I'm sure, like most people, the general idea of
kindness brings on the thought of doing something nice
for someone else. While that is partially true, I'd
like for you to think of it a little differently. I
want you to get down to one of the core foundations of
kindness that, when practiced regularly, will help you
not only enrich the lives of others but also create a
new outlook on life for yourself.
Most of us today are so busy trying to balance work,
family, and the struggles of responsibility that we
tend to go through the motions of life while
neglecting the consideration of others. This may sound
a little harsh but think about it. The "now" society
that we live in has helped condition us to think of
"me" before thinking of "we."
How many times have you stopped in the grocery store,
while in a hurry, and happen to jump into the "slow"
lane where it seems the cashier is trying to set a
world record for the least number of checkouts per
hour? You think to yourself "Why do I always get stuck
in the slow lane?" You get up to register and instead
of making conversation with the cashier, you are so
frustrated at the time it took to get through that you
don't say a word and look away as to not make eye
contact with him/her. He or she says nothing either
and seems a little distracted, just proceeding to
check you out at a snails pace. You think "Come on, I
am in a hurry here." You walk out and think to
yourself how amazingly slow and impolite that cashier
was, how much time they cost you. What you didn't know
was that the cashier had been pulling double shifts
all week, working two jobs to pay for her son's
mounting medical bills as a result of an illness and
no health insurance.
No wonder she's a little slow and possibly not in the
best mindset possible.
This is where compassion comes in. Compassion, as
defined by Dictionary.com is as follows: "Deep
awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the
wish to relieve it."
The purpose of the illustration above is to point out
that often we tend to be in such a hurry for our own
needs that we sometimes neglect to consider the
circumstances of someone else. What if, instead of
getting upset at the cashier because she cost you a
few extra minutes, you used the time in line to strike
up a conversation with someone in line with you? You
might meet someone interesting. What if, instead of
getting upset, you actually made eye contact with the
cashier and tried to ask her about her day or perhaps
even pay her a compliment (even if you have to make
Something as simple as taking the time to be
compassionate to others, thinking of their possible
circumstances above your own and wanting to help them,
is where I believe kindness originates. Being
compassionate to others creates a chain reaction that
can change someone's day, their life, and quite
possibly their circumstances but at the very least...
I can guarantee you that it will at least change your
So today, as you encounter situations with people that
may cause you to initially become upset, I encourage
you to consider the possibilities. Consider what they
may be going through in their lives. For one second,
pretend you are them. If you were experiencing the
same situation, how would you like to be treated?
Random acts of kindness are those kind and
compassionate things we do for no reason except that,
momentarily, the best of our humanity has sprung into
full bloom. When you perform such an act, you are
doing not what life requires of you, but what the best
of your human soul invites you to do. It is when we
step outside the arena of the normal boundaries of our
lives that our kindnesses move beyond the routine and
enter the realm of the extraordinary and exquisite.
Instead of being responsible good deeds, they become
embodiments of compassion. For it means you have moved
beyond the limits of your daily human condition to
touch wings with the divine."
We all know the world could use some changing. All one
need do is open a newspaper or turn on the television
to sample the sadness, anger, violence, and
hopelessness that surrounds us. Many have thrown up
their hands in frustration with their seeming
inability to "make a difference" in this
all-too-tumultuous world. We can make positive changes
and alter the focus of our surrounding from negativity
to kindness and caring. Human kindness dwells in our
hearts, all too often reserved for specific people and
occasions instead of being offered every day to the
public at large.
Kindness shares many meanings to many different
people. A simple smile or something more dramatic can
have the same positive effect. Sure, you may get
strange reactions from some people who you give the
gift of kindness to but don't despair... As a whole,
our society is not used to someone doing something for
them with honest, genuine intentions. It's up to you
to change that, one kind act at a time. We must be the
change we wish to see in the world.
Below are just a few ideas practice giving the Gift of
• Hold a door open for someone.
• Say something nice to someone. Compliment.
• Help someone with their groceries or bags.
• Send thank you cards to friends and
business associates, for no particular reason.
• Offer to help an elderly neighbor with
their household chores.
At first it's hard as you may think you don't have the
time to do these things. Try it. You'll find that the
benefit far outweighs the effort. You will get back
10x more than what you put in! This we can say without
a doubt as research has proven that by practicing
kindness toward your fellow man, YOU will actually
benefit more than the recipient. Kind people have been
found to be more thankful, less stressed, and overall
leading healthier lives.
Every kind act, no matter how small, is like a pebble
tossed into the pond of human caring... the rings
reach out far beyond the point of impact; the action
of our kind deed acts more kindly toward the people
around them, those people act more kindly toward the
people around them, and so it goes, on and on.
- TSK. Raman
Do preserve yourself & others while evolving continuously...