What is kindness? How is it measured? How do we communicate it to others?
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines kindness as “the quality or state of being sympathetic or helpful.” But kindness is so much more than that. Kindness is seeking to treat all those we encounter with a generous spirit. Kindness is giving people the benefit of the doubt. Kindness is standing up to those who are unkind and letting them know that their actions, words, and behaviors will not be tolerated. Kindness is sharing a simple compliment with a loved one or a stranger, just because we know it to be true, and we expect it will make that person happy. Kindness is going out of one’s way to think of others. Kindness is sharing. Kindness is love. Kindness is truly sharing in someone else’s joy. Kindness is just. Kindness is humble. Kindness seeks equality for all.
Kindness is a choice we must make every day, in every encounter we have with people.
Kindness is measured by the recipient. And thus, to be truly kind, our actions must be focused on others. This is not to say that we don’t gain something by being kind. Because, spreading kindness does in fact feel good, and it oftentimes benefits the sharer of kindness as much as the recipient. But when we seek to spread kindness, the primary goal must be to bring positive feelings to someone else; if in sharing kindness, we too experience positive feelings, then that’s a bonus!
Kindness begins with each and everyone of us, and kindness cannot grow in isolation. Kindness must be shared and given freely to others to bloom, and grow.
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