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Posts Tagged ‘Kindness’


~ Liquid Sunshine ~by ViaMoi

I was reading a kindness newsletter from Help.Others.org earlier.  It reminds again of the importance of kindness.  It’s amazing how making someone else feel better makes you feel better too.

There are lots of ways to be kind. You can give a compliment, bake brownies, or offer to help with a task someone else struggles with.  You can do a chore for a friend or give a stranger a gift.  Hand out flowers, share a hug, or simply listen to someone who needs it.

A simple smile and hello go a long, long way. Just today there were some people at work who were sick.  They were tired, withdrawn and quiet because they didn’t feel good.  Just smiling at them and joking around lifted their moods for a while.  It couldn’t make the pain go away, but it helped them forget about it for a moment.

Niceness counts too.  Especially at work, where it is sometimes unexpected. Saying good morning, acknowledging help with a thank you, or giving praise for a good job, all increase positive feelings.  Sharing a smile, good news, and funny stories are all helpful to building good relationships at work.

Niceness is wonderful at home too.  Have you ever known someone who didn’t want to hear how much you love them? A kiss or hug when you walk in the door is welcoming.  Turning off the TV or muting the volume while you listen to your spouse shows them you care about them and how they feel.

Kindness and the power of being nice make the day so much more smoother and happier, it’s a wonder I don’t do it every day. On a really good day I can even make someone I don’t like happy.  On a bad day, helping a friend smile or feel cared for makes me feel needed, which gives me a reason to keep going.

So why don’t I always wear my rose-colored glasses?  I don’t know. Life gets in the way.  I get “busy.”  That terrible 4-letter word that means I stop paying attention to myself and those around me, and miss golden opportunities to make life better. But that’s why I’m sharing.  Today just reading about the kindness of strangers made me feel more optimistic.  Then I listened to a friend and gave out some smiles and compliments.  Soon my mood was much improved.  It was a subtle reminder of the power of kindness.  Niceness adds a bit more beauty and joy into the world.  And we could all use more of that.

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Picture by sean dreilinger

This is true for anything, but especially with kindness. I was totally lost about what to write about today, until I got home and found a nice comment on an article I had recently written.

As you can see by my blog feed, I don’t have all that many readers.  But the good thing about being small is that every little comment means a lot to me.  I appreciate every reader that takes a few minutes of their day to look at what I wrote.  But even I don’t comment on all the articles and blog posts I like.  So I am especially thankful for those who do.

The same thing is true for a little relaxation, a little fun, or even a little exercise.  All of these things if done often can add up to big results.  By doing things in little doses we are more likely to find the time, effort, or money needed to accomplish our goals.

During a stressful day, a few deep breathes or a couple of 5 minute stretch breaks can help change our pace, slowing us down and helping us refocus.  A small amount of money, saved every month grows a bundle of wealth to reach our retirement goals.

Doing a little is a good idea for most of us because with our busy lives and never-ending to-do list, it’s hard to find time to do a lot. But finding 10 minutes here, or twenty dollars there is do-able, and one step leads to the next.

It reminds of the old movie ‘What About Bob,” where Bill Murray is a patient who needs “baby steps” to get him where he wants to go.  As he takes baby steps to the door, and baby steps down the hall, then baby steps down the street, he realizes that he can do whatever he sets his mind to, if only he keeps at it, and starts with small steps.

So whatever idea, goal or project you’re thinking of, remember that baby steps can get you there.  And the next time you think your words or actions don’t matter, remember that a little bit goes a long way.

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rose

Perfect Love by tinyfroglet

What is Loving Kindness Compassion?

Loving Kindness is a brilliant and beautiful idea I first discovered in Buddhism. It is the development of love and empathy for every person on the planet. Yes – even the bad guys.  It is the belief that we are all united by one common principal; that we all want to end suffering and find happiness.

Why is compassion useful? When you practice compassion, you actively look for the beauty, generosity and goodness in people.  It expands your awareness, helping you to notice it more often, and reminding you of the wonder of love.

Compassion helps us to see the world as loving and kind.  As the Dalai Lama states on his web site, mental suffering is the more abundant concern, thus creating the need for training of the mind:

“For a start, it is possible to divide every kind of happiness and suffering into two main categories: mental and physical. Of the two, it is the mind that exerts the greatest influence on most of us. Unless we are either gravely ill or deprived of basic necessities, our physical condition plays a secondary role in life. If the body is content, we virtually ignore it. The mind, however, registers every event, no matter how small. Hence we should devote our most serious efforts to bringing about mental peace.”

Loving kindness meditation and prayer can remove our mind from fear and calm our chaotic thoughts.  This leads to peace and a feeling of security.  To read more on the Dalai Lama’s view on compassion click here.

How do I begin to practice loving kindness? The easiest way to begin is by giving thanks for all the people you are grateful for in your personal life.  Your parents, children, spouse, friends and other family members who give you love and support.  As you start to acknowledge these gifts, others will begin coming to light.  You recognize the generosity, forgiveness, love, and understanding you received from them.

If you have ever been moved to tears by your own overpowering love for another person, you will find that same experience when you accept the gift of another’s love for you.

How can I love people that do bad things? One way I have found that helps me love the bad guys, is to understand that they are teachers.  By way of their sometimes extreme examples, we are reminded over and over of what not to do.

Of course, I’m the first to admit this is a tall order.  The good news is that we have our entire lifetimes to learn.  I have achieved moments of total happiness and joy when imagining the countless valuable contributions of each person, from the local farmer who grows our food, to the truck driver who delivers it, the store that sells it and so on.  I then progress upwards giving thanks for all the inventors, scientists, researchers and doctors that work to improve my life, health and overall well being.  Complete strangers trying to make my world and theirs a better place.

Here is another quote from the Dalai Lama to consider:

“For a person who cherishes compassion and love, the practice of tolerance is essential, and for that, an enemy is indispensable. So we should feel grateful to our enemies, for it is they who can best help us develop a tranquil mind.”

What else is compassion good for? Compassion for others helps us to more easily forgive others and live with a feeling of peace.  It also shows us how many things there are to be grateful for in this beautiful world; spectacular mountain ranges and emerald blue oceans, a huge diversity of animal and plant life, sensational sculptures and paintings that touch your heart.  The taste and texture of salty, sweet, or spicy foods, the melodious sounds of music across the world, even the perfection of a single flower.  There is so much good in the world if only we will begin to look for it.

Where can I find more information? There is so much more information available about this concept.  Your local library is a good place to start.  Books on Buddhist religion will offer various insights into loving kindness, as well as a variety of articles and information on the Internet.  Here are a few places to start:

Compassion Meditation

Dalai Lama web site

Loving Kindness guided meditation – Beliefnet.com

Loving Kindness

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