“That best portion of a man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.” ~ William Wordsworth
I’ve been thinking about kindness lately. I’m beginning to think that kindness is going out of vogue, and that makes me rather sad.
Some people think being kind is a sign of weakness, but the strongest people I know are the kindest. I think the sign of truly being a strong person is not being afraid to show kindness.
It’s a simple word, kind. It means a benevolent, considerate, helpful, humane. That’s not really much to ask, I don’t think.
And kindness doesn’t have to have a price tag to it. Sure, paying for someone’s meal when they are obviously in need is kind. But so is just acknowledging people are human, and may need help down the subway steps with the baby carriage. Sometimes a small exchange in the store with an elderly person makes their faces light up. Often the elderly in our society are lonely.
I think fear stops people from being kind. We may want to say words of support to a troubled co-worker or neighbor, but fear we’re not “close” enough for that. Or we fear that if we’re kind to someone, they’ll want more from us.
Who wants to live with fear and suspicion?
For a while people spoke of “paying it forward” or doing a “random act of kindness”. Sorry that trend fizzled out, but perhaps we should strive to consciously strive to become a kind person.
We need to be the change we want to see, and if we want a kinder world, that means we must be kind.