By Penny Hill | CNA Media Team
How do you feel when someone does something kind for you? It’s quite unlike any other feeling. A bit of awe, a touch of wonder, and some thankfulness. And depending on the situation, maybe a great big dollop of gratitude. Kindness is often unlooked for and drops into our lives as grace. The beneficence of the random. And even though we live in a paradigm that says ‘what goes around comes around,’ it still seems disconnected to us, something that we didn’t earn, but that was gifted to us by a loving Other.
Kind gestures can be as small as a proffered smile. When we need one, we can use that gift to let ourselves be lifted up. If we are replete, we can use that gift of a smile to engage with someone else and give that smile back and double the effects for the giver and receiver. A chair pulled out, a door held open, a cheerful wave are all small acts of kindness that bring us together as a community and a people. Small acts of kindness can transcend our racial and ethnic strife without ever saying a word. You can make the world a safer place for everyone by just these small acts of kindness. There is no act of kindness to small to make a difference.
Kindness can be big of course, but the opportunities to practice big kindnesses are perhaps fewer. We’ve lost our appreciation of the small. In our culture it’s all about the big, the bold, the super hero level effort. It’s has left the rest of us as mere spectators. We’ve lost agency in our own lives to this notion that bigger is not only better, but is all that counts. But life is in the little details. The small intimate moments. The exchanges that only you and the other will ever know about; the time spent braiding a friends hair, the card sent out of the blue for no reason other than you were thinking of them.
The small continual gestures of kindness can change you too. Being kind is something you can schedule. We leave too much of life’s goodness to chance and serendipity. Why not make it a habit? You could try Tuesday tip day, and if you eat out give an extra generous tip, (even if maybe you eat a little less to do so.) On Wednesdays, set out to smile at all the other drivers on the road. On Thursday, say thank you to as many animals, places, people and even things as you can on a gratitude walk. How could you structure your life so kindness was not a random act but a way of living?
Penny Hill, LMT, Certified EFT Practitioner and Certified HeartMath Practitioner provides stress relief to her neighbors through her businesses, Rising Sun Massage and EFT Tapping For Stress Relief. For more EFT resources go to CalmHealthEase.com