Kindness starts from within, gets shared with others and for a brief moment, binds you both with the uniquely human feeling of pure compassion. I’ve been thinking a lot more about kindness recently, its importance and how making it a habit can inspire kindness in those around me. Cynasism and selfishness reside in all of us and can easily become our guiding light if not tamed properly. Perhaps I’ve not always been the kindest person in the past. There have certainly been occasions where I’ve been far too quick to judge others, allowing myself to slide towards thinking negatively about a situation.
But kindness is way more important than I realised.
Kindness is important for a whole range of reasons, for example, it can improve your mental health not to mention potentially allow you to live longer. However, it’s the simple things about kindness that make it so powerful and in my experience, being kind without expecting anything back in return is the most powerful and effective use of kindness. So often people don’t expect it, especially when an act of kindness comes out of the blue.
Volunteering to carry something for someone or giving them an unexpected gift can make someone’s day, make their week and even restore their faith in their fellow man. Kindness is underrated and underused and is most likely the most powerful thing we can be, in my opinion. No act of kindness is small. Every act of kindness has the potential to continue rippling out. In the same way that negativity can become infectious and spread, so too can compassion.
“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
It’s a cliche yes, but imagine if everyone acted in kindness, wouldn’t the world be a happier place to live? Whilst this is unlikely to happen in the highly complex world we live in, you can still change your own habits and therefore have a small impact on those closest to you and that can potentially ripple out to even more people.
“Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness,”
I’ve reflected more and more on this quote from Seneca lately and the more I digest it the more I have realised that kindness is the key to living a life full of hope and one that is free of fear. What is life if there is no kindness? Why would you want to approach everything in a negative light, not wanting to be something as simple as kind to others by default, especially when it costs nothing?
Yes, life is hard but every person you come across is a chance for you to change through kindness, helping yourself, a friend, a colleague or a stranger. Every person you come into contact with is an opportunity to breathe a spec of light into the world and potentially change someone else’s mood for the better, and maybe even give them some well-needed hope and faith.
“Kindness is invincible,”
Kindness itself is invincible as when you intentionally choose to be kind, there is no room for darkness and when you share that kindness with someone else, you allow them to share your strength. You both engage in a pure moment, free of time or ego and experience a high frequency of compassion, reminding you of the only thing that truly matters to us all – love itself.
That feeling of compassion you feel in those moments is an involuntary human response that binds us all. It’s not something you have to decode, it’s simply hard-wired into all of us and we cannot stop it from lifting us up just the same as hearing a funny joke makes us react with an involuntary laugh. What is more important than that?
The best part is that kindness is free it makes you feel good and the person receiving it.
15 Quotes to inspire kindness in your life
Kindness can be difficult to practise, especially when you deal with difficult people. The key is to always remember that it is unhelpful to act with revenge in mind or to mimic someone else’s behaviour. If you’re looking for something to inspire kindness in your own life, here are some of the best kindness quotes I have found that I believe outline the importance of keeping kindness at the forefront of every encounter you have and how it will benefit you and those you come into contact with.
1. “It really shocks me when I encounter people who think kindness doesn’t matter. Because I think it’s pretty much the only thing that matters,”
2. “Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life,”
3. “When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel.”
4. “Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
5. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,”
6. “Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change,”
7. “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make,”
8. “Treat everyone with politeness and kindness, not because they’re nice, but because you are,”
Roy T. Bennett
9. “Joy for human beings lies in proper human work. And proper human work consists in: acts of kindness to other human beings, disdain for the stirrings of the senses, identifying trustworthy impressions, and contemplating the natural order and all that happens in keeping with it,”
10. “Kindness is more than deeds. It is an attitude, an expression, a look, a touch. It is anything that lifts a person up,”
11. “The more we consciously choose kindness over criticism or animosity, the more we develop the “kindness muscles” that give us the strength to deal with life in an effective, joyful way,”
Angela C. Santomero
12. “People often ask me what is the most effective technique for transforming their life. It is a little embarassing that after years and years of research and experimentation, I have to say that the best answer is—just be a little kinder,”
13. “A moment of self compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life,”
14. “Kindness starts an inward feeling that allows you to experience perfect virtue without needing to do more. The kindness received is often enough to create more healing. All it takes is that one small act of kindness to give someone their peace,”
15. Our visit to this planet is short, so we should use our time meaningfully, which we can do by helping others wherever possible. And if we cannot help others, at least we should try not to create pain and suffering for them
Make kindness a habit through your daily actions
To get the many benefits from kindness on a daily basis, why not try and make it a habit? You’re going to have a small effect on the world each day anyway, so make it a kind one!
Remember to share kindness without motive or expectation in your daily actions to get the full benefits. You can make kindness a habit by taking a brief pause in your interactions and asking yourself; ‘ how can I approach this with kindness?’
Remember: the simplest acts of kindness often mean the most.
- If you like something someone is wearing, tell them how good they look.
- Ask someone how they are doing and remind them that they can talk to you if they need to
- Buy a loved one some flowers for no reason other than to be kind
- Offer to carry something for someone
- Offer to help someone with their work
- Surprise someone with their favourite food
- Simply hold the door open
- If someone has made an effort in their appearance, tell them you recognise it
- Leave a server a tip
- Remind someone how much you love them
- Tell that person to keep going because you believe in them
- Give someone you love a hug
- Check-in on someone
- Check in on someone that you suspect may be lonely
- Compliment other’s achievements
Kindness or acts of kindness are more powerful than we think. So go ahead and make someone’s day by acting kindly without wanting or needing anything in return and you’ll both share that feeling of being lifted up in a world so often that can feel like it’s pulling us down.