Kindness is slowly vanishing from this world. Kindness that translates as generosity and good thoughts. I am not going to discuss why kindness is disappearing, because the main reason is selfishness. People are too busy to be the ONLY centre of the Universe. What I am going to talk about is: how to be kind.
With the Internet and mass transfer of information, language transforms and not always for the better. Everybody has access to the Internet, while that is fair, we also have to consider that everybody influences everybody and not everybody is responsible for the message they send. Therefore, first and foremost, I will show you the definition I use for „being kind”. With the courtesy of Oxford Dictionary, which explains the word „kind” in detail, I will extract the definition that interests me, for the purpose of this article. Hence, to be kind means to:
Having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature.
Now, it’s enough to look at the above definition to realize that for the past week, you haven’t been friendly or generous or considerate to anyone. If this is not you, cheers, mate! Stay kind! But you are rare.
I have completely forgotten the name of the person that said on a Ted show that the part of our brains that deals with altruism is becoming more and more quiet – meaning that as years pass by we become less kind (if someone knows the name, please write it in a comment so I can properly quote the person) and not because we’re getting older but because society suffers some transformations: consumerism, independence, and other waves that focus on selfish living.
So, most of us are becoming less and less generous. In order to highlight the meaning of this involution, watch Peter Singer‘s Ted presentation, at least the first minute. You will be shocked. I’m not saying don’t buy a new car and donate to charity (there is another debate on how some NGOs are money washing machines and don’t, in fact, do any efficient development work). What am I saying is:
Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.
(J.R.R Tolkien, The Hobbit)
Yes, I am a geek and yes, I believe that literature teaches us great things and educates our morality.
It’s really sad that nowadays someone else has to encourage you to be kind and generous. If we consider kindness only in form of charity or sacrificing for someone else, it becomes difficult to be kind. But kindness is like a discipline, you have to practice it in order to live it. Do charity if you can, but more importantly, make an act of kindness everyday – help an old woman with her groceries, give water to a homeless dog, greet the shop owner, smile on the street.
Kindness is not about compromising your own good for the benefit of others. It doesn’t mean to be a slave, physically or emotionally, to someone else; it doesn’t mean to stop living your dream just because others disagree with it.
Kindness purely means while you’re on your road, feed the birds from time to time.