Friday, December 13, 2013

365 Inspirations—347: Kindness

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”—Gautama Buddha 

Random Acts of Kindness is a big thing these days, but I wonder if we should be tallying these up throughout our day. Afterall, shouldn't kindness come on its own accord and often without us even noticing. Deep down, it's who we really are. So instead of tallying acts of kindness, how about investigating the obstacles that keep us from being who we already are: Kind.

I don't necessarily think I'm always a kind person. I can be unreasonable when I'm focused on (or sometimes obsessed with) a project. I don't see how I am behaving with others. I may be in a hurry to get to work and cut someone off or I may not notice someone is having a bad day because I have a checklist and an agenda and I need to get things done.

I find that all this changes when I choose to slow down and tune into where I am in this moment and what I'm doing in this moment.

Many years ago, when I first started working at my job, someone slipped 'Kindness Postcard' into my mailbox in the teacher's room.

I was so surprised and thought, "Surely this person has made a mistake." Here's what the note said:

I have kept that post card on my bulletin board for almost 8 years now to remind myself that I, too, can be kind. Someone recognized it in me even if I didn't recognize it in myself.

Often we do acts of kindness without even thinking about them. Here are some:

  • Smiling 
  • Saying "hello"
  • Asking how someone is feeling
  • Offering to buy someone a coffee or a drink 
  • Cooking dinner for someone
  • Spending time with someone
  • Offering words of support 
  • Offering words of inspiration
  • Sending out blessings, prayers or positive energy
  • Offering congratulations or condolences
  • Treating yourself well

These are just a handful of ways we offer kindness without even realizing it.

When life becomes hectic or depressing, kindness takes a back seat. Gloom, hopelessness, jealousy, and stress all mask kindness. When we don't feel we have enough or we feel we are unworthy, it's very hard to be kind to others.

 Afterall, kindness starts with being kind to yourself. If you can't be kind to this precious person that you carry around every single day, how can you expect to be kind to others?

Do you feel you are kind to yourself? Do you treat yourself well?

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