Kindness is a good quality to practice on our journey through life. The Bible talks about doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. But there is also something to be said for being kind whilst not expecting anything. Kindness is simply about saying yes to a request that we can accommodate or offering to do something that we know will help another person. It could be as simple as picking up someone’s shopping, watering their plants, giving them a lift, phoning to check that they are ok. It is about allowing someone else’s situation to cross our mind and allowing ourselves to offer to ease their burden without feeling superior or heroic. It is sharing the gifts and resources that we have.
We may also find ourselves on the receiving end of such generosity. John Donne wrote that ‘no man is an island’ and it helps us to remember that our lives are all connected. Unfortunately it often takes a tragedy to remind us of this. Sometimes giving of our time and energy has more of an impact than writing a cheque. I am reminded here of a television program called The Secret Millionaire, where wealthy people go undercover to discover real needs and later, financially support these. I know they can get publicity from the show but as they already have a high profile in their field I do not think that is their motivation. It seems to me that they want to help and to feel the joy of giving. There are of course many who give of their time quietly through caring and volunteering.
Kindness is not about wealth. We are all capable of giving of ourselves, whoever we are, wherever we live. Is kindness something you experience of yourself or from those around you? Would you like to be kinder to yourself and others?