How Much Kindness Can You Afford?
by Michael Feeley
This article on kindness was first published at Arianna Huffington’s – Thrive Global.
I’m grateful to share it with you.
♦ ♦ ♦
We’re built for kindness. We each have an unlimited space in our hearts and minds that can hold limitless amounts of kindness with the ability to give it out constantly. It’s an emotional wellspring that can never go dry, no matter how cold or selfish you may act. In a split second you can make a choice to be kind with genuine politeness,
a courteous gesture, a smile or a pleasant thought.
Sometimes kindness is about money. Giving to a charity or helping someone out who is in need. It’s also about other things.
Kindness means thinking about other people and what they deserve.
Kindness is meant for yourself too. We don’t usually think about being kind to ourselves or to find out what that means. Perhaps eating better, taking time to relax in nature or doing the things we love most.
If you’re kind to others you’re being kind to yourself because you’re being useful, benevolent, generous in a way that doesn’t hurt you. All the good things you were born with.
You can even be kind to people you don’t like because, you owe it to yourself to like how you think about other people, even if you never see or speak to them again. It will bring you peace of mind and heart.
Kindness is tough
It’s not just sweet sentiment off a greeting card or giving a gift to be liked. It can be tough, even fierce especially if you’re trying to stop someone from hurting themselves — caring enough that someone else be true and kind to themselves in mind, body and soul. You fight for the best thing in somebody and again, that can include your self.
So what does it cost you to be kind?
Just the loss of selfishness… me, me, me, me needs to be kicked aside so you can freely think about someone else. It means having empathy for them. Putting yourself into their lives — stepping into their shoes – trying to feel what they feel – wanting to understand what goes on in their minds. What are their hopes and fears, longings and dreams? It’s not easy. It’s hard work! What’s called ‘emotional labor’ — seeing another for who they truly are and when you’re actually able to do it, it’s immensely gratifying. You’ll feel and see the profound good effects empathy has on you and also another.
How kind to be seen for who you are! Isn’t that what we’re all hoping for?
We’re talking humanity!
The Roman philosopher Seneca tells us:
“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.”
How will you be kind to the next human being? Take the opportunity. Don’t miss it.
Can’t we all afford to live like that?
Thanks – Michael
Please pass this post along.
And also take a look at – Be Aware of Your Choices.