By Donna Sales, R. Psych.
“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
― Henry James
Yes, being kind is that important. It warms the heart. Nourishes the soul. Lifts the spirit. Kindness touches us in a way nothing else can; we feel alive, connected, noticed, and cared about. It can’t take away pain but it does remind us we are not alone. It can’t fix our problems but it does help us find the strength to go on. We all need to feel kindness and we need to give it, too.
Three kinds of kindness stand out for me – kindness to others, kindness to self and kindness to the earth – and I believe each is equally important.
Kindness to Others
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou
How good does it feel when someone is kind to you (almost as good as it feels to be kind to someone else, right?). Kindness (not money) makes the world go around; it is at the heart of healthy communities, no matter how big or small. Even the simplest act of kindness – holding a door open, sharing a table at a busy café, smiling at someone you know is having a bad day or saying a few words of encouragement – can have a significant impact in someone’s life.
Kindness to Self
“Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”
– Eleanor Rooseveldt
Sometimes we are more kind to others in what we say and do than we are with ourselves. We make more of an effort to make someone else feel good than to make ourselves feel good. Then there’s the language we use when we speak to ourselves, negative self-talk is often much worse than anything anyone else could possibly say to us! Like so many other things, too, we manifest what exists within us. So the seeds of kindness we wish to express in the world begin at home, within us, and grow from there to touch the lives of others.
Kindness to the Earth
The magnificent earth was here billions of years before we were. It’s always provided our species with everything we need to survive but our population explosion over the past several decades and addiction to excess is threatening the health of the planet. Being kind to the earth not only protects the air we breathe, water we drink, and resources we and future generations need to survive, it restores our souls, too – our sense of balance, wholeness, and wonder. In the words of John Muir, “Going to the woods is going home.”
And of course…we must be kind to animals, too!
Three kinds of kindness, countless ways to enrich our lives, the lives of others, and the natural world, too. THE WORLD NEEDS YOU AND YOUR KINDNESS.
Get ready because this month at Hope Café we will be sharing acts of kindness with each other on Facebook and on the home page, too. Send yours in today! Tell us about an act of kindness you have done, witnessed, or someone has done for you. Email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be in touch.
Yours, as always, in hope,
Read previous posts by Donna on The Mind-Body-Spirit Connection, Assertiveness, For the Love of Food, Hope in the Face of Illness, Spring Cleaning Your Life, Gratitude, Intuition,Simplicity, and Hope at The Inspiration Station