The Importance Of Kindness.
In today’s fast-paced, egocentric world, being right or knowing all the answers can seem like the most important aspect of our lives. I’m not here to say that being right is bad, or that having all the answers makes someone a bad person. I’m here to say that all too often, we do those things at the expense of expressing kindness towards one another.
The age of social media allows us to learn a lot more than in times past. It also allows us to know everyone’s opinions about everything, while giving us the opportunity to share our own opinions. This is a great thing. Learning is wonderful.
An old adage says, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”
One of our basic needs as human beings is that of feeling love. When we don’t feel that love, problems arise within us. I don’t believe that we necessarily need to show “love” to everyone in the context that many of you are thinking of; I do, however, think we need to be kind to everyone, even those who don’t show us the same kindness or respect.
An important part of the previous quote, one that often gets overlooked, is the phrase “as thyself.” Many people will be kind to others, but they really struggle with the “love thyself” part..
So many other things seem to have far more value — being powerful and in control, being famous, being brilliant, being rich and successful. Whether on the school playground or in business or government, being smart and in control is given a higher value than caring and kindness. In fact, being a caring and kind person seems to have acquired a bad rap:
If I’m kind, I will be duped and taken advantage of.
If I’m kind, people will see me as weak and not respect me.
Why is kindness linked with weakness? Is it possible to be kind as well as smart, successful and powerful? Are they mutually exclusive?
Of course, the answer to the last question is “no” — these qualities are not mutually exclusive at all.
Let’s see why.
- Happiness, Joy and Inner Fullness
One of my favourite movies, which we see every Christmas Eve, is A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim — who does an incredible job of playing Ebenezer Scrooge. For most of the movie, he is a power-hungry rich miser who cares for no one. Once the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future show him what he has been denying, he changes from being a totally miserable, empty man to being a light and joyous man, filled to the brim with loving kindness. I am always thrilled to see the moment of his redemption!
Kindness to ourselves and with others takes away emptiness, replacing it with the fullness of love, inner peace and a sense of personal power.
Respect is important as it shows that one values another as an individual, and that he or she honours the personal rights and dignity of the person as a fellow human being. People who are disrespectful often have few friends and alliances, and others do not enjoy being near them.
Respect goes a long way in developing a harmonious home, work and social environment. Communication is clear and appropriate among individuals who respect each other. If a person is respectful, it shows that he or she has a positive attitude.
A person who is courteous, listens to others and treats people fairly is respectful.
People who show respect for others often gain respect in return.
Respect is needed in the modern world to foster peace and kindness between all people. Partners who respect each other in relationships are much happier than those who do not.
A child who respects the requests of their parents shows good character. Elderly people in nearly every culture command respect. In the business world, business leaders that show respect are more likely to form better partnerships and honor the requests of stakeholders. When managers and employees respect one another, they are able to communicate well and collaborate to reach business goals.
“I urge everyone who reads this to show a little more kindness to themselves, to their family and friends, to their acquaintances, and to those people around them (both in real life and on social media) that they don’t really know. If we’re all just a little bit kinder, the world will be just a little bit better.”
Sincerely with a smile,
The modern authority on all matters etiquette, taste and achievement.