“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” – Dalai Lama
Dictionary.com’s definition of Religion:
A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a super human agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
So the Dalai Lama’s set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe is Kindness. Kindness makes his world go ’round. I don’t consider myself Buddhist, but I can get behind that.
I know that what I’m about to suggest is a pipe-dream, but try to imagine a world that is filled with kindness. As if the general code of conduct were actually kindness. How would your day at work be different? How would you treat your body differently if you were kind to it? How about your mind and spirit? The truth is that you could live in that world just by being kind to others…and to yourself.
Kindness has an intrinsic power to it that cannot be explained with words, only experienced by doing. Try it out for an entire day and see what happens.
Here are 3 ways to get your kindness juices flowing:
1) Be kind to yourself
This is very easy for some and very difficult for others, but very important regardless. You must fill yourself with kindness before you can have any left over to give to others.
2) Intentionally help somebody today (random acts of kindness)
Sure, we may open the door for somebody or allow someone to go in front of us into an elevator, but those are “everyday” acts of kindness. What I’m talking about is a more active approach that looks like this: (1) See an opportunity to help someone in a bigger way (2) Help them, regardless of your excuses.
3) Treat your significant other/sibling/best friend differently than you’ve ever treated them before
This is actually going to take a lot more effort than you think. Whether you realize it or not, you and this person have created a system of communication and a system of treating each other. Think about when you first meet someone and don’t really know how to talk to him/her. It’s a little awkward, right? But after a while you get to know each other better, and start to form a system in which you communicate with one another. That system may never change for the rest of your relationship with that person…but it is possible to change it with some effort.
So think about how you and this person communicate with one another in a negative way. Maybe you talk over them and don’t listen as much as you could, or perhaps you talk down to them like they’re your younger sibling (even if they actually are). Switch that up for a day and communicate with them as if they know far more than you ever will and listen to them as if everything they say turns to gold. Something amazing is going to happen and you’re going to realize something very important, I guarantee it.
Now go out there and do these things today or tomorrow, then come back and tell me how it went in the comment sections below. Seriously, take on this mission!