Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty. / Anne Herbert
Kindness is inspiring, powerful, courageous and wise. It’s also disarming, compelling and transformative. Being kind is a vital way of bringing meaning to our own lives as well as the lives of others. Being kind allows us to communicate better, be more compassionate, and also to be a positive force in people’s lives. Kindness has its true source deep within us, and while some people are innately kind, it’s something that everyone can cultivate by choice. In any given moment, the kindness we offer to ourselves or to others affects what happens in the very next moment. The more we practice, the better we get at it.
Here are some simple ways to practice kindness:
- Smiles are powerful and contagious. Don’t hesitate to smile warmly at friends, family, colleagues and even strangers. Never stop smiling! God smiles on us each and every day. His love has no depth, his mercy no end. His arms are open wide, just step into them.
- Send hand-written thank-you notes to the people in your life who have helped you through your difficult times and had an impact on the life you have created for yourself. Receiving a hand written thank you notes delivers a special meaning and it is a personal touch.
- If you use public transport, be the first one to offer your seat to an elderly person or a pregnant woman when it is busy and there is no free seats left.
- Pay it forward can add a tremendous sense of meaning and dignity to our lives. Simply put, it feels good to give to others, whether we get back or not. How about when you are in a coffee shop next time, you could buy a coffee or cake in advance for the next customer that comes in. Imagine what a nice surprise that could be to that person when they discover that a kind stranger has paid it forward for them.
- When you see a homeless person, think about a way to help them. May be you could bring them some water, buy them some food, or give them some warm clothing, sleeping bags or blankets when the weather is cold. You could spend some time with them, listen to them and talk to them.
- Care for others genuinely around you. Most people who care for others in a selfless manner do so because of a genuine desire to help and improve the world around them. Being caring allows you to have empathy for others and to live a life based on affection, love, and compassion for the people around you. Being caring means providing a listening ear, noticing when someone needs help, and helping your community without asking for a reward
- One of most basic needs of human being is to understand and be understood. Although we hear with our ears, many of us don’t necessarily listen to what is being said. We don’t get the chance to listen when we are too quickly reacting, judging, providing solutions, and disagreeing. When we listen to others well, it makes them feel accepted, understood, important, valued and validated. Listening benefits the listener as well. It helps build trust, avoid misunderstanding, and above all it’s a true gift which we can share to uplift people.
- Ask elderly neighbours if they need anything doing. The best course of action to begin with is to make yourself known to an elderly neighbour and ask if there’s anything you can do to help. Getting older might mean that they have trouble carrying out simple jobs, that you could manage with little effort, and they will really appreciate your offer.
- Tell your loved ones that you love them regularly. Sometimes, it gets taken for granted that we love our parents, siblings, friends, spouse or our children and though they’re really important to us, we simply don’t use “those words” in normal conversation. Love is a positive energy that makes us feel good when it is received or shared. If we want to feel good all the time, we should release this energy often by expressing our love. When we express love, we make the other person also feel good. That person too, as a response, expresses love and we receive more of this positive healing energy.
- When a thought of generosity arises within you, act on it. Don’t hold back. This is important. Giving doesn’t have to be involved with material things. It could be sending flowers, a compliment, a word of encouragement, sitting with someone in time of grief or sadness. The Law of Giving is really simple: if you want more joy, give joy to others. If you want love, learn to give love. If you want happiness, help others become happy. And if you want to become wealthy, learn to help others become materially affluent. Our potential for wealth is not shown in our bank account as much as it is in the attitude of our heart.
- If someone is struggling with money problems, find a way anonymously to help them if you can. If not anonymously, out in front.
- Stop complaining. It never makes anything better, it doesn’t serve any purpose besides draining your energy and the energy of others around you, and it makes friends and family screen you out when you call, or run in different direction when they see you coming. So choose to reject negativity and be positive instead.
- Compliment others. Compliments should come from a place of genuine desire to make other people feel better. I know you’ve received a compliment before that has made you feeling good about yourself. Don’t you want to spread the love and give that kind of feeling to others?
- Always speak thoughtfully. You have the power to contribute something meaningful or hurtful. Choose your words carefully as they can be remembered years later. Always speak good words, or words that reflect who you really are. Being kind doesn’t mean that you can’t make your point or send your message across. Being kind will show that you care, regardless of the message. By sharing your compassion, you might change how someone feels about themselves or a situation.
- Think of the people in your life and be there for them when they need help. Sometime we are so caught up in our daily life and so focused on our own agendas that we forget about others ‘needs and our effect on them. If you want to be a more caring person, then you have to appreciate the people in your life as much as you can and make a habit of taking the time to help a friend or a loved one in need. If a friend or a family member is having a hard time, make sure they know that you are there for them and are available to talk and help.
- Spend some time with a senior citizen living on their own. Older people are especially vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation, and it can have a serious effect on their health. Someone who is lonely probably also finds it hard to reach out. There is a stigma surrounding loneliness, and older people tend not to ask for help because they have too much pride. You could always volunteer helping them. You could spend some time with them, listen to them and get them engaged in conversation, and make some difference in their life.
- Give Blood. Donating blood is a simple thing to do, but it can make a big difference in the lives of others.
- Encourage someone to pursue their dream. Be a haven of positive thoughts and outlooks to someone to achieve their goals. Provide them support and help them persevere their dreams when they’re looking down.
- Always say “Please” and “Thank You”, to keep you humble, to make you fully appreciate your blessings, to make you feel more optimistic, and to encourage you compassion, kindness and love.
- Always show special kindness and compassion to those who suffer. Be considerate toward people in need. By showinng compassion, not only you help others, but in essence, you help yourself too. By doing good to others we receive positivity, contentment. and peace. In this sense, the various forms of the Golden Rule are clearly based on the concept of compassion.“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion” – Dalai Lama
Kindness is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon another. If someone is in need, lend them a helping hand. Do not wait for a thank you. True kindness lies within the act of giving without the expectation of something in return.
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” / Lao Tzu