Kindness is defined as “an act that shows consideration and caring” by Bing Dictionary. But what is caring? Surely people see caring as many different ideas. A worried mother believes she’s caring, but too eager of tending to the child, once they’re a bit older, can feel bossy or nosy. Caring can quickly fall into a controlling situation, in which someone “cares” yet in truth, they are caring about their own feelings and would feel better if the person whose attention they are focusing on, would change their actions. This kind of caring is motivated by fear…which doesn’t seem to accurately reflect kindness.
This lead me to ask, how can one show universal kindness and caring in its truest, most positive form?
What if you’re always taking care of others – packing lunches for the children, taking care of elderly parents, and being a supportive spouse? This sounds extremely kind, yet I ask us to go a bit deeper and ask for the true motivation behind our actions. Are we helping out of fear of not being needed? Do we feel a lack of love within so we’re looking for approval from others? Are we basing our happiness off of their responses to our “kindness?” In no way am I saying these acts shouldn’t be done. They should! I’m asking can we be honest about our motivation. Do we believe we deserve to be taken care of? Do we allow ourselves to receive? If not, dare I say we might be spreading fear and anxiousness to those we’re helping.
What if we treated ourselves with the same amount of attention and respect we give others? We would find our self-love swell and overflow onto others around us. We would have a new found appreciation for our own thoughts, feelings and intentions. This self-kindness cannot be received or given by anyone else but you. Being kind to self, halts self judgements, slows fear, and greatly improves acceptance. This acceptance grows to encompass those around you, allowing you to accept others the way they are. Allowing you to help and give without an expectation behind it.
Let’s release the “should’s”, “ought to’s” and other fear based motivations. Let our acts of kindness stem from self-love and acceptance.