Be The Change, Be Kind

Be Kind. It sounds a little insipid, doesn’t it? Somehow I feel like the word ‘kind’ has been watered down and moved into the category of words such as ‘nice’. It seems bland, and yet it’s power is surely huge.

I like to be kind. It’s easy enough to do, and I think it spreads a little happiness. A kind gesture from a stranger can make your day. But, I have to be honest, I don’t often go out of my way to be kind. Equally, I don’t go out of my way to be unkind, you understand, but I’m pretty certain that that’s still not good enough.

My mum mentioned to me the other day that she’d bumped into a friend when she was out and about and she’s going through some tough times. So the next day, my mum picked her up a bunch of daffodils and dropped them into her porch on the way back from the shops. A simple gesture, but the lady called up Mum thanking her profusely for them, truly appreciating that she was in her thoughts. My mum played it down, ‘they cost just a £1’ she told me, but that’s not the point, is it? It was the thought, the kindness. My mum is one of those people that goes out of her way to be kind. She looks out for people, ensures they know she’s there for them, and she’s also one of those people that random strangers always feel they can talk to when we’re out. I mock her for that last one, of course, as she gets into some truly odd conversations sometimes, but she clearly has an air or approachability and kindness about her. Now, whilst I still plan to project a detached air in certain situations, after all I am simply not as nice a person as my mum is, that’s a true fact, I would like to offer more kindness to those around me, be they friends or strangers.

A kindness can keep you going on tough days, turn a day around. It’s a moment that can lift you and keep you happy all day. Just to know that someone else has thought of you, momentarily put you above themselves or simply did something to help you out that they need not have done. It counts, it’s meaningful and makes a difference.

There are some greats that can express what I’m trying to say here, far more eloquently than I and in far fewer words, so I will leave you with them….

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. ~Henry James

Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. ~Maya Angelou

All so true. For me, it boils down to this, said by one of the wisest people that ever lived, in my opinion…

be the change that you wish to see in the world

I know I need to heed this advice. So I will. I’m going to seek out opportunities to be kind. I want to look for them, spot little ways to brighten someone’s day here and there. I’m hoping to spread a little kindness, and I do suspect that by doing so, I’ll often be smiling, too.

Will you be the change, too?

 

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28 thoughts on “Be The Change, Be Kind”

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    Oh, I couldn’t agree with this more Jocelyn. Being kind is so important. I was just speaking to my son about it this morning-sometimes it is very hard (especially when you’re little) to remember to be kind, but it is always the right thing to do. I want both my children to remember this. Being kind to other’s doesn’t mean grand gestures necessarily, it simply means that you have thought of someone other than yourself. And speaking as one who has recently benefitted from some kindness, I can say it makes a huge difference xx

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      No, it’s just the little things, thoughts, moments, that add up to kindness. Glad you’ve been a recipient, too xx

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    What a gorgeous post. I think I must tell my children to please be kind to each other about a zillion times a day at the moment! I’ve been trying really hard recently to show more kindness with small gestures. I love that Henry James quote 🙂 x

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    I wholeheartedly agree with your post, Jocelyn! I think something like giving someone a bunch of flowers can feel like a big deal and a bit embarrassing but leaving it on the porch as your mum did is perfect for making the gesture in a simple way. I like to challenge myself, almost like a game, to see what I can do to demonstrate a little kindness. So it might be helping someone reach something from a high shelf in the supermarket or giving someone my car park ticket when there’s lots of time left on it to popping over to my housebound neighbour with a bunch of flowers to buying a suspended coffee when I’m in a cafe. (BTW if you’re new to the idea of suspended coffees, check out http://suspendedcoffees.com it’s brilliant.) And of course, a great benefit of being kind to others is that it makes you feel great too. My favourites of the quotes above are the Dalai Lama’s and Gandhi’s, so good!

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      Jocelyn Reading

      Thank you. I do like the little challenges, and it can be so many different little things. I’ll look into that website, too, thanks.

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    Love this! I watched an interview with a young guy who decided he would do at least one thing every day to be kind to others, he was such an inspiration that really made me think and act differently. The first act of kindness I did was to let a man with only a couple of items of shopping go before me in the supermarket queue, he was so grateful and we had a lovely chat too, so only a little thing but it have me a really warm feeling. Can’t say I have consciously done something everyday but definitely more than before.

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      Jocelyn Reading

      Thanks, Rachel. Sounds like a great interview, the kind that would stay with you. It does feel nice to do things like that x

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    What a great post! It’s definitely something that at times we forget how much a small thing can make such a big difference. It’s a two way street as not only does it make the other person happy but it’s lovely to know you’ve made them feel that way too x

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    Excellent sentiments, but you are right it is tough to be kind sometimes, I’m trying to be a more positive person, but keeping it up is tough so far I know it will become normal for me the longer I carry on, so I keep trying.

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