Being kind, it seems so simple. But sometimes I feel like we forget how much it truly embodies. The definition of kindness (according to Wiki) – is a “behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others…” and there are so many ways to deliver on this virtue.
- Opening your Eyes – Notice those around you, and how they may be in need of someone who notices them. When I walk home on broadway in NYC, there’s a block I always pass, where this guy in his 20s, and his large brown bulldog lay on the sidewalk, huddled in blankets, and with random toys for the dog. I can’t help but see the sad eyes on the dog, who appears hungry and cold. Yes, I probably should have noticed the young man too, but it was the dog who made me think, I can do something here.
- Putting others first – It’s easy to put yourself first. You wake up, and you think damn I’m tired, I’m not ready to start the day. But if you think of what your day may impact, and the ones counting on you (or ones who don’t even know what you’ll bring to them yet), then your day has more meaning – and perhaps your morning will seem a little more upbeat too.
- Empathy – You never quite know what the person next to you is going through. It could be as simple as headache, but it could be as painful as heartbreak or an illness. Take the time to listen if they need it, and/or provide the space they need to get back to where they need to be.
- Forgiveness – Whether it’s forgiving yourself or a friend, sometimes just an apology is a good step. It may be hard when the pain of the emotions is still raw, but it’s the only way to move forward, and get rid of that grudge.
- A small act – I’ve noticed that when I’m at a coffee shop or store, or wherever, despite my stress or impatience to keep moving, I try to take the time to give a genuine smile (with my eyes, not just my lips), and say a thoughtful thank you or how are you. Sometimes it’s just enough to brighten their day and show you’re not just a grumpy morning commuter.
- Pay it forward – In the end it matters to give unto others, so one day when you need help, it won’t be like just asking for another favor. What goes around, comes around.
Startwith you – But in the end, it always comes back to you. Be kind to yourself, each day. Be kind to your body, you mind, and your heart.
- Mind: Give yourself a moment each day to breathe. Release the stress and tension. Just breathe.
- Body: More water. Less processed foods. Find the daily nutrition lifestyle that works for you.
- Heart: Love yourself first. Others will notice.
image source: pixabay0