Photo Credit: favim.com
I've always been a fan of the Ellen show and after every show she ends it with: "Be kind to one another." I believe, at times, we need that reminder. We live in a world that creates a culture based on self interest. One that is rooted in selfishness and self-centeredness. Being kind has to be intentional. I believe that focusing on being more kind will and can improve all of your relationships. Here are some questions that I ask myself to reflect on if I am truly showing kindness in my life on a daily basis:
1. What have I done today to lift myself up?
Kindness is often defined as compassion, consideration, being non-judgemental and having generosity. Kindness, we believe, starts with being kind to yourself. This is difficult for many, myself included, especially if you struggle with perfectionism. Learning to love yourself first will allow you to more deeply love and respect others as well. Forgiving yourself, taking care of yourself, speaking positive to yourself and respecting yourself, are ways that I learned how to better love myself so that I can serve others. When you learn to give yourself grace, it helps you to be more genuine with others.
2. What have I done today to serve someone?
If you ever read the book, The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman, he discusses 'Acts of service,' which is one of the five love languages. Doing good for others feels good. Giving without expectation and going above & beyond are some of the best ways to exemplify kindness. One of the best ways to show love is through actions and not just through words. Servitude, kindness and love all go hand-in-hand.
3. Have I lived the 'Golden Rule' today?
We all know the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. If I want respect, I got to give respect first. The kinder we are towards others, the better we feel. Learning to practice more empathy is one of the greatest ways to live out the 'Golden Rule.' Being able to be objective and see other's viewpoints allows you to gain perspective.
4. How have I improved my quality of life and the quality of life of others around me today?
There are actually a number of scientific benefits associated with the way we treat others. Kindness improves your quality of life. Being kind to others boosts your serotonin (feel-good chemical) levels, increases oxytocin ('the love' hormone) levels and decreases stress and anxiety. Kindness is actually contagious. The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain can improve mood and also encourage others to "pay it forward." This means one good deed can create a ripple effect that can positively impact a countless number of people.
The world needs a solid dose of kindness. My hope in writing this was to encourage a compliment, a random act of kindness or maybe even encouragement. Intentionally set a goal to be kinder to others. Kindness is a virtue:
'A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.'
So be kind to one another...
Brandon & Amanda