This week’s focus is to be kind and be silent about it.
Being kind always makes me feel good about myself. Knowing that you’re bringing joy to someone’s day or a smile to their face is a reward, in and of itself. No acknowledgement needed.
This desire to please begins early in life. Think how happy children are when they do something special for their parents. Whether it’s a handmade card or a wildflower from the yard, they’re always delighted to present their gifts. I remember how excited my own children were when they would bring me breakfast in bed as a special birthday or Mother’s Day treat. Their toothless smiles and shining eyes spoke volumes as they struggled to balance the tray. While the breakfast was truly appreciated, the real gift was their happiness.
But, what happens if we give only for the sake of getting something back? When we attach conditions to our acts of kindness, we are fooling ourselves as well as the other person. We are giving strictly for the sake of getting something in return and that’s downright dishonest.
The Kindness Challenge illustrated how important mindfulness is in everything we do. Our busy, hectic lives leave us distracted and unable to focus for very long on anything! By setting aside time each day and establishing clear-cut goals, I was able to develop a more consistent awareness of my thoughts and actions, as they occurred.
I saw myself as a kind person before the challenge, but I’m more conscious of how I react to people and situations around me. I’m responding better to people who act and speak with sarcasm, impatience, and anger. I’ve discovered the best response is to quietly acknowledge their feelings and ask them what I can do to help them feel better. People don’t expect that, are very surprised by it, and their negative emotions are quickly diffused.
It’s been a valuable learning experience and I’m grateful to Niki for sponsoring this challenge. I hope to continue growing in my abilities to live a kinder lifestyle. We lead best by example. Hopefully, our example will inspire those around us to strive for the same!
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. ~ Lao Tzu