Kindness is easy … right? It’s the golden rule: Treat others how you wish to be treated. But all too often it seems to be a tall order. In an increasingly pessimistic society, it becomes easy to focus on the negative. Stories rife with tragedy make headlines daily, making the positive easy to overlook. Yet as Plato, the renowned Greek philosopher, so wisely penned, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Indeed, the importance of kindness rests in the unique ability of each individual to choose the perspective with which they view the world. Herein lies the first crucial component of kindness. Keeping a positive outlook enables you to affect the outcome of your day and the attitude of those around you. Be proud of who you are, what you believe in, and be conscious of the fantastic gifts you have to give the world. By loving yourself, it becomes easier to share care and compassion with others.
Equally as important, turn your thoughts and emotions into words and actions. Changing your thinking will help improve your attitude, simultaneously increasing your ability to go the extra mile. There is no such thing as a “lesser” act of kindness. Whether it’s a simple smile or a big gift, these acts will be returned in big ways.
Kindness makes us feel connected, less alone and respected. It is a lesson each one of us can and should grow in daily. Our children deserve to live in a world of possibilities and hope, not pessimism and fear. The next time you’re running late, spilled coffee all over the center console and absolutely don’t have a second to spare, take a deep breath and exhale positive affirmations. Let the mom dragging four kids and half the grocery store cut in line. Leave an extra dollar for your waiter who may be a university student and could probably use the money. Even if it feels like you’re getting nothing in return, take a leaf out of Nike’s book and just do it!
Showing kindness to others not only puts us in a good mood, but it also makes the recipient feel happy as well. When we are kind, we are telling the other person that we care about them and their wellbeing. Kindness creates a sense of connection between people and can make us feel less alone in the world. It is also a sign of respect. By being kind to others, we are showing that we respect them and their feelings.