Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Be Kind. No Exceptions."

Thoughts for This Blustery Morning

Affirmations and Quotes

As soon as the cold weather sets in it is easy to become grumpy and miserable. The bitter weather and shorter day light hours have a way of making us unhappy and our negativity can filter into the way that we behave and interact with others. We can make a million excuses for why we don't treat others with kindness- the weather is bad, we're in a hurry, we're having a bad day, we're tired, we're stressed, this time of year makes us depressed- but at the end of the day all of these reasons are bullshit. It's not difficult and takes little effort to treat others with kindness so I am here to tell you to be kind, no exceptions! I try my best to treat others with kindness despite how I am feeling personally. I greet familiar faces with a heart-felt hello and a broad smile. I talk to everyone I come into contact with- cashiers, strangers in line with me at Saxbys, professors, friends and acquaintances I see on the street, classmates. I try my best to help the homeless population that inhabits my campus, offering to buy them some water or something to eat, even respecting their request for a cigarette if I am feeling exceptionally generous. I do my best to avoid confrontations with my family (which is not always easy) and express my love for them as much as I possibly can- in words, with hugs, by squeezing their hands and other making other loving gestures. I treat my kitten with utmost kindness- snuggling and kissing her, singing to her, speak to her softly, offering her treats every once in a while- and her purring response lets me know that my kindness is bring her happiness. Being kind serves a dual purpose- it makes me feel good because I am able to make a positive impact and the recipients of my kindness are brought some joy as well. To get us started this morning I'd like to offer two affirmations for us to think about-
Greet everyone with a smile !

I greet everyone I meet with kindness and a smile.

I live my life with a kind and friendly demeanor that is contagious.

Both affirmations can be useful in achieving our goal for today: kindness. But I'd like to pay special attention to the second affirmation that I proposed. Lets not underestimate the power of our kindness or the ability of a friendly smile. Moods are truly contagious. Have you ever been out with a friend who is in a bad mood, being pessimistic, or just being a downer? It can be really frustrating to deal with someone's negativity when you are attempting to have a good time. Their pessimism spreads like a disease and can bring the mood of the entire group down. Well, the same premise works with positivity, kindness, and good moods. Your simple acts of kindness can make someone's day and inspire him/her to be friendly and nice to the other people in their life. Now those people are in a good mood as an indirect effect of your initial kindness and they will carry their happiness on to other people whose moods may also be brightened. I don't need to go on because you understand how this cycle works. My point is that kindness is contagious and smiling at just one person can have monumental effects and end up impacting more people than you can even imagine. 

"Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day."

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

It cannot hurt to simply be nice and it does not take a great deal from you. Give someone a smile because you have an endless supply. Make a kindness a daily practice, ultimately it will become natural to you and you'll find that it is more difficult to be nasty than it is to be nice. You will also discover that you feel better about yourself when you are making others feel good rather than hurting people. Have your ever accidentally or intentionally hurt a friend's feelings? How did you feel after the fact? I'll be the first to admit that there have been many times when I have hurt people in my life. Sometimes I was mean intentionally because I was feeling irritated by the person. And sometimes I have hurt people unintentionally, not knowing that my words or behavior would have negative consequences. However in both situations I ended up feeling like shit. I felt guilty for hurting another person. My mood was brought down because I had contributed in spreading negativity. I was disappointed in myself and sad that I had inflicted pain on another person. The feelings of victory, empowerment, satisfaction, and vengence that I had hoped for did not come. What I have realized that being kind makes me feeling more successful, empowered, and satisfied than being mean ever has. Yes, being kind benefits those who surround us but we gain from it as well. And the fabulous thing about it is that there are possibilities for us to share a kind and friendly demeanor with the world.

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."

- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Every situation offers the opportunity for you to be kind. And every person you meet- cashier, brother, Aunt, friend, acquaintance, doctor, homeless man- deserves your kindness, no exceptions! Don't discount a single person that you encounter in your life. Everyone you meet will be happy to accept the kindness and respect that you have to offer. There are so many miserable and nasty people in this world that go through life being rude, ignoring, or being just plain mean to the people that they encounter everyday. Your unexpected kindness will be like a breath of fresh air and the recipients will most definitely be thankful for the positive and friendly interaction. So what is the basic point of this entry? Be kind, no exceptions! The possibilities are many. Your resources are infinite. And the results are more than worth the effort. Practicing kindness everyday will change the way you live your life and is a small way to benefit the lives of others and the world at large!

Be kind to everyone everyday,

Be Kind. No Exceptions. We are all struggling with something and could use a friendly face!

30 Days Til Christmas Eve, 31 Day Til Christmas