Is it possible that two words could have such a profound impact if they were regularly applied…yes! It seems so simple for kindness to rule the day; the question is, why does it seem these days that it doesn’t always reign supreme? Even as I ask myself these questions, there is the other part of me that continues to say, be the change you want to see. So I’m taking this opportunity to reflect and share how I can be more intentional about being kind, whether it’s in the things I say to others, the action I display or in my thinking.
The saying goes, “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. This could not be further from the truth. The way we speak to others can have a profound impact on how we make those around us feel. That’s why it’s so important to show kindness through words. This doesn’t even require that you know someone well. Making a perfect stranger's day by saying something thoughtful could be just what was needed to turn that person's day around. Because of the increased stress that so many people deal with, offering encouragement is one of the simplest ways to show kindness.
Because being kind isn’t just relegated to what we say, showing acts of kindness to those around us, not only has a lasting impact on the recipients but it also has a way of making the giver feel rewarded as well. I can’t count the number of times where I’ve shown an act of kindness, the warm and fuzzy feeling it gives me, but sometimes it requires intentionality and it doesn’t always have to be anything big. Something as simple as looking back to open the door for someone walking behind you or letting someone ahead of you in the grocery line that had fewer items can be thoughtful gestures.
Beyond what we say and what we do, there is also learning to be kind even with your thoughts. This could be related to what you think about yourself or someone else. Not to sound “out there” but there is considerable evidence to show that what we think does impact us and others. That’s why it’s important to show kindness to yourself and others in this way. In line with this, because what we think plays into what we say and do, there is a direct connection.
There could not be a more ideal time to practice kindness than now. As we watch the daily news, stream online programming or scroll through social media, it’s evident that we need to go back to the basics. At the core of that is treating our fellow man with kindness. This can be exemplified in what we say, what we do and even how we think. We all have a responsibility to want to be kind to ourselves and others and it doesn’t take a special formula, just a little intentionality. I submit to you today to keep it simple…Be Kind!