Kindness is my motto.
Kindness is ultimately the strongest force available to each of us. It is my motto for life. Where force causes pain kindness causes relief of pain. Kindness requires a softening. This softening can be a difficult thing to do. Yet it can be greatly rewarding. I have discovered that when I feel unkind I am experiencing a hardening of my heart. In turn, if I am insightful enough, I can know that I am experiencing some anger that has fear as its basis.
Recently I read an excellent article in the magazine The Sun (July 2014 Issue 463 The One You’re With – Barbara Frederickson on Why We Should Rethink Love with Angela Winter as interviewer). The article was about positive resonance. Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson claims that “love blossoms virtually anytime two or more people…connect over a shared positive emotion.” This experience of shared positive emotion can be between partners, parents and children, or total strangers. It can be unlimited over the span of all our relationships.
I believe that this positive resonance – shared positive emotion – can only arise out of kindness. When I am unkind I am unable to be available for this experience. As I stated in the first paragraph, my unkindness usually arises out of fear. What is my fear? Do I feel threatened? Where does the threat originate? Does it relate to a deep fear that I have that comes from something that happened to me in the past? Is the threat real or imagined? Questioning myself in this way can help me gain an insight that can help me to move past the fear and soften. There is much more to this idea of positive resonance. I encourage you to do your own research on the topic.
Once you have discovered how to soften yourself by removing blocks to acting in a loving way, I suggest that you also make some attempts to be kind. In our everyday lives, kindness can be given with just a smile to someone we pass on the street. We could let the person behind us in line who has one grocery item go before us when we have a full cart of items. We could consider someone we know in need and ask them if there is anything we can do for them. There are many ways to be kind. Who knows?
Maybe your kindness may spread because the person you were kind to will be kind to someone else. Isn’t that a good reason to be kind?