“If this is not the time to be kinder and gentler to each other and to ourselves, when will it be?” This is the verse from my book, and the next topic we will be discussing today – what is kindness?
Friendly, gentle, tenderhearted, sympathetic, generous, and cordial are all terms Webster uses to define “kind,” with “kindness” being the state or habit of being kind. So that answers what is kindness…
How do you treat others with kindness? Perhaps by using many of the things we have discussed up to this point. Things like being gentle, having compassion, being willing to be kind, and having an open heart can all contribute to acts of kindness.
Having a good sense of who you are is also needed for you to be kind, both to others and to yourself. When you feel more at home with yourself, you have less need to strike out in anger, defensiveness, and fear, or to cut yourself down.
The next time you feel the urge to say a disparaging word about someone, hold that thought and allow your heart to soften. Allow in a kind thought, and say something kind instead. Become willing to do this.
In like fashion, every time you catch yourself saying unkind things to yourself about yourself, come into awareness that you are doing that. Make the choice to stop, and think something kind about yourself instead.
This all may sound easy, yet it takes consciousness and practice. When you have the urge to be unkind, or if you actually are, do a self-appraisal and examine what you were feeling at the time that prompted you to act unkindly. If you were feeling “less than,” treat yourself with compassion and gentleness.
What is kindness to you? What are the ways in which you are kind to others? How about to yourself?