Kindness matters. In the past six months of traveling I’ve realized the magnitude and relevance of being kind like never before. Being away from home immersed in different cultures there’s something comforting and familiar when someone bestows kindness upon you. There have been moments where I’ve felt slighted, invisible and insulted. In these moments, I clamor to find the positive in situations. Regardless, kindness holds power. How kindness matters in a sometimes unkind world is a skill and mindset that is powerful.
How kindness matters in a sometimes unkind world
It isn’t always easy to be kind. There I said it. The truth is kindness is a choice. Being kind is an action that we can withhold or pass on. It’s up to us. It’s also a mindset. One that is easier to maintain when we pursue it in word and action.
We must pursue it at all costs because when we opt to succumb to being unkind or harboring resentment or animosity it chips away at the positive. It takes its toll and quite simply that’s not ok. Because we are the ones who hurt for it in the long run.
Being transparent and honest….
I’ve spent the past five weeks in Jerusalem and in that time I’ve learned a tremendous amount about myself and the people around me. The city is different than anywhere else I’ve been. It’s strikingly different from other cities in Israel. Want to have your blood pressure rise to near stroke level? Try driving through Jerusalem. Rules seem pointless and manners are thrown out the window. Waiting in line at the deli or for a bus is more of a pushing match where eye contact is avoided and pushing is fare game.
I struggled to connect with people and feel comfortable the entire five weeks. It was a mental battle that I waged daily. I finally came to the realization that although personal connections were unlikely the closer our departure from Jerusalem drew near, there was a conscious choice as to how I would receive and react to those I encountered.
I ultimately chose to feel a sense of remorse for those pushing, being aggressive and rude. The reality is it was their personal mentality, their culture and their decision to act and behave as they did. To be angry or act out as a response to their choices would be a loss on my end. What I found is that when I allowed myself to be upset by those who hurt or slighted me I had a tendency to put up a wall and be more distant from others. This wall was also a deterrent in doling out kindness to others. What was I thinking?
More than halfway through our trek around the world I am making a concerted effort to seek beauty in kindness in all things. It’s a game changer.
The world can be unkind. People in it can be unkind. But in all things, seek kindness. It matters. I promise you, kindness matters. When we are kind even when we don’t necessarily want to be there are benefits.
Here are just a few:
- Kindness is positive and it has been proven when we have a positive mindset there are physical benefits (lowered blood pressure, tendency to be less stressed, decrease in headaches, etc.)
- When we latch onto a ‘be kind’ mentality it has the ability to keep our priorities into perspective
- Contagious. When kindness is a lifestyle it rubs off on others. It cannot be self contained.
- Inner Circle: When we latch onto a mindset of being kind, over time, it can alter how we look at all aspects of our life including who we spend the most time with. Surrounding ourselves with fellow ‘kind people’ becomes something we pursue out and make a priority. Good stuff all around.
Being kind matters in an unkind world…..
It matters more than most of us realize. We have ONE run through life and this is it. Set the bar high. Know that your attitude and mindset do influence your choices and how you go through your life on a daily and yearly basis. To opt to be unkind or ambivalent about it is a waste. Opt for goodness, kindness and a mindset that will rock your world.
As my time in Israel draws to an end I am grateful for the life lessons I have been given. In all things, I hope to pursue kindness and gratitude. If not, we lose out and so do those we surround ourselves with. What a bummer that would be.
So with a new year just around the corner, let’s make it a year seeking to make kindness our own personal mantra. I promise, it’ll rock your year!
Peace, love and kindness!