It's okay to be kind. Kindness is what everyone is talking about (along with mindfulness), right? Everyone from your boss, your friends and the Uber driver is talking about kindness, and it seems like kindness is having a moment. But surely, we should all be kind, all of the time?
Being kind is more than just using your manners, or smiling sweetly. Being kind comes down to genuinely caring for yourself (being kind to yourself) and genuinely caring about others too. It's about showing compassion for ourselves and others.
Being kind can be hard
This time of year brings kindness to the front of our minds too. We convince ourselves that it's kind to buy gifts, and say yes to all requests for pre-holiday catch-ups and of course, it's kind to give generously.
Yet being truly kind can be challenging when we are busy, feeling emotional or generally overwhelmed with what life is expecting from us.
In these times, take a breath before reacting to a challenging situation and ask yourself, 'How can I stay kind through this?'
Why be kind
There are many advantages to being kind. Some of them include;
It makes you feel good; when we are kind to others, scientific research has shown we feel happier.
Kindness negates fear; when we are kind to others, we rise above our own fear. A lovely example is when we feel afraid but by helping someone else, we no longer feel afraid. Imagine if we could heal the fears in the world with a little kindness.
It takes your focus away your own worries and onto helping others.
Kindness brings people together; kindness helps others see the shared experiences that bind us.
That last one is a big one.
In the world today, it seems there are many people focused on the differences between us. Kindness reminds us we are more the same than different. When we focus on kindness and do things for others that are driven by genuine care, compassion and love, we focus on the things that unite us. We are all human: we are all flesh and blood, living beings who mourn when we lose someone we love, bleed when hurt. We all love and we all seek joy in our life.
By being kind, we ensure our shared humanity is the focus.
When you see yourself in others, it is impossible to hurt anyone else.
- Buddha -
Being kind in our life
Kindness should underlie everything you do, especially when you are at home with your loved ones.
When we tackle our life from a place of kindness we connect better with others and ensure they also feel loved and cared for. As a parent, and partner, this is of course what we desire! We want our loved ones to feel safe, secure and deeply loved.
The small things we do, those moments of kindness, can make a difference. Each time we actively choose to be kind we bring more joy to this world. Kindness brings more joy.
And that is the life-changing magic of being kind.
There is no act of kindness too small. The simplest of gestures can affect many lives for the better.
It's Okay to be kind.
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A kinder, happier life
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Wishing you a very happy and safe holiday season. Enjoy the festivities, relax with your family and friends and celebrate the end of the year.
This is the last blog post for 2017. I'll be taking a short break, then there will be new posts from January 2, 2018.
Thank you and happy holidays!