Kindness is the quality of being friendly, caring and generous. I go through most of my days feeling this way, (fortunately, most of my days), but there are some days that I just don’t feel it! Sometimes, something sets me off, (like the person making an illegal turn into the parking spot intended for me today). Stress is a big factor too! Health and finances are a big part of my stress! Other times it is spending too much time with negative people. It sometimes seems that it would just be easier to respond to these people in the same way. I’ll often wonder why I should take the time, or effort, to be nice to someone who makes it so unpleasant to be around? After all, if they are treating others, including myself, poorly why should I treat them any differently? All of us at one time or another have come across people who don’t treat others nicely or with respect.
I am far from perfect and many times, I do criticize, complain and yell. Sadly it is my family that suffers the brunt of it, but I am conscious of the fact that I need to make more of an effort to let the little things slide. I am guilty of holding grudges and I need to begin to let them go. Even though it might be difficult I need to let go of any resentment and make more of an effort to turn it around and it has to be meaningful! Being kind requires me to make an offering with no expectations in return. I understand this, but there are so many people who don’t. When you give to get, is it really genuine kindness?
Giving does not have to cost a thing. It can be something as simple as giving my time. One of the most invaluable offerings anyone can make to another person is their attention. I find this especially true with children. This was confirmed, and maybe a good reminder for me, when I half distractedly, was listening to one of my students yesterday. He said something to me while I was doing something else and I was not giving him my full attention. He called me on it when he said, “I need you to look at me when I am speaking to you”, (something he has heard from me on many occasions). Once he had my full attention and knew that I was focused on him alone, he was able to go on.
I don’t expect to have nothing but cheery and joy filled days, but on a positive note, a happy side effect of being kind to others, is that when I do share kindness with others, without any expectation of return, it makes me feel good and when I can turn that cranky, bitter mood into a much more positive one it is better for everyone. So, that is my goal. To work on letting go of grudges, not letting the little things irk me and to treat those who are bitter and unkind, with a little bit of kindness instead.