Like most people, the general idea of kindness brings on the thought of doing something nice for someone else. While that is partially true, this week I’d like for you to think of it a little differently. I want you to get down to one of the core foundations of kindness that, when practiced regularly, will help you not only enrich the lives of others but also create a new outlook on life for yourself.
Most of us today are so busy trying to balance work, family, and the struggles of responsibility that we tend to go through the motions of life while neglecting the consideration of others. This may sound a little harsh but think about it. The “now” society that we live in has helped condition us to think of “me” before thinking of “we.”
How many times have you stopped in the grocery store, while in a hurry, and happen to jump into the “slow” lane where it seems the cashier is trying to set a world record for the least number of checkouts per hour? You think to yourself “Why do I always get stuck in the slow lane?” You get up to register and instead of making conversation with the cashier, you are so frustrated at the time it took to get through that you don’t say a word and look away as to not make eye contact with him/her. He or she says nothing either and seems a little distracted, just proceeding to check you out at a snails pace. You think “Come on, I am in a hurry here.” You walk out and think to yourself how amazingly slow and impolite that cashier was, how much time they cost you. What you didn’t know was that the cashier had been pulling double shifts all week, working two jobs to pay for her son’s mounting medical bills as a result of an illness and no health insurance.
No wonder she’s a little slow and possibly not in the best mindset possible.
This is where compassion comes in. Compassion, as defined by Dictionary.com is as follows: “Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.”
The purpose of the illustration above is to point out that often we tend to be in such a hurry for our own needs that we sometimes neglect to consider the circumstances of someone else. What if, instead of getting upset at the cashier because she cost you a few extra minutes, you used the time in line to strike up a conversation with someone in line with you? You might meet someone interesting. What if, instead of getting upset, you actually made eye contact with the cashier and tried to ask her about her day or perhaps even pay her a compliment (even if you have to make something up) .
Something as simple as taking the time to be compassionate to others, thinking of their possible circumstances above your own and wanting to help them, is where I believe kindness originates. Being compassionate to others creates a chain reaction that can change someone’s day, their life, and quite possibly their circumstances but at the very least… I can guarantee you that it will at least change your day.
So today, as you encounter situations with people that may cause you to initially become upset, I encourage you to consider the possibilities. Consider what they may be going through in their lives. For one second, pretend you are them. If you were experiencing the same situation, how would you like to be treated?:: Sign Up for the Free Gift of Kindness Email Newsletter Here ::