Long working hours, job insecurity, reality TV, materialism and the economy can distract us from what is really important.
Whilst we are living in a world where we have many ways of communicating, we are bombarded with so much information – as well as demands on us by our families and work – that we may find ourselves feeling distracted and isolated. As the years go by, there appears to be less connection between individuals, people are less patient and strangers view each other suspiciously. The world seems to be turning into a lonelier and harsher place.
I was travelling in London the other day and a women barged into me, unmoved by the fact that I couldn’t get out of the way because of the people in front of me without falling sideways. She was oblivious to anything but her need to hurry on with her day. I am sure she isn’t actually unkind, just distracted and thinking about her own stuff. How different things would be if we showed just a little gentleness to others. She would get to her destination just as quickly and have a softer edge to her day.
The film “Pay it Forward” shows how we can change this – by repaying an act of kindness through showing kindness to three others in return. Then those three people would pay that forward – pass it on – to three more people and so on. A few simple actions would have a tremendous effect..
In their book, “The Beauty Prescription”, Dr Luftman and Dr Ritvo also recommend random acts of kindness because doing something good for others makes you feel good about yourself.
In his book “Why Kindness is Good For You”, Dr David Hamilton explains it is actually good for your health too.
Our own random acts of kindness could be a small step in helping to stem the tide of toxicity in our society. So, shall we start an epidemic of kindness? This doesn’t require anything extravagant, but something which shows what it is to connect kindly to another human being. We can be so wrapped up in our own problems, or busy-ness, that remembering the following will help us improve our world:
- We all have our burdens to carry
- Bitter words leave a bad taste in your mouth – kind words taste sweet
- One thing you can give and keep at the same time is your word
- The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge
- Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important
- And, as Rudyard Kipling said “I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble.”
As we approach the Season of Goodwill, let’s reflect on how we can be kinder to each other and make the world a better place. Especially on this special day, spread a little kindness. We could all use some. Less stress for you, less stress for others. One of life’s great and simplest pleasures is to be kind – it’s life affirming and good for you!