CAUTION: Kindness is Contagious

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." -Mark Twain
First of all, I am sorry for the extra melodramatic title, I thought it would be ironic...but whatever, I still dig it!

Being told to be kind to others sounds simple enough, and almost can have the illusion of being a typical moral that mostly everyone would nod their heads in agreement with. I mean, who would say no when asked if they would consider themselves to be a kind person? I would hypothesize that even a person who seems to have clearly not inherited a single “kind bone” in their body, would answer yes to that question, even if they knew it was a bald-faced lie. It is deemed as the right thing to say, it seems; even if you do not mean it.  However, I have recognized through human interaction that kindness is something that can have a reciprocal effect on others, once it is granted towards them.

If I am being completely honest with you, I do not always want to be kind to people, especially when I am driving.  There are moments when I am barely going three miles per hour in the infamous Los Angeles traffic, and there is that one person who decides that it is in their best interest if they cut off every person in sight.  And then they have the unmitigated gall to act as if they had a relapse on their sense of direction, and cuts all the way back over from their far lane to the opposite one back in front of me, causing me to pump my breaks in frustration.  Yeah...I think you catch my drift.  Those times of extreme tested-patience, are not when I desire to be kind.  However, learning to be kind in this case does not mean that you let others just walk all over you in your ongoing fervency to maintain a peaceful aura about you.  According to the dictionary, kindness centers around the characteristic of friendliness, generosity, and consideration.  Being friendly and good-natured does not mean that you are lacking a backbone, or are incapable of standing up for yourself.  Clearer instructions on how to best go about this if it is something you struggle with can be seen in an article by Psychology Today entitled: How, And How Not to Stand Up for Yourself.

Simple acts such as opening the door for someone, helping out a newcomer with equipment at your gym, or even just asking a person how their day was, are ways to exhibit kindness.  Personally, I have noticed a feeling of elation after I help someone even in minor situations that makes me smile afterward.  This feeling of happiness that derives from giving to someone who may or may not be in need, can clear up even the most boring overcast days in my life, because of my knowledge that I am doing something good for someone else.  In my most recent post, The Truth About Happiness, I examine how the emotion of being happy is short-lived and should not be expected to last every minute of the day.  However, I have found that being kind through simple acts has made me have happy moments even on my "worst day".  Seeing others who I have literally opened doors for, in turn, do the same for strangers; reinvigorates my spirit with joy, because I know that I am making a positive difference in the world, no matter how "small" it might appear.  Through your helpful deeds producing a domino effect, your acts of kindness are spreading from an individual level to a collective embodiment of genuine good-nature.  This can open the floodgates for a more considerate and selfless society that will find itself in more areas of successful opportunities, because of their simplistic understanding that love opens doors, and hate only locks them.

For those of us who find it difficult to be kind, do not panic, because you are not alone.  I myself have found it to be a pain sometimes when I am not particularly in the mood to be "Mr. Positivity".  I will tell you right now, it is a struggle.  However, when you find yourself in those situations of recognizing that you are sweating and gritting your teeth while trying to simply return a "hello", understand that you are making progress.  I know that might sound a bit amusing, but I am dead serious.  Even when you do not feel like being bothered when someone notices something positive about you as a person and decides to comment on it about it, it makes you feel good (even if it is a bit weird if you're not used to receiving compliments).  Doing the same to others no matter how difficult can unknowingly be beneficial to yourself because of your growth in this area of "getting out of your shell" development.  It can be tough to do but know that I am also working on this area, so you are not alone!  Hopefully, that last statement lends some form of solace, and I am apologizing in advance if it doesn't.  Just know that it takes some patience, but you will be better for it (I am telling myself this too by the way).  ⇣  ⇣  ⇣
Nervous GIF From Tenor

As you head off into your future days, the one major take away from this post I hope to get across to you is that benevolence is something that is severely lacking in today's society, and you can be the antidote for a sick world through simple acts of kindness.  Believe me, kindness is contagious no matter where you live!
Lion Adopts Baby Antelope
"Carry out random acts of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you." -Princess Diana


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