Kindness. Treating people nicely. We all want to be treated in a kind way. We all feel good when we are kind to others. We revere those in society who epitomise kindness like Mother Teresa. Kindness, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, hospitality, caring – these are all words meaning the same thing – treat others as you’d have them treat you. It’s the key teaching behind of every world religion and if everyone in the world was always kind, we’d live in a much better place. We can be kind to humans, we can be kind to animals, we can be kind to all life. Kind people are happier and better liked by others. Kindness.
A few years ago I watched a film called “Pay It Forward.” It’s a brilliant film that I would recommend everyone watches. The young boy in it develops a scheme called pay it forward where he does something good for someone and rather than ask for anything in return he requests that they do three good deeds for others and similarly request those to “pay it forward.” His dream is of a world where everyone does kind deeds and helps others. Yes it may sound utopian, but is it really that hard to just do three kind things for people and ask them to do the same?
Consider the words of these great thinkers –
“You don’t pay love back; you pay it forward” – Lily Hardy Hammond
“In the order of nature we cannot render benefits to those from whom we receive them, or only seldom. But the benefit we receive must be rendered again, line for line, deed for deed, cent for cent, to somebody.” – Henry David Thoreau
What if every time we lent money to someone, we requested that instead of paying us back, they pay it forward?
Did you know there is actually an international pay it forward day (next year its April 24th)? Surely it can’t be that difficult to spend one day a year doing lots of good for others?
Have you ever read the book “Join Me” by Danny Wallace? It’s a very funny real life story where he put an advert in the paper simply saying “join me” and people did. Eventually he decided he needed to come up with something for people who joined him to do and so was born the Karma Army. The idea is that each person does one good random act of kindness every Friday and in that way tries to make the world a better place. You can find out more about this movement at Join Me.
So what about you? Do you ever do random acts of kindness for people? Do you take part in Pay It Forward Day? What could you do in your community to encourage more kindness among everyone, to renew the connections of neighbourliness and humanity? How are you making yourself accountable so you’ll actually do it? Be inspired! K is for Kindness.