“Kindness, like everything in Nature, continues to grow until it dies.”
Bring up the subject of kindness and there will be little disagreement that this world can always use more of it. However, what I learned about writing the last few articles on the subject (click here to read last week’s), was that many have a slightly different perspective on its uses and applications. Nevertheless, all of the responses indicated optimistic and uplifting actions.
Then what is the one thing that each of us should know and understand about kindness?
First I have a confession to make. I am not a big fan of “The only thing you need to know…” headline because it is typically a quick and unimaginative attempt at grabbing readers’ attentions; however, it was precisely what I wanted to do here.
Prior to unveiling my answer, let’s approach that question from a slightly different angle. What steps could or should be taken to create a kinder world? What recommendations would you make for kindness to become more prevalent on this planet?
Certainly there are far too many examples of completely opposite behaviors. Men and women who were entrusted to help lead us out of difficult times, are instead using name calling, divisive and degrading actions which will never yield the fruitful results they intended. These very same actions, no doubt, we would punish our children for using.
Which leads us back to “the one thing that everyone needs to know about kindness.” I wish it were as simple as the snap of a finger or shouting a magic word but the one thing we all need to know is this: it falls back on us! We, individually, must be the keepers and caretakers of kindness. We must be the perpetuators of this magnificent virtue.
If for one moment your solution was to expect others to change their behaviors, it is completely understandable; that type of thinking, however, can be a stumbling block to the problem. Trying to make others change is the same reasoning those elected officials emanate their appalling actions. Individually, each one of us needs to be the source and inspiration by our actions because they truly do speak louder than our words.
Additionally, wanting others to change could be an excuse not to do some introspection and soul-searching of our own. There is only one person on this planet whom we can change and that is our self . While we do have opportunities to influence and inspire others, that is also confirmed by, and with, our actions.
Kindness is a virtue which has no limits. If put into practice, it will only multiply. If bottled up, it will suffocate and die. This week, enrich your life by using kindness at some difficult moments and tell us about it in the comments.
My thanks to Oksana Rus for the beautiful painting. She can be found on LinkedIn and Facebook and her art can be purchased at etsy.com