Thoughts on Human Kindness

Kindness

Human Kindness is grounded in the idea that each and every person that we interact with in life is inherently precious and worthy. We actually live out kindness when we base our interactions with others on heart-felt, authentic empathy for them.

Think about how genuine kindness is nurtured and manifested in your own life through reflecting on the questions below:

Presence

Are you truly ‘present’ in your acts of kindness toward another, expending something of yourself—or are you simply giving something from yourself? Are you authentically joining the other person—or merely watching your donation’s impact from a ‘safe’ distance?

Investment

Are you extending kindness with some sacrifice on your part—or simply sharing out of your abundance and surplus? Are you willing to take on some risk or even rejection for extending kindness toward another? How much of your time and your ‘self’ is invested in the recipient, if you’re being honest?

Conditionality

Are you offering kindness with no expectation of reciprocation or with a wish for something in return from the recipient? If it’s the latter, it may not actually be kindness… but rather an act of bargaining with another in some fashion. If it’s the former, your kindness is likely to be more unconditionally real.

Familiarity

Is your kindness toward others inclusive and expansive, extended beyond your family, friends, and closest neighbors? Or is offered more closely and rigidly only to people who live, think, believe, and look just like you? If your circle is guarded, exclusive, and biased, it’s probably more about ‘belonging’ than actual kindness on your part.

Mindset

Are you acting kindly with the right ‘heart’? With intentionality based on authentic love, compassion, empathy, respect, acceptance, care, and concern for the other? Or is it only out of feelings of obligation, guilt, or responsibility toward somebody else?

Self

Whose needs are you trying to meet by being kind to another person: the recipient’s or your own? Are you being kind in order to make the other individual feel good… or to make you feel good about yourself? If your acts of kindness are grounded in how you want to be seen and not in your true heart, maybe they’re all about yourself and not the recipient.

May you give and receive heart-felt, geniune kindness each and every day…