This week I signed up for a kindness project on Facebook but I realised that I don’t need any projects to be kind.
I am already kind – I always ask people how they are feeling, I always compliment people, I always tip more than necessary and I spend time talking to many random strangers (and probably know way too much about people’s life stories and traumas too). I sometimes even let taxi drivers move in front of me in the traffic (with a smile and a wave!).
What I do know is that while I am always kind to everyone, I am often not kind enough to myself.
I also get upset by the fact that many, many people are not kind in return.
So my mission was not to be more kind but rather to be more kind with absolutely no expectation – to get joy just from being kind.
On Monday, I asked every patient that attended my group sessions what they remembered about what I had said to them when I did my rounds in the morning. Every single person remembered exactly what I had said to them – they remembered that I smiled at them, complimented them, spent a few minutes talking to them…. (Sorry to all the other people who are always waiting for me because of the time that I take to spend a moment with each person on my rounds)
It really made me think about how one simple thing has the ability to make a person feel so much better. You have no idea how much you can change somebody’s day just by a simple act of kindness.
But always remember that just because you are kind, it doesn’t mean that the next person is going to return that kindness. If they don’t, that is purely a reflection of them and absolutely nothing to do with you.
And please don’t forget to be kind to yourself too – if you can compliment somebody else, give yourself a compliment. If you forgive someone, please forgive yourself too.
Ready? Smiles on…. Be kind!