge to new ones.

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