Kindness. Benevolence. Compassion.
Do you want to change the world? Be kind. Kindness and compassion have a long-lasting and far-reaching effect. Mother Theresa said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.”
Consider words uttered by a teacher, mentor, coach, boss or elder in your life who encouraged you to pursue your dream when life was uncertain. Simple words acknowledging your talent, skill or insight may have set you on a path toward your destiny.
The present Dali Lama has influenced the world for decades by advocating kindness. “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” Simple acts of kindness can alter major events. I heard a radio story of a teenager determined to commit suicide one night. That day in high school, a girl said hello to him in the hall. He decided not to go through with his plans because she had ‘seen’ and talked to him. Later he called a suicide hotline. This small act of kindness saved a life.
Kindness doesn’t take time or money, only attention and love. Instead of being critical and judgmental, take simple steps to increase your Kindness Quotient.
- Be kind to animals, large and small. Birds give us music, dogs and cats give us companionship, love and comfort. Cows, sheep, goats, even chickens and other animals provide food (to some), clothing and other articles. Treat them with love and respect. Show them kindness whenever you encounter them. Buy organic and free range.
- Be kind to strangers and friends alike. Kindness spreads its influence in all directions. A stranger one day may become a friend, neighbor or simply a part of the better world we are trying to create. Smile or say a friendly word to brighten the day.
- Be kind to your family. Many forget to show kindness to family members. Family needs our kindness more than others. We see their daily stress, the struggles of work, the pain etched on their faces and bodies. We can do the most good by appreciating them with words of kindness, encouragement, positivity and love. Particularly with children, but not limited to them, kind words are the echoes that resound through the years. The kindnesses are remembered throughout the decades and change the genes in our bodies to reinforce the love of deep connections.
- Most of all, be kind to yourself in word, thought and action. Avoid negative thoughts about yourself, talking badly about yourself, your body, mind or skills. Stop taking negative actions that damage your body. Kindness and self-compassion increase your endorphins, lead to healthy lifestyles, positive choices, positive self-esteem and self-worth, and increase your ability to make helpful social contacts. Increased social connectivity prevents and repairs damaged DNA and supports a long and happy life.
Kindness will heal you, your family and the world. As the Glen Campbell song says: “Try a little kindness.”