I save a couple of quotes on kindness at different times but they just seem to need to be used together.
“The way to get kindness with(in) yourself is spending time being nice to yourself, spending time getting to know and (dare I say it!) getting to love yourself… Loving yourself helps you love other people.” — Jeffrey Marsh, American writer, activist, and social media personality
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop
I’ve posted here a few time about loving yourself and how important it is to get comfortable with yourself and love who you are before you can love others. I’ve also posted about forgiving yourself (maybe being kind to yourself) when you realize that you have done something wrong, rather than beating yourself up. Perhaps that was what Marsh was alluding to in his quote.
We go through life giving and receiving small acts of kindness – maybe it’s opening a door for someone or having someone hold the door open so that you can go though. Perhaps it is just a warm greeting to someone that you don’t know. Did you ever stop and notice how just that small act of kindness can make you feel better, not matter whether you were hold the door open or it was being held open for you. That good feeling is one great benefit of kindness whether given or received.
Kindness is usually exchanged between people and therein may lie its greatest benefit – it requires and encourages social interaction. Man is not naturally a solitary being. Even the most private of us still have a desire to “fit in”, to belong to a group or tribe or whatever we call our social circle. Kindness toward others is a way that we reach out to give a little piece of ourselves, our time or efforts, for the benefit of others – to make them feel good. In the process we can also feel good about ourselves.
In wild animals one can see kindness with social groups by watching the members groom each other or perform other acts of kindness between members. Within the human species, kindness is expressed in al of those little things that we do for each other, even for perfect strangers. Something as simple as a smile as a friendly greeting to someone that you don’t know, makes their day a little better. As Aesop said, that small act of kindness is not wasted.
So, start your day by being kind to yourself, forgive yourself for what ever happened yesterday and resolve to be a better person today by gong out and being kind to others that you may encounter. Maybe, as you say a little prayer in the morning, you will remember the line from the Lord’s Prayer that asks to be forgiven for your trespasses and entreats you to forgive the trespasses of others. Then you can add in this line into your prayers – “Lord, let me love others today as you have loved me.”
Then go out there and be kind today.
Let me get that door for you!