[ From DailyOM ]
In the quest to create a gentler, more loving world, kindness is the easiest tool we can use. Though it is easy to overlook opportunities to be kind, our lives are replete with situations in which we can be helpful, considerate, thoughtful, and friendly to loved ones and associates, as well as strangers. The touching, selfless acts of kindness that have the most profoundly uplifting effects are often the simplest: a word of praise, a gentle touch, a helping hand, a gesture of courtesy, or a smile. Such small kindnesses represent an unconditional, unrestricted form of love that we are free to give or withhold at will. When you give the gift of kindness, whether in the form of assistance, concern, or friendliness, your actions create a beacon of happiness and hope that warms people’s hearts.
The components of kindness are compassion, respect, and generosity. Put simply, kindness is the conscious act of engaging others in a positive way without asking whether those individuals deserve to be treated kindly. All living beings thrive on kindness. A single, sincere compliment can turn a person’s entire world around. Holding a door or thanking someone who has held a door for you can inspire others to practice politeness and make already kind individuals feel good about their efforts. Smiling at people you meet—even those who make you feel like frowning—can turn a dreary encounter into a delightful one, for both of you. Every kind act has a positive influence on the individual who has performed said act as well as on the recipient, regardless of whether the act is acknowledged. Kindness brings about more kindness and slowly but surely takes a positive toll on humanity.
Weaving the thread of kindness into your everyday life can be as easy as choosing to offer a hearty “Good morning” and “Good night” to your coworkers or neighbors, a stranger on the street, or the grocery store clerk. When you commit a kind act, you are momentarily disconnected from your ego and bonded with the individual who has benefited from your kindness. Being fully present in each moment of your life facilitates kindness as it increases your awareness of the people around you. You’ll discover that eachyou engage in makes the world, in some small way, a better place.