Being Kind

Today is the last day of “Be Kind To Humankind Week”. It would be nice to at least contemplate the concept of kindness as a way to salute the unofficial commemoration. The celebration was organized to be a global event designed to have us reflect about what we can each, personally do to make the world a more kind place.

We’re not talking rocket science. We have known since childhood the meaning of kindness and common courtesy towards our fellow humans. The organizers of “Be Kind To Humankind Week” labeled the each of the last seven days in August with a particular type of kindness:

Sacrifice Our Wants For Others’ Needs Sunday
Motorist Consideration Monday
Touch-A-Heart Tuesday
Willing-To-Lend-A-Hand Wednesday
Thoughtful Thursday
Forgive Your Foe Friday
Speak Kind Words Saturday

So, when we get behind the wheel of our vehicles today, we can keep in mind “Motorist Consideration Monday”. We know that courteous driving is safe driving, so why not reap that benefit while allowing other drivers a little slack? Of course, we don’t have to limit being a courteous driver only to Mondays.

Whenever I write about these types of commemorations or holidays, I try to be mindful about pontificating. It’s easy to get preachy about things I want to see progress and change. I don’t want to have people say, “Oh he’s preaching again!” Preaching can easily and quickly degenerate into sanctimoniousness and self-righteousness. These are not attractive values. If kindness and consideration are the desired results, it pays to practice restraint in communication; this is not easy to do in this day and age of social media.

“Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.”–French essayist and moralist, Joseph Joubert

I think Joubert hit the nail on the head. This is also a difficult advice to adhere to. Jerks are difficult people to love. During my more coherent moments when in the presence of a difficult person, I ask who is being the jerk? But that doesn’t happen often enough. Also, humble-bragging is not a virtue.

As we mature, we tend more to seek out people who value compassion, tolerance, and a kinder way of treating the world. Such people have a more harmonious nature and are easy to get along with. Kind people are more trustworthy.

It’s helpful to investigate and learn about people, in general. When we have a better understanding of all types of human beings we find out that compassion and kindness are not exclusive to any one category of person.

Who really knows where the impulse to be kind comes from? Is it an evolutionary trait that we learned through trial and error? All we know is that receiving kindness from others feels amazing. Eventually, we discover that generously giving kindness to others brings amazing feelings to a higher level.

Have an amazing Monday.

The Blue Jay of Happiness ponders this advice from the Ancient Roman writer, Publilius Syrus. “You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, cultural highlights, philosophy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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