Life presents us with many opportunities to be kind to each other. We all like to be treated this way, but to be kind is a decision that we need to make every single time.
But what is kindness?
Wikipedia defines kindness as behaviour marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition and consideration for others. It is considered a virtue and is a value in many cultures and religions.
So how can you practice kindness in your everyday life?
A pleasant disposition to me means to be friendly. We tend to get so caught up in the whirlwind of our busy lives, that we tend to not even notice other people. When last did you go shopping and receive a smile in passing from stranger? I know – it just doesn’t happen, right?
So why don’t you start to greet people with a friendly smile? It’s free and you might be surprised when you receive a smile in return.
But kindness is also about actions. It can be simple things, like letting someone that only have a few items go first at the till when you have a full trolley. Or instead of getting patient or angry when there is a problem with an item, rather be patient and helpful.
This happened to me recently. The lady before me had a problem with the price of an item, and the shop assistants just couldn’t manage to find the correct price. She was starting to get quite irritated and the fact that her little boy was tired and starting to fret didn’t help matters much.
I had a choice to make. I could get impatient, thereby just adding to her stress. Or leave and go to another till (which I didn’t want to do since I’ve had quite a few items already packed out). So, I’ve decided to wait patiently and assist where I can. In the end I’ve offered to look after her boy so that she could go and show them were she found the problem item.
The other day I went cycling and, on my way, saw a little car standing in the road. I’ve stopped and see if I could assist. There wasn’t much more that I could other than helping them to establish their current location (and reminding them to switch on their emergency lights!) This is often easily forgotten in a situation like this. Then I’ve just rode up and down the street until they’ve managed to call for help and provided their location.
I then went on my way, but on my way home I went passed there just to check that they are OK. At this stage the AA haven’t arrived yet, but the sister was now in the car waiting for them, while the other sister took their grandmother home. I’ve left my number with them and ask to please let me know once they’re home safe.
Now you might say, I didn’t do much. And yes, probably not. But I think in a situation like that it is always nice to see a friendly face, and it must bring some comfort to know that someone does care.
So – dear reader – do you live a life of being kind? Because mostly it may take only a little bit of your time and a friendly smile.
Please share in the comments any kind deeds you’ve done or where someone was kind to you. Either way, how did it make you feel?
Thanks for reading,