Did you ever say “Good morning” to a stranger and have them look at you as if you were crazy? Sure…they may have been deep in thought or mulling over a personal problem, but was your greeting that unusual to warrant the reaction you received? What does it say about that person, much less about the world at large? Is being kind so uncommon that “Good morning” can make someone feel uncomfortable? Or is a simple act of kindness one of those things that we need more of today?
Kindness is the one gift that you can keep on giving.
A Simple Act of Kindness Can Go a Long Way
For some folks, being kind is second nature, while for others it’s a chore. You have to wonder why some people go out of their way to be mean. After all, being kind doesn’t require any more effort than being cold and callous does. But some people seem to prefer it that way. They’re either too darn busy, too self-absorbed, or can’t be bothered to make the effort.
In reality, being kind is a mindset more than an activity — you put others first rather than making everything about yourself. Consider some of the ways to show that you care:
You can remember someone’s name, call for no reason, lend an ear, give a compliment, hold the door open, give up your seat, give your undivided attention, remember a special occasion, steer the conversation to the recipient, answer an email promptly, show someone the ropes, let someone go first, share the credit, write a thank-you note, pass on something of interest, or simply smile.
The possibilities are endless. As Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
Being kind is so easy, yet some folks make it seem so hard.
The Benefits of Being Kind
Being kind will do as much for you as for the recipient. Here are 10 benefits of being kind:
Make someone’s day. Take satisfaction in knowing that you put a smile on someone’s face.
Develop good habits. When you look for opportunities to be kind, you force yourself to see the good in the world.
Enhance your self-esteem. Being kind makes you feel good about yourself.
Forget your woes. Instead of obsessing over your own problems, shift your focus toward others. You’ll earn karma points in the process.
Build stronger relationships. You’ll build stronger relationships because people tend to mirror the treatment they receive from you.
Be a role model. Take pride in knowing that you’re a positive role model and that others may emulate your behavior.
Improve your health. Reduce stress and anxiety, improve heart health, and even increase your lifespan by being a kind and caring person.
Enhance your success. Being kind will come back to you in spades — because people gravitate to those who are positive and caring.
Make a difference. Know that you’re making the world a better place one act of kindness at a time.
Pay it forward. Others will likely pay your benevolence forward. After all, kindness is contagious.
Be One of a Kind
Being kind and compassionate shouldn’t be something that you’re coerced into doing. It also shouldn’t be about fulfilling an obligation or relieving guilt by writing a fat check.
Kindness should come from your heart and be given freely. What’s more, if you give of yourself because you feel obliged, you lose something very special: the satisfaction of knowing that you’re willfully making a difference — even if it’s in a small way.
You don’t have to be rich to give; your gift can be as simple as a smile.
If you think we need more kindness in the world, you’re not alone. But compassion isn’t something that you can demand or shame others into giving; the best way to encourage kindness is to lead by example. So stand up and be counted. The fact is, an act of kindness may take only a minute, but its impact can be lasting.
Are You Kind?
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