Greetings to you all! It’s already Tuesday- hard to believe, isn’t it? October is flashing by in a blink of the eye. Another thing that often goes unnoticed or under-appreciated like time is kindness. Now, before I delve into the topic for today, I’d like to note that kindness as a topic was kindly given to me by my friend. I was whining as usual about not having an idea in time for what to write about, and she mentioned the idea of kindness.
Now, let’s dive into it. First, what IS kindness? When I think about it, I think a bit about how I was taught it in Hebrew school as a kid. A mitzvah, or good deed, is something done for another’s benefit. Kindness is generally doing such things, even if it’s just talking to someone who needs to talk. But the greatest mitzvah, I was told, is one where no one knows you were the one to do it. That’s where I intend to diverge a bit.
You see, kindness is an act of selfishness in its own right, at least to me. When I’m kind to people, it’s not just common courtesy or doing something for someone else. It’s because when I help someone, I feel a unique and genuine sense of happiness. Their smiles make me smile, their words of thanks make me thankful. It may sound more or less like empathy, but in reality, I do nice things for people because I want those feelings to reflect on. So to me, while something I do might be nice, it’s also just me selfishly getting the emotional fodder I desire.
As I said before, kindness is doing good unto others. Common forms of kindness I personally like to do are things like listening when someone’s down, holding doors open, offering or getting someone visiting a drink… You know, really common courtesy things like that. Well, I think they’re common courtesy. They should be, at any rate. But I digress. The point is, it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture- what matters is you’re doing it because you want to help them, and/or want to feel their gratitude. And sometimes, you know what? You won’t get that gratitude you want. But even without their spoken gratitude, it feels nice doing something for someone else. And you can milk that feeling any number of ways.
And the best part about being kind? People are more likely to do nice things for you back! Just the other day, I went to Walgreens to pick up some cosmetics. I agreed to do a somewhat longer than advocated survey about the nice lady that helped me find what I was looking for. As a thank you, she gave me a freebie- she claimed it was something special for me only, but I’m still a little unsure if she was telling the truth. Either way though, I got a reward for doing something nice for her, just like she was nice to me. “No good deed goes unpunished” is the common phrase, but it doesn’t actually always mean something bad as a punishment. The point of it is simply that every action has a reaction- and sometimes, those reactions are the nice little things that brighten up our day.
If you’ll only take one thing out of this rambling mess, I hope it will be this: If you feel like being kind, don’t hold back. Do what you think will make someone smile and accept that it’s partially selfish sometimes to yearn for that smile, that gratitude. Sometimes, it’s okay to be selfish. If we’re being selfish by helping someone or doing something nice for them, surely there are bigger crimes, are there not?
Tell me, my readers! What’s something kind that’s happened to you recently? And what kindness have you spread so far this week? I’d love to hear your views on this topic, and get to learn more about you and more about the different views people have of kindness. Whether we match or differ, I’d be glad if you’ll be kind enough to tell me!
Well, until next time! Bye bye!