Championing the Lost Art of Kindness

I’ve always been a huge believer in and champion of KINDNESS. I wholeheartedly believe you can get so much more done when you are kind to people, and when you consider the humanity in any situation, whether it’s business, personal or fun.  Negativity and a mean spirit, on the other hand, seems to me like the easiest and fastest way to kill productivity, motivation, creativity, imagination, and slowly but surely, your soul.

When I observe people being negative towards each other in order to make a point, or accomplish a goal, and trying to get results through fear and intimidation, it quite literally sickens me. We all have our moments, but if we just took the initiative to be kind whenever possible, and leave negativity as an absolute last resort, we’d be much further along.

Although my life hasn’t been easy, well whose has really, I know that I have opened many doors for myself and maintained those doors open, through kindness. I pride myself on being a person people know they can work with fruitfully; talk to about anything without fear of negative or nasty feedback, and who always remains flexible. I’ve also always respected and cherished people who function in the same fashion. Any other way just doesn’t make sense to me. It never has, and it never will.

For me, I know exactly where this need for nice comes from, too. It comes from growing up in an environment of emotional abuse, of managing expectations through fear and of rampant disrespect. It was an environment of little positive results, and it is the reason I strive to be kind towards anyone who will cooperate. It is the reason I would be utterly ashamed to have anyone think of me as anything less than pleasant. Plus, it just makes it easier to get things accomplished, feel good about who I am, and often feel those good vibrations – yes, I went there.

When you are kind, people extend themselves out to you. People support you, and even begin to champion kindness themselves, causing a rippling effect on others. People are sometimes shocked by it, and I hear a lot of, “Wow, you’re so nice,” but they always welcome it. It is sad to think people will often find it strange when you are kind. It’s because we need more of it.

And, all those times in my life I’ve heard I should stop being so nice, because people will take advantage of me, and trust me, they have plenty of times, I get frustrated with myself for a second. But then I come to and I realize that I refuse to allow others to convince me into being something that I do no respect, something I never want to be. So what if being too nice gets me hurt? At the end of the day, I can look in a mirror, and like and respect myself. I can be proud that I will never make someone feel the rejection and pain I was made to feel growing up.

It really isn’t that hard folks. There are so many opportunities to be kind in small, but meaningful ways throughout your day. Smile at a stranger, let someone pass you in traffic, give a dollar to someone on the street who needs it more than you do (it can happen to anyone), give a compliment, offer to help when no one has asked you to.

The fact is that negativity breeds negativity and hatred. Life is already so incredibly complex. Why make it even more difficult with unnecessary cruelty? As I always say, be nice, it’s good for the soul. 🙂

So how will you take steps to practice and protect the lost art of kindness this week? I challenge you to find just one way to champion kind by Friday, and share it with me. I have every confidence that you can!

And if you need a little inspiration for kind, check these out:  

Sonia, Word Share Junkie