Saturday, December 03, 2011

acts of kindness

It would seem that the cynics might be conservative Christian friends believe that the world is an inherently bad place...that people are are born ...evil...or flawed...or whatever term you want to use to describe the humanness of us all.

Today I am feeling sceptical...disillusioned even.

I want to believe that the world is full of good people.  I want to believe that people are basically good.  But time after time, I put my faith in another person (perhaps that is flawed in itself) and find myself being let down.  I understand that we are not perfect  - and I certainly take no issue with the idea that as humans we are  capable, even gifted, at falling short.   But what I'm talking about here is the ability to simply be kind.  

Whether it be in word or deed, surely the world would be a better place - and we would get on a whole lot better in it - if we tempered our actions and thoughts with kindness.   When we are kind to our bodies, our environment, the people around us,  surely the knock on effect can only be positive.  And conversely, when someone is unkind to us, it is all to easy to respond the same way, creating a butterfly effect of discontent.

Words can be harsh...and needlessly so in my opinion.  I accept that many things are said from raw emotion, that often we don't think through the consequences of our words and actions before ''getting them out there'' but surely this is another good reminder of the need to think twice, act once?

I have heard way too many stories this week of real unkindness.  Meanness.  Selfishness.  Narcissism.  Misogynistic behaviour.  It grieves me deeply.

Kind words make people feel valued.  Harsh words don''t.  It's that simple.  If we live by the maxim of loving each other as we would love ourselves then I would have to ask this question:  what value do we put on ourselves when we speak unkindly to others?

Honesty is essential.  Integrity too.  And to cloak these qualities in kindness must surely be one the greatest challenges of all.


Cardinal Cyn said...

Kindness is such a beautiful thing. But if you imagine two extremes - at one end you have kindness, and the other end honesty. John Powell, author, wrote this: Kindness without honesty is pure sentimentality. And honesty without kindness is cruel. The true genius of good communication is to be both totally honest and totally kind at the same time.

LG Under the Apple Tree said...

My mother always says "If you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say it". Its an adage that serves well, but in my experience some people see communication as a competitive sport and will try to gain advantage. In NZ we live under the rule of law which is adversarial. Lawyers think this is a good way of winning.