In a World Where You Can be Anything, Be Kind

Practicing kindness can change us (and our communities) from the inside out. Here is how (and why) kindness should be our first instinct.

By Perfect Agnes ~

Be Kind Lifeism

We are so obsessed with our insecurities that thinking of someone else is the last thing on our minds. We gas ourselves over privileges afforded to us, looking at them not as gifts but as something that should be ours. Most times, we fail to extend that same grace to others.

Perhaps if we looked up from our wounds, we would see others as equally deserving, show empathy, and exercise human kindness. It does not take much to be kind, but that display of thoughtful consideration and gentleness toward others goes a long way. It blossoms into peaceful co-existence and boosts the power of belonging to the human side.

Defining Kindness

The dictionary describes kindness as the gift of being considerate, generous, and friendly. Kindness requires a tender heart - that is quick to recognize the humanity in others and empathize without losing integrity. Kindness does not mean compromising ethical practice. It is a means of enforcing the truth with grace and gentleness.

Human kindness is the use of one's gifts, resources, and time, to better the lives of others. It is a selfless and genuine act that cuts across religion, philosophy, and psychology. In religious circles, kindness is the highest form of power against enemies. It takes more mental and physical strength to overcome hate with kindness than revenge.

In philosophy, kindness exists in a concept known as altruism, where one random act of kindness generates a ripple effect of generosity in society. Psychology emphasizes compassion for self and others. Self-kindness spurs contentment boosts self-worth and builds resilience.

Kindness to others is also beneficial to your mental health. Watching your neighbor thrive from your support and encouragement releases feel-good hormones that stimulate relaxation, pleasantness, happiness, and contentment. Many find the meaning of life by extending compassion to others. Building others activates the reward pathway in the brain, stimulating pleasure.

Kindness in Literature

Milk of Kindness

In Shakespeare's Macbeth, Lady Macbeth complains that her husband is full of the milk of kindness, which he uses to kill their enemies. The lady means her warrior husband uses kindness as a choice weapon to slay his enemies. The lady fears her husband's tenderness hinders him from rising to the throne by killing the king.

Kindness is an exceptional weapon that cuts through the walls of hate and indifference. It melts the mightiest strongholds. In today's world, there is no place for forbearance or empathy. There is no thriving nor co-existing in diversity. Everyone wants their way or the highway. Opposers have become adversaries with sinister motives deserving judgment, hate, wrath, and hell. Woe to you if your perceptions, beliefs, and reasoning do not agree with the rest. A little kindness can go a long way.

The Dalai Lama's Philosophy on Kindness

"The more you nurture a feeling of kindness, the happier and calmer you will be" is one of the famous Dalai Lama quotes. It shows the benefits of gentleness in this hate-filled world. In his book, The Power of Kindness, he explains how tender hearts get to enjoy inner peace and happiness.

Dalai Lama also says the foundation of human existence is interdependence - helping others and receiving the same support. The interrelation fosters peace because everybody gets value from this outlook. Kindness also grows your inner strength, spurring you to continue on the benevolence path.

Compassion also builds self-confidence because it increases your self-worth. It stimulates a love for others that overcomes unhealthy competition, vain ambition, and the destructive desire to subdue. A boost in self-worth overcomes fear and the constant urge to prove yourself to others.

The Need for Kindness in Today's World

Kindness is not an outdated concept that prevailed during Shakespeare's era. It is urgently something that is needed today. Our society has magnified hostility and offensiveness to humongous proportions.

Everybody is tapping into this negativity. It is no wonder that suicide rates across all age groups are at an all-time high. Mental conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are commonplace today.

People are advocating for kindness in today's society using a creative outlet.

Kindness in the Media

The Kindness Diaries

The Netflix docuseries, The Kindness Diaries, gives a glimpse of a compassionate world. In the series, Leon Logothetis, the lead actor, travels around the world on his motorcycle, relying on the kindness of strangers. He, in turn, rewards them in unexpected yet touching ways.

Logothetis does not accept money. The help comes as food, shelter, or gas. He also interacts with the kind locals, finds their dreams and aspirations and pays it forward.

The whole series is inspirational. It humanizes strangers. It shows that compassion is a need for every human. If altruism works, you can pass generosity forward and create a ripple effect of tender-hearted humans.

In a world that is becoming entitled to correctness and selfish ambition, dare to choose kindness. It does not always have to be money. You can be the stranger that listens.

Kill Em' With Kindness

Selena Gomez's Kill Em With Kindness is another masterpiece on the power of compassion. The singer encourages listeners to reward hate with kindness. Instead of igniting an online war, put out the fire.

She continues to say when you indulge in hate, a piece of our humanity dies. Words are powerful and capable of forming perceptions and influencing beliefs. They push people to suicide and depression. Selena says, your mouth is a gun. Indeed, it is a weapon of mass destruction in a war vessel. It can also breed happiness and peace. Therefore, go ahead and kill em' with kindness.

Try a Little Kindness

Glen Campbell's Try A Little Kindness is another masterpiece song for encouraging the masses to try compassion. In the song, Campbell says, a little kindness overlooks the blindness and narrow-mindedness that divides society.

