Wired For Kindness
Can you recall a time somebody was kind to you?
Now change the scenario and think of a time you were kind to another person? Call to mind their reaction and how you responded.
Move into your heart and notice the feelings there.
If you read no further than this point, you know that kindness affects the user and the experiencer - leaving a lasting impression.
In this fast pace world, kindness and compassion takes a back seat to selfies, self-interest and expendable human interactions.
Every person is waiting to be discovered or become rich, believing that holds the key to their happiness. Yet when they attain success, they long for their former life having underestimated the trappings of fame and celebrity.
I enjoy this quote by Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, David W. Orr: “The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.”
Kindness is fundamental to human existence. We are thrust into the world as newborns and enriched with the kindness of our parents’ nurturing for the following years.
Humans are the only mammals with a prolonged gestation period. Other creatures rely on support for a brief time before becoming self-reliant. We are powerless at birth and depend on our caregivers to provide for our needs.
Therefore, kindness is sewn into the framework of our DNA. We are literally wired for kindness.
Each individual has opinions on how to improve the world, though no one wants to practice kindness.
Do No Harm
World peace will not arise from overthrowing dictatorial powers or ending conflicts between nations. It will happen when humanity raises its consciousness beyond that of fear and hatred.
I’ve often repeated that Peace Is Only A Thought Away. Its motives emerge through kind thoughts towards oneself and others.
“Unconditional love flows through specific channels of respect, integrity, purpose, meaning, value, response-ability, forgiveness, kindness, and com passion - and these form the foundation of our new, naturally ethical lives,” says author and psychotherapist Loch Kelly in Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness.
Kindness is not something that demands hard work. It originates from the simple act of doing no harm to others.
It involves judging less, however compelled you might be to do so.
The ego is quick to judge because it is victimised and hurt, so it retaliates in revenge.
Kindness, however, bites its tongue. It does not seek to be right but rather to preserve peace of mind.
You gain little by giving someone a piece of your mind, other than inciting conflict and separation.
It was the Lebanese-born poet Khalil Gibran who wrote: “I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”
It might be clear to you that fighting force with force is not the way towards peace. But you might ask, does that mean allowing others to treat me unfairly?
No, not by any means. Though you needn’t retaliate with overwhelming force. I’m not implying you become a doormat, however I urge you to accept the lessons contained within the experience. Are you letting others treat you unfairly on some level? Or unconsciously giving them permission to do so?
“No matter how anyone responds to your kindness, just by repeating out loud the words you didn’t hear often enough or never heard at all, you guarantee yourself to be the one who exits each scene of life more healed, aligned and expanded than the moment before,” affirms author Matt Kahn in Whatever Arises, Love That: A Love Revolution That Begins with You.
Benefits of Kindness
Kindness has many benefits including increased happiness and a healthy heart. It slows down the aging process and improves relationships and connections, which indirectly boosts your health.
People believe kindness is particular to those of religious faith because of their moral vows. Kindness does not require you to be of religious faith or even spiritual. Demonstrations of kindness are observed in man’s best friend, the dog. Cats show kindness and are treasured for their emotional connection.
Wired For Kindness