Kill 'em with kindness
Admit it, you have found it hard to be kind. Monetary issues, time constraints, physical inabilities are all factors that withhold us from exhibiting our otherwise seemingly infinite supply of generosity and compassion.
The above factors are not reasons but simply convenient excuses that seek to justify our apathy, negligence and indifference towards the world around us. We seem to think that someone else will be there to help us bear the responsibility of displaying kindness, when in fact, we forget that this world needs much more kindness than what it currently possesses.
Kindness bears the fruits of inclusivity. To be kind means to be generous and considerate, which means taking into account the feelings of others before we speak and act. It means to accept people for who they are, instead of shaming them for being different from ourselves. Issues of racial discrimination, xenophobia and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community would never have had the capacity to take centre stage of our newspaper headlines had we all accepted and embraced the differences amongst us, no matter how subtle or distinct. When people paint the BLM logo on streets in the US or march in the Pride Parade that called for human rights in Thailand, these are visible manifestations of the call for kindness amongst a diverse humankind. Only when we ready our hearts and prepare our ears to listen would we realise that care and acceptance must be present to achieve peace. We must be willing to learn, speak and act in a way which spells kindness, bolded and capitalised. We must love to be loved.
Where kindness is a flame, suffering is its candle. The brighter and longer the flame glows, the shorter the candle becomes. An umbrella on a pouring day, a penny clattering in the hat of the homeless, a listening ear for a friend in need are instances when the flame of kindness flares, no matter how momentarily. However, before adopting kindness as second nature, we must first be deliberate in our acts of kindness. Like all other good habits, being kind requires the initial intentional practise. Once we forgo our original excuses and indifference, we can then embrace empathy, which is the first and most crucial step to embodying kindness into our lives. To be kind, we must first yearn to be kind.
Kindness is the everlasting wave on the sea. Timeless, unending and washes over you with the greatest force. They say kindness breeds kindness, but I say, kindness amplifies kindness. An act of kindness bestowed upon you augments the role of kindness in your heart. You then feel obliged to pay it forward, tenfold. We have heard stories of poor orphans who turned into philanthropists because of kind deeds blessed upon them by kind strangers. There are other more subtle, daily acts of graciousness and generosity that turn bad people good and good people better, personal examples which you can recall. Being kind and receiving kindness are both so impactful and inspiring, ripples of kindness are created. The next time you grasp for excuses from being kind, remember that the tiniest acts of compassion go the longest ways. Be kind to the mentally ill, the disabled, the elderly with limited mobility, the enemy you met in school, the stranger looking lost on the sidewalk… You could change someone’s life by being kind, and it could change yours, too. After all, kindness is contagious.
You may or may not yet be convinced that it is our obligation as humane, empathetic beings to spread the cause of kindness, but the truth is, we are humans because we are kind. It is what separates us from other beings. We understand what others are going through, we help and we pull through tough times together. Hence, we progress as one humankind, because we pool our efforts and hearts together to ensure that we can all move forward collectively. Remember that being kind is a moral obligation which every person can fulfil in their own means. Do not hesitate. Do not seek excuses. The world needs kindness. It needs kindness from all of us.
Photo by Prateek Gautam on Unsplash
To read more articles from Jeslyn Chng click here