Kindness is the missing link
Kindness is what's missing in this world. Yet most people don't understand what kindness is - because no one has been kind to them.
The old Oxford Dictionary of English defines kindness as ‘the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate’. This indicates that all three of those conditions are required for kindness to be present.
My motto in life is to make at least one person smile every day or feel good/better about themselves. I'm also a big fan of a living eulogy. I've never understood why at funerals people pour out their hearts over their loved ones they lost and yet most people will never be complimented whilst alive.
A living eulogy marks our appreciation or gratitude for someone who has powerfully and positively contributed to the quality of our lives. As the name implies, it's a tribute or speech celebrating a living person. I'm not suggesting we go around writing speeches. But what we can do is be kind, be generous, be considerate and compliment people. There's always something nice to say to or about someone.
Research shows us that kindness can boost feelings of confidence, is associated with well-being, lowers stress, helps with being in control, advocates happiness and optimism. Isn't this exactly what we all need right now? The world needs healing and kindness is up there right at the top!
And best of all? Kindness is contagious. When we engage in pro-social behaviours, people who benefit from them are likely to turn around and 'pay it forward.' This creates a wonderful ripple effect where it encourages humans to keep being kind. When something feels good, humans want to repeat the behaviour.
I'd be lying if I'd say that being and practicing kindness is easy for everyone. Sometimes we have to set an intention and work at it. So why not make being kind your intention for 2023?
So, how do you go about this? Start small. Look around you. Start complimenting people. It could be what they are wearing, their hairstyle, their smile, their generosity towards you. It makes such a difference to how people will feel about themselves. It's truly transformative. Then observe how it makes you feel....
Lastly, let's not forget that kindness is something we need to show ourselves too. Being kind to yourself is not just a nice idea, it’s an essential form of self care and a vital foundation for sustained kindness to others. It all goes hand in hand.
Go on, make a point of showing yourself and those around you some kindness. You’ll feel better for it. Why not take a look at our gratitude map. It might give you ideas.