A little kindness lends a helping hand to an overwhelmed brother. It points the wayward sister in the right direction. It is attentive to the down and out and does not capitalize on rightness. It does not speculate on the needy's deservingness.

How to Choose Kindness Daily

In a world full of meanness, you can be an agent of change through a random act of kindness. Hatred breeds contempt - a ripple effect that destroys families, societies, and nations. Another person does not have to commit suicide for humans to be merciful. You do not need a reason to be kind. The other party being human is reason enough.

Here are practical ways to make the world a better place through kindness.

Become a Peace Ambassador

Do not gloat over your rightness, virtues, or political correctness at the expense of another person's peace of mind. If they are wrong, admonish with love. Try to bring out their error in a compassionate way. Chances are they may be oblivious to their perception.

Sometimes, let the argument go for the sake of peace. Remember, you can only change yourself in this world. No amount of hurling insults, death threats, or degrading can inspire change. It only fosters resentment and defensiveness.

The opposite is proper. A kind answer turns away wrath. People are willing to listen to you or understand your supposition if they see that you care. Therefore, strive for peace without compromising on facts. Let the affected entity know you care and respect their sentiments and acknowledge their contribution.

Practice the Art of Listening

People often rush to give an opposing argument instead of understanding what the other party is saying. Instead of rushing to defend your position, listen to what the other person is saying. Learn not to personalize their response - the speaker or keyboard warrior is not attacking or belittling you. They are projecting their hurt, frustration, insecurities, or lack of knowledge.

Ask questions. Let the person elaborate further on their supposition. You will realize that their objections are valid because of their experience or situation. You cannot understand or empathize if you consider their rhetoric offensive. You will only be looking for a weightier comeback or an equally damning response.

Additionally, do not be quick to identify faults. Overflow with the milk of human kindness by letting the communicator reach the same conclusion through their reasoning. Your humanness weakens their defenses. Chances are they are going to return the favor. It causes them to reflect on their response and mind their language.

Seek to Hash Things Out in Private

Extend that olive branch when things are getting heated. Resolve to sort out the misunderstanding privately. Usually, other non-discerning followers fan the flame of hate, turning it into an inferno. Ensure the conversation does not end up in a bitter name-calling exchange. If you cannot reach an amicable solution, resolve to step back and let it slide.

If you are having this heated exchange with a colleague or loved one. Have a private conversation or send them an email or message. Let them know you care and that the issue should not come between your relationship.

Capitalize on Passing Compliments

It is easy to find fault, criticize, and cancel people for doing wrong. However, everybody deserves a second chance. Nobody made you judge and jury for anyone's life trajectory. Encourage the person to do better now that they know better.

In a heated debate, pick out the points that stand out - the ones that challenge your thinking. Let the other person know they have valid points, and keep the compliment genuine. Keep quiet if you cannot find anything to commend.

Be A Voice of Encouragement

In this era of unhappy internet users, you can hardly find people lifting each other. Even people in the same religion - holding the same value are at each other's throats over belief differences. There is a bandwagon of discouragement making rounds. Choose to encourage every time.

Let the person at the tail end of receiving insults know that someone sees and understands their unfair treatment. Let them know that they can find a friend in you. Remind them not to take the insults to heart.

Give Someone a Hug

Physical contact is rear these days. Many people go for days without interacting with others. Greet your neighbor. Invite that new member to your group. Always give that warm smile and a thank you to that coffee server struggling through their shift.

Give a warm hug to your overwhelmed friend. Hold your loved ones close. The world is cold. Let them know there is room in your warm embrace.

Practice Loving Kindness Meditation

Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) is a self-care technique to increase inner peace and your capacity to connect with others. The compassion-based intervention is vital for perfecting your tender heart. It encourages you to look at your deeds with kindness.

Talk to yourself as you hug or stretch. Encourage and motivate yourself in the process. Pat yourself in the back for doing great. You gave your best with your limited resources and knowledge. You can do better next time. Besides, other doors will open. Refuse to let uncertainty cloud your judgment. Resolve to take the next step and trust the process.

Say Thank You and Please

Our society thrives on making demands, especially within the confines of our rights. Remember, another human being is at the receiving end. Let gentleness prevail. Shouting, impatience, and insults do not need to accompany your demands. You can correct them with grace.

Meekness does not mean weakness, and neither does it equate to compromise. It is a courteous assertion. Therefore, give your thank yous and please generously. Always accompany them with a warm smile. You could brighten someone's day by acknowledging their effort.

Have a Kindness Week

Purpose to randomly bless others. Through these simple everyday actions.

  • Pay a meal for a stranger
  • Hold the door for the person coming past you
  • Help a stranger get their shopping across the road.
  • Send an encouraging message to a colleague to let them know you recognize their effort.
  • Compliment a stranger
  • Have a conversation with a stranger
  • Ask your neighbor how they are doing
  • Buy a homeless person a meal

Whatever you do, let kindness rock in your physical location and conversations online. Ask your compassion recipients to pass it forward. The world needs more random acts of kindness.


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