“Remember that there is no such thing as a small act of kindness.
Every act creates a ripple with no logical end” – Scott Adams
It’s true that we have no idea how a small act of kindness can impact others around us and inspire others to do the same. Just think about how you feel when someone is nice to you. It’s like a breath of fresh air that you want to pass along to someone else. While it’s easy to get dragged down by all the bad things that can happen in a day, it can’t be an excuse to treat others badly. How we treat others is a direct reflection on ourselves and most people will treat us the way we treat them. So spread kindness like confetti, here are five ways to do it.
Don’t criticize or gossip
There’s a fine line between constructive criticism and just being mean. Being overly critical just makes other feel bad. You may have the best intentions, but realize that your words can have a lasting impact on someone’s self esteem. Instead of focusing on what they are doing wrong, offer words of encouragement. Same goes for gossip. We often gossip because we enjoy it, but what is bringing us joy us often hurting others. Minimize criticism and gossip and maximize encouragement and compliments.
Be mindful about what you say
Before (re)acting, take a moment to think about what you’re about to say. Be mindful about the situation, put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to see how they might be feeling (this goes for friends and strangers too). We are all going through our own personal drama on any given day. The more in tune you are to what others are feeling, the more you will speak from the heart and the kinder you will be in your interactions.
I mentioned this in my last point, but it’s worth repeating. When a difficult situation occurs, try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. They may be going through an extremely difficult time in their life. Maybe they just lost their job, or maybe they are facing a tragic situation in their family. Everyone has days when things aren’t going as well as they could. Being aware that these are possibilities can change your perception of things. Now think about if you were going through something and a stranger was patient and kind to you. It would feel pretty amazing, no?
Forgive and forget
This is a tough one. When someone hurt you, letting go of those feelings can feel impossible.e But holding on to them is doing yourself more harm than good. Try forgiving those that have wronged you and move forward. As difficult as it can be, it’s also extremely liberating, not to mention powerful. You’d be surprised the weight lifted off your shoulders when you decide to take this bold step.
Start with yourself
To be kind to others, you have to be kind to yourself. Schedule time to exercise, read, write, whatever makes you happy and makes you feel fulfilled. Stop with the self-hate when it comes to your abilities, your body, your looks, etc. We are our own worst critic. Learn to silence that inner voice that loves to criticize and listen to the voice that accepts you for the beautiful person you are.