Kindness – The actor, Robin Williams, once said ‘Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always’. What beautiful words and how very true , we really have no idea of what might be going on for every person we meet each day.
Kindness such a small word really, however, the act of being kind can have such a powerful and lasting effect on those we meet. Sometimes we are not even aware of the impact one small gesture can have for someone. I know that several acts of kindness by strangers over the years have left lasting positive feelings for me and remembering them always causes me to smile and feel much better inside – the lady in the supermarket who let me go ahead of her in the queue when I was in a rush, the gentleman who gave me his daily parking ticket when he was leaving and I was arriving into the hospital car park, the small child who gave me a huge big smile and held eye contact with such joy, a friends dog who greeted me with pure love and excitement every time I visited.
Kindness can be defined as behaving in a generous, friendly and considerate way to others, without any expectation of praise or reward. Being kind, having a kindness attitude on a daily basis at times can be really easy, especially when we are in good form, the sun is shining and life is good. However being kind when we are tired, stressed or hassled can be a whole other ‘ball game’ as they say!
On the NLP Courses one of the activities that participants do in between modules is to practice random acts of kindness, on a weekly basis (without letting the other person know if at all possible). It’s always really interesting to read how people feel, what they experience when they help others. Studies have been carried out in the USA that show that people who practice kindness, who operate from a place of kindness, an attitude of kindness are happier in themselves.
With the arrival of COVID-19, I introduced a second element in relation to practicing kindness, I now ask everyone to do at least one act of kindness for themselves, at least once a week and more often if possible. It’s amazing the power of this exercise for people. So many people admit to finding it challenging to do an act of kindness for themselves, they find it much easier to be kind to others, they’ve forgotten to include themselves. It’s a heart-warming experience to read the various (and mostly relative simple) acts of kindness that people do for themselves and wonderful to read how they’ve felt afterwards.
So as you read this Blog, I wonder what act(s) of kindness you can do for yourself today, this week and over the coming weeks. Notice for yourself how you are inside when you do this, notice what’s different and how specifically it’s different for you. Enjoy being kind to yourself.