What do your senses tell you about “Kindness?”
What is kindness? . How do you “feel” when you are kind or unkind?
I like a definition for kindness in elementary terms of interpersonal interactions. Kindness is simply caring. Kindness is being fully aware, thinking of others, acting courteously, showing empathy, exercising patience, and showing up as your best self in the world.
Harvard School of Medicine research, as reported in Allan Luks’ book, “The Healing Power of Doing Good,” supports a theory for “helper’s high.” Helper’s high is much like the well-publicized runner’s high. Sharing kindness to others gives me a rush of satisfying pleasure followed by a wave of soothing calm.
Recent research explains that those changes I feel in my body are triggered by naturally occurring endorphins, neurotransmitter—messenger molecules that carry signals to my brain. Endorphin-linked effects produce a terrific physical sense of wellbeing, reduce body pain, heighten self-esteem, enhance tendencies to create emotional bonds, and initiate a subsequent calm.
Doesn’t helper’s high sound like a great way to improve elevator etiquette?
I do not believe that kindness is a lost art. If fact, I understand that kindness is a piece of evolutionary foundation. During the age of early man, the human species depended on kindness to survive, living in villages, hunting and gathering as a tribe; the human race would not have survived without caring communities.
Reaching out to others, with the intention to serve, with no expectation of return, rewards you with a sense of power and influence over situations that appear out of your control. You are no longer a victim of an unfortunate circumstance. An act of kindness is never insignificant.
Kindness is strength—but strength does not only come from physical capacity.
Brene’ Brown PhD, renown psychotherapist and author writes, “Cruelty is never brave—it’s mostly cheap and easy, especially in today’s culture.”
Who do you admire? What traits of leadership and power do they portray? Stories throughout history and literature praise the traits a “Good King.”
Dogen, Master of enlightenment prophesizes, “Zen is simply the easy and pleasant practice of Buddha, the Realization of Buddha’s Wisdom. To know yourself is to forget yourself.”