"the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate; a kind act."
typing the word "kindness" into your internet browser will bring approximately 160 million results; from definitions to videos, scholarly articles from professional perspectives to personal opinion pieces from self-help gurus, ongoing non-profit projects to year-long personal experiments, books, movies, and more.
finding kindness in the world may be a bit harder, because everyone seems so bent on hate and anger lately, but it's there. the best way that I've found to connect with it in my life is to Be Kind To Others for the simple reason that it uplifts both you, and the person/people you show kindness to. and what better reason do you need?
think of a time when you were kind to someone, and a time when someone was kind to you. personally, I welcome homeless friends stay with me; send my friends unsigned, art-covered postcards affirming my love for them; give rides to friends and strangers; encourage people who are struggling; regularly donate clothing and household items to the local community; smile at, and make conversation with, strangers; LISTEN to people; tell people when they've done a good job; let people in front of me in line; helped countless people move; and regularly visit an elderly friend, among other things...I don't keep a score card. acts of kindness that I have received include people letting me stay in their homes when I've been homeless; getting picked up while hitchhiking, or being given rides by friends; been the recipient of clothing and household items from my local community; had a meal paid for by a random stranger; had a community group pay for a new windshield for my car; and had friends help me move (many times), among other things. I do my best to pay these actions forward, in whatever ways I can.
can you think of ways to do more? I know I certainly can. there's always someone in your life or community struggling with something, and there's always a way to help them through. we live in a time when horrific acts of violence are taking place in many areas around the world on a daily basis, and even relatively safe communities get caught up in random terrorist actions, and incidents like these give us even more opportunity to show up with our absolute best self, and be agents of kindness and understanding. we rise by lifting others up - this reminds me of the concept of 'Ubuntu', which I will leave the explanation of to the venerable Nelson Mandela:
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