Today, there are people who still believe that ‘an eye for an eye’ is all the policy we need. Probably born out of a staunch unwillingness to ‘appear’ passive in their daily dealings, this belief in ‘pay back’ has its footprints scattered across our various societies all across the globe. Now I agree that being too passive might make you a pushover but I don’t believe you have to be mean to share your opinion on anything. Besides, an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind anyways.
In light of the troubles (both climate and economic) that assail us all today, it has become normal to lash out at each other, and to forget that we are all going through something. You don’t always know why someone else has been mean to you, but being cognizant of the fact that each person you meet this month is struggling in his or her own way would help you relate with them kindly. And who knows? Being kind might remind them that they, too, should be kind.
There are so many ways you can be kind, but these are our suggestions on where you should start:
1. Greet someone you see daily by name.
Our names are big parts of our identities and it means the world when someone remembers them and calls us by them. So this month, find out the name of someone you see every day, it could be your office secretary, or a colleague you barely know, or even your barista. Then greet them by name when next you meet and watch your simple kind act brighten up their faces instantly.
2. Offer an introduction.
Sometimes, all we need to get through a situation is a little outside help. It takes a few seconds to introduce one person to another but the effects can last for a lifetime so this month, offer an introduction to someone who needs it. Being kind in this way often improves a person’s life for the better.
3. Load a little extra change in a vending machine.
The next time you use a vending machine, leave behind a little change, enough to buy someone a drink. Being kind in this way won’t cost you much. It will in fact make you happier to know that your generosity may have ensured that someone else enjoys a fuller meal for the day.
4. Help someone try something new.
Most of us are terrified to try our hands at dreams that dare us to leave our comfort zones; this is human nature. Sometimes, all we need is a little nudge to get started so if you find someone battling with trying something new, listen kindly to their fears and then do what you can to help them get started. You never know; your nudge might be all they need to begin.
Most of us are terrified to try our hands at dreams that dare us to leave our comfort zones and this is human. Sometimes, all we need is a little nudge to get started so if you find someone battling with trying something new, listen kindly to their fears and then do what you can to help them get started. You never know; your nudge might be all they need to begin.
5. Share something you know with someone who needs it.
When we share our emotions and thoughts with someone who needs it, we contribute to their lives in more ways than we know. We also create a relationship of trust, which in most cases flows back to us. That is the power of openness and vulnerability. So try sharing something you know (whether a recipe or an idea) with someone you think needs it.
6. Help someone cross the street.
I know you’re in a hurry but being kind in this way will be worth the break in your routine. Take the time to help someone (whether a child or someone struggling with grocery bags) maneuver the sidewalk to the other side of the road. Trust me, your compassion won’t be forgotten and you never know, it might be the start of a life-long friendship too.
7. Be kind on social media.
Social media can be full of negativity and bitter trolls, some platforms (ahem, Twitter) more than others. Do your best to be just the opposite, be polite and nice wherever you can on social platforms and try to ignore abuse and attacks. Respond warmly to articles, share positive news stories and generally try to remember your manners. Do your bit and little by little, you may help to transform hostile online discussions and obnoxious people.
8. Pay someone a genuine compliment.
Compliments are those honest endearing confessions about someone else’s character that make them either blush beautifully or walk a little taller for the rest of their day. The best ones accomplish both so pay at least one person a genuine compliment. It doesn’t matter who you choose to pay it to; it could be your partner, a sibling or a work mate. It only matters that what you say is true.
9. Surprise your parents with an unexpected visit or phone call.
For this new month, why not make a commitment to make more of an effort with your parents (if you have them and know them that is). Find the time to surprise your parents with an unexpected visit or a phone call. Checking in with them is a priceless way to remind them that you love them deeply and that you are always going to show up for them regardless of how busy your life gets. It’s also a gesture they will value throughout their days.
10. Say, “I’m sorry” and mean it.
We saved the best for last. Apologizing just for the sake of apologizing is meaningless because sincere apologies are for those that make them, not for those to whom they are made. We often fail to realize the hurt we cause by failing to take responsibility for our actions but you can change all that by uttering simple words– and meaning it. Most of the time these two simple words are worth more than a lifetime of excuses and explanations.
And that brings us to the end of our suggested acts of kindness for you this month. We hope you attempt them, and we hope it goes a long way to making life for you and those around you, more joyful, peaceful and wonderful.
p.s. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself too! Here’s how:
- What Would Oprah Do? A Collection of Quotes and Life Advice From Inspirational Women
- “I’m More Sustainable Than You.” How Did the Eco Community Become So Intolerant and Competitive?
- Just Breathe: How to Slow Down in the Rat Race
- Toxic Politics: Whatever Happened to Civility in Political Discourse?
- 6 Eco Mum Bloggers Who Inspire Other Parents Towards Green Living
- 5 Inspiring Australian Female Politicians You Should Know
- 30 Things You Can Do If You’re Feeling Helpless About Climate Change
Images via Unsplash.