What’s your kind?

kind (adj)

  1. Of a friendly, generous, or warm-hearted nature.
  2. Showing sympathy or understanding; charitable.
  3. Humane; considerate.
  4. Forbearing; tolerant.
  5. Generous; liberal.
  6. Agreeable; beneficial.

This is the definition of “kind” taken directly from The Free Dictionary. I felt the need to look up the word after a day of bearing witness to the opposite of “kind” behaviour. It is amazing how up until December 25, it is “merry christmas” this and “happy holidays” that. The day after and whatever holiday spirit was stocked up in the 3 week lead up to the holidays has all been spent.

On December 26, I saw the absolute worst brought out in people in parking lots, at malls, in movie theatres. Call me crazy but charitable behaviour should not be seasonal. We all have places to be, dislike waiting, and want things done our way. But is that excuse enough to be unkind? No way.

A lot of folks have taken to participating in random acts of kindness. I believe this is truly wonderful but also know that so often being kind is a more immediate and daily requisite in our exchanges with others. Often the kindness that is needed is not in going out of one’s way for another human being but merely in making different choices as you react to situations that arise.

My kind is really a combination of what I bestow on others and how I value what others bestow upon me. Here are some very simple and basic ways to be kind in your daily interactions.

  1. Say “hello”, “please”, “thank you”, “excuse me”, “sorry” – as context dictates. It takes only seconds to do this but it means that you are actually acknowledging another human being’s existence and value.
  2. Be mindful of others around you. When in public watch where you are going and what you are saying. Again this is an easy way to respect the fact that we all share public spaces and all of us have the equal privilege of enjoying these spaces.
  3. Be helpful. Often it won’t be your problem that needs solving but somebody else’s. Choose not to hinder someone else’s enjoyment of life because you feel you can’t be bothered.
  4. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes people will cut you in line or walk directly in your path without awareness of the impact this has on you. More times than not, it is unintentional. They may have failed to follow #2 above. It doesn’t mean you have to take it personally. Choose to be the bigger person and avoid unnecessary negativity.

Remember: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” ~ Dalai Lama

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