Have you experienced kindness before? Or been kind to someone? How does it feel? Isn’t it an ethereal experience? It is wonderful, how it passes on from one to the next, with a ripple effect on the world.
Small acts of affection, care, warmth, generosity and concern can shower you with inexplicable happiness and satisfaction. Might just be a passing smile to a stranger, a few gentle words spoken to a child, thanking someone or giving a honest compliment; kindness is never wasted. Mogan Freeman once said “how do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.”
As we know, humans are the only species in the world that requires such a great deal of care post birth. A reason why we depend so much on the kind acts of our parents who nurture us for long years. Kindness is thus hardwired in our DNA. We are caring and concerned about others instinctively. Though the greatest kindness is when you shower it upon someone who expected it the least. When you ignore someone’s wrongdoing and just let it be, shrugging it off as no big deal.
We have a lot to learn about kindness from the revered Paramhansa Yogananda. He said “In order to be kind, it is not necessary to agree about everything, but if you do disagree, always remain calm and courteous. It is human weakness to get angry and scold, but it shows Divine strength to be able to hold the reins over the wild steeds of your temper and speech. No matter what the provocation may be, behave yourself, and by calm silence, or by genuine kind words, show that your kindness is more powerful than the other person’s ugliness, and that before the mellow light of your forgiveness all the gathered hatred of years in your enemies will melt away.”
So, how do we practice this amazing act? You can look at the following:-
Be kind to self
Practice always begins at home. Start with being kind to yourself. Doesn’t matter if you missed a deadline, didn’t cook well or damaged your new car. Be kind to yourself & allow yourself one more chance.
Start with small things
Kindness comes in small packages. Do not wait to express it in big ways. Consider daily life things like opening the door for someone or lifting some weight from an elderly as equally important acts of kindness as helping someone with their debts or adopting a child.
Focus on strengths, not weaknesses
We all have a fair share of weakness that we try hard to hide. Kindness demands you to ignore that and focus on the strength. Appreciate people for what they can do and help them get ahead with heightened confidence.
Expect no rewards
The best act of kindness is when you expect nothing in return. Better even if the audience is not aware of what you did for them. You can give some money to the shopkeeper to distribute sweets amongst poor children or fund a child’s education. What you gain in the end is simply peerless.
Kindness is contagious. The more you give, the more it spreads. Now, go and pour as much as you can into the Universe.