When watching television or movies today, and even when listening to contemporary music, the same question repeats itself in my mind: Whatever happened to kindness?
Our politicians are hateful to each other, as are those whose job it is to report on them. Sitcom housewives belittle their husbands as a way to “entertain” us, while movie “comedies” do nothing but make fun of others, often at the expense of those who are less fortunate. The music world is filed with hateful, racial attacks, and even their awards show is being hailed for “finally” coming up with a high-value category with “no white guys” nominated (Best Album).
Nastiness seems to be the preferred mode of interaction today, with kindness lost somewhere in the wilderness.
When we treat others with kindness, we feel joy. When we feel joy, we want to be kind to others. When we are again kind to others, we feel joy, when we feel joy, we want to… Well, you get the point. It’s a natural cycle and a simple principle: Kindness and joy fit together like a hand in a glove.
And, not only do we feel joy when we are kind to others, but we make it possible for others to feel joy as well.
The Powerful Link Between Joy and Kindness
With that said, why have we abandoned kindness, and what does it say about us that we have?
From my book, The ABCs of Joyful Living:
Leo Tolstoy wrote a short story called: Three Questions. The story tells of a king who was sure that if he knew the best time to act, the right people to listen to and the most important thing to do at all times, he would succeed in anything. So, the king set out to find the answers to these questions.
What he eventually learned is: The best time to act is NOW, because it is the only time when we have any power. The right people to listen to are whoever you are with at any given moment, because you never know whether you will ever have dealings with anyone else. And the most important thing to do at all times is to DO GOOD, because for that purpose we were sent into this life.
So, if we want to succeed in anything, we are to be kind to whoever we are with right now because that is our purpose and it is the only time and situation we have any control over. Even if the only person you are with at the moment is yourself, be kind right now. There is no blame, regret, fear, worry, or stress in kindness and joy. There is only love, peace, hope, gratitude and understanding.
One of the greatest joys in life comes from giving and serving others and not expecting anything in return. We aren’t being kind because we want recognition, fame or fortune. We are kind because being kind feels good and joyful and that is what we want to feel. Kindness can be a shield to protect against oncoming cruelties and hardships of life. Kindness does not judge, condemn, or destroy but rather it accepts, encourages and builds.
Just open your heart and be kind to yourself and to everyone you see. Who knows, you may start a trend that returns us to a kinder, gentler way of dealing with others. Wouldn’t that be nice?
I’d love to share more of my thoughts on kindness and joy with you. In fact, I go quite a bit deeper in sharing the power of kindness in my book, The ABCs of Joyful Living. Pick up a copy today and let me know how the steps I outline in it have helped you experience more joy.