In the scheme of things, our lives are a millisecond in history compared to what’s happened and what’s to come. As a consequence, a majority of us strive to make a mark with little thought to the consequences that comes with it. Our days are made up of the main prerogative of looking and analyzing our own success or likeability. Unfortunately, the times when thinking of others comes into play, is either out of benefit towards ourselves or how it comes across to the people we surround ourselves with.
Often times we forget the suffering that other’s outside our lives carry before our own. We forget that our love and understanding can be expansive. We take the kindness that we receive from others for granted and distribute little of our own. We forget to ask questions like: How have others taught me to choose kindness? How am I bringing kindness into my own life, so that I can bring it to others? You are the start of kind. The people you surround yourself with, how you treat yourself, and the actions that you choose are what it means choose kind. Choosing kindness is more than donating money or calling a long distance friend. It is a daily practice that you choose to bring yourself and the people around you. It is a practice we often forget. To choose kindness we are extending compassion and understanding to our own and others sorrows. We are saying to others and ourselves: I hear you and I am here for you. Which I know sounds a lot like marital counseling advice, but sometimes you need to set aside your pride to accomplish a larger picture. In the end, we are choosing to allow others to speak out and suffer less; this is also the start to learning how to love.
Kindness is often something that I forget to extend to myself. It’s easy to lack understanding when we are looking at our flaws, it’s even easier to lack compassion for ourselves. Often we have the feeling of mediocrity, lack of self worth, and hatred for the things we cannot change. How do you choose kind for yourself? Do you acknowledge these flaws? Do you say I hear you and I am here for you to yourself? By pushing aside your own self-hatred and by dismissing the acknowledgment of compassion for yourself you are turning away from kindness. Happiness cannot exist without the acknowledgment of suffering.
Once you can choose kindness for yourself you are able to bring it to others. You’re able to extend the same amount of compassion and understanding that you would to yourself. When others treat you with hatred or bring their burdens to you, you should extend your kindness to them. Love is as expansive as you allow it to be. It’s easy to forget that others carry the same burdens that we do. By simply choosing to listen, we are choosing kindness, because we are extending our compassion and understanding to someone other than our self. In part we are starting to create an environment in which people look at you in a positive light and are able to reflect your actions upon themselves and the people they love.
You can practice choosing kindness by simply being there for others. You can make someone’s day easier by doing something for him or her. You can smile and display love in the capacity of offer joy. You have the ability to choose to offer kindness everyday through active listening and the kindness you extend yourself. But more than often we forget, we get frustrated at our own suffering, and we miss the opportunities we have to practice understanding. So while mindful of how we treat others and how we treat ourselves, remember to choose kindness.