There’s a world of kindness in every day. It greet us in ways we least expect. The co-worker who offers to take our mail down the hall for us. The driver who lets us in their lane once we’ve discovered we’re in the wrong one. The shopper in line with 10-15 items who lets us in front of them with only one item. The friend or life partner who replaces batteries, buys a coke, or saves a spot because they love us.
When we focus on the positive things in our life, the kind word or deed, we feel happy, content, satisfied. Often though, we tend to focus on the guy who cut us off on the way home instead of the one who let us cut in at lunch, when we were in a big hurry ourselves. And, we can let the co-worker in a big hurry to get their copy job done, and in the process keep us from getting our job done before the end of the day, get the best of us. It’s easy to do, especially when we’re on a timeline, distracted, or short on sleep.
So, how do we learn to focus on the kindnesses of others – friends or strangers? And, how can we be more aware of kindnesses happening on a personal level as well as on a global level. Can we rely only on our own experiences? How about social media or the news which often focus on the shock factor of negativity and drama?
Well, I can tell you what works for me, and it is two-fold.
One, I say a prayer of thankfulness for every kind deed that I see – whether it happens to me or to someone else. That’s right. Since I’ve been practicing this thankfulness of kindness, I not only notice more kindness happening in my own life, I also see it happening in other people’s lives – my co-workers, my friends, my family, and complete strangers. I now see more posts from others about kindnesses taking place in their lives or in the lives of their friends and family. You probably see it, too. You just may not realize it. Try it and see what you think. Do you begin to notice an increase in kindness as well?
The mind focuses on what we tell it. If our brain focuses on the negative, our brain believes there is more negativity out there. If we focus instead on the positive, then we believe there is more positivity and kindness in our world. We start to see it everywhere we look. It’s in the little things and the big things. It’s when someone gives a scholarship in the name of a deceased loved one, to pay it forward to the younger generation, thereby creating a living legacy. It’s in the toddler sharing his or her toy with their sibling or an unknown toddler in distress. It’s the young adult who volunteers to help in a senior home because it reminds him of his grandparents who he misses dearly.
And, two, I let go of the negativity, of all the things that bring me down, upset me, disappoint me, and plain just tick me off. When I get to the end of my day, I realize those are not the things that will matter at the end of my life. The things that will matter will be being kind to others, the memories that are created by the kindnesses of loved ones and of strangers, and the relationships that have been established because of that kindness.
The only thing that focusing on negativity does is rob us of our joy. Do not let that happen. Instead, focus on the kindnesses in your world – the world around you and the world at large. Yes, kindness is in the world around us, at every turn, if we just but open our eyes to see it. When we search for kindness, we can even begin to identify it in the news and on social media. We may have to look harder for it, but this kindness is the universal language and can be found in every country and every nation. So, why not let it be our focus more often?
Perhaps, we just need to let ourselves focus more on kindness rather than any wrongness committed against us. When we see someone help another person in some way, let us be thankful. When we witness a kindness in our workplace or on our way home, let us be grateful. May we all do this. May we be more inclined to kindness each and every day – not just in passing but actively.
The more we focus on being kind, the more our world will become filled with the things that make us happy, that make us smile, and that make us each just a little more kind to our loved ones, our co-workers, strangers, and even to ourselves. Starting today, may we all become aware of and be a part of a more kind world.
Just be kind, world.
If you liked this post, you may like “K is for Kindness” in my book, “Honor One Another: The ABCs of Embracing Our Spirit Within.” Be sure to check it out on my Amazon author page. Thanks so much!