Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Being Kind

Being Kind

By Marie T. Russell

As I was reflecting

the other day on love – loving

ourselves, loving our neighbor,

loving the world itself -- it came to

me that with all the "stigma"

attached to the word love,

sometimes we may be at a loss as to

what it means.

Love has been portrayed as sex,

or as martyrdom, or as self-

aggrandizement, or as co-


Thus when we speak

of loving ourselves or loving others,

we may be unclear at to exactly

what that means.

A much simpler way, and maybe a

more understandable way, to

express that goal or vision is simply

to say "Be Kind".

Think about it, when we are kind to

someone we are definitely not

unloving -- when we are kind to

ourselves, that is loving ourselves –

when we are kind to the Earth, we

are demonstrating love inaction.

So maybe rather than trying to

practice Love Thy Neighbor As

Thyself, we could better understand

and practice, Be Kind to Your

Neighbor and To Your Self.

Be Kind.

Now we all know what

that means.

Being kind has no

connotations (as love can have) of

sexuality or martyrdom.

Being kind

is simply that -- being kind to

others, being kind to ourselves.


me, it just made Loving Myself and

Loving My Neighbor a whole lot


I just have to "be kind" to

myself, to "be kind" to my


I focus on having kind

thoughts, kind motives, kind


Random Acts of Kindness

You may remember some years

back a movement had started

having to do with Practicing

Random Acts of Kindness.

This involved such things as putting

money into parking meters when

you saw they were about to expire –

- even if you had no idea whose car

it was that you saving from a

parking ticket.

It also involved

paying for the person behind you

when you got to the toll booth.

It had to do with being kind to


without expecting any reward or

thanks. Being kind to strangers.

Being kind just to be kind -- not

because someone expected it of you,

or because you felt guilty.

It was

simply an act of love - unselfish,

unwarranted, unexpected.

We all certainly can use more

kindness in our lives.

When we eat

foods that we know are harmful to

our health and well-being, are we

being kind to our body, to

ourselves? When we insult

someone, or hold a grudge and

seethe with resentment, are we

being kind -- either to ourselves or

to them? After all, holding on to

anger raises our blood pressure and

creates havoc in our own body –

never mind the effect on the peace

and harmony in the room.

Am I Being Kind?

The question to ask ourselves as we

go about our day is "Am I Being

Kind?" The other day, as I sat with

a friend, I started teasing her about


As I did so, all of a

sudden I realized that I wasn't

being kind. Oops.

Now, my goal is

to remember, before I respond with

anger or impatience, or even

teasingly, to ask myself "Am I

being kind?" I find that a lot of

things that I "normally" thought

were fine (even jokes about our

government officials) are not kind.

So I rephrase my thoughts or words

to be kind -- honest, but kind.

It makes me feel better about

myself when I'm being kind and

I'm sure it makes the people

around me feel better as well.

Here's to all of us -- and the whole

planet -- practicing being kind to

each other.


1 comment:

  1. I would be interested to know where you got that piece from. yours..lars