Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
– J.M. Barrie
I recently read a piece on “kindness.” It got me thinking about the state of our nation and wondered why is kindness being demonized? We as humans are meant to be all-loving, yet we are making a mockery of kindness.
As of lately, I have noticed that kindness is an underrated value. I have spent time reflecting on the last 20 years of my adult life and never once did it feel so shameful to be kind, but as of recently, it seems to be a joke.
As a heart-centered individual, I feel the coldness and name-calling deep in my body. While I recognize that not everyone receives and processes information the same, I do not believe this a free pass to disregard how our actions impact others. We, as a society, are losing our Emotional Intelligence (EQ) at an alarming rate.
(For those not familiar with EQ, it is the ability to have self-awareness of our emotions and their effects on others, as well as to be able to have social-awareness that allows you to discern the feelings behind the needs and wants of others.)
What We Tend To Value
The piece talked about how we, as a society, tend to value intelligence, charisma, coolness, talent, inspiration, and beauty, but that we have forgotten kindness in this list. A value worth upholding and honoring.
Kindness is quiet. It tends to float under the radar. Kindness does not draw attention to itself.
Rather we, as a society, like bright, sparkly attributes, even if the core of what they stand for is the opposite of the love and kindness we are meant for.
What is Kindness?
Kindness isn’t just a feeling; it’s a behavior. It’s a gentleness that arises in response to the needs of others. A genuine desire to meet people where they are with compassion and caring. It is available in good times, just as much as in bad times.
I’m are not talking about people pleasing and approval seeking, where you put others needs before your own, which isn’t the same as true kindness. Kindness is an impulse of love, whereas people-pleasing and approval-seeking are motivated by the fear of disappointing people or the need to feel good enough.
I’m not talking about that “Minnesota Nice” that has been perfected by so many. That variety of kindness feels forced and does not feel genuine and authentic. “MN nice” kindness feels like something you “have to” do. All the niceties are exchanged, but judgment sits just under the surface. It is not trustworthy.
Rather, true kindness feels just as good to the giver as to the receiver. At the root of such kindness lies internal good feelings.
Does this concept of being kind feel foreign? OR do you feel less than for being kind? Let’s Chat.