11/13/12

Kindness . . .

According to Dictionary.com, “Kindness” is defined as:

1. the state or quality of being kindkindness to animals.
2.kind  act; favor: his many kindnesses to me.
3. kind  behavior: will never forget your kindness.
4. friendly feeling; liking.

No. I don’t know what that means either. There are some words/qualities in this world; kindness, love, fat, trust, faith, delicious, safe, etc. that are all subjective no matter how many tools or resources you may have to evaluate them against.

“Kindness” is, in my opinion, the second most important thing a human being can exhibit (behind only GENUINITY (not really a word)). I think – KNOW – it is important because of all of us do it and receive it every day. The trick is that not everyone knows/sees/accepts it the same way because we all define/perceive it differently.

Which of these is the most kind?

1.       Putting a quarter or two in an expired meter.
2.       Giving $1,000 to aid relief for victims of Super Storm Sandy (or any other disaster).
3.       Holding the door for a stranger with their arms full.
4.       Writing handwritten, affection-laden notes each morning to your lover (the world's 5th creepiest word).

Correct answer? ALL and NONE of the above. How is that possible? Simple. You do not k now what those impacted by your action(s) see or want/need as kindness. You can’t quantify or value your kindness in dollars/cents/time/written characters. You (as the giver) are irrelevant in the exchange. KINDNESS is about the value received. A purely emotional, completely subjective, not at all quantifiable exchange. Your last dime or breath could be mean nothing, no matter how you spend it, if it is put in the wrong place. Some people cannot perceive or appreciate kindness. Some people cannot get enough of it.

So what’s a sad sack to do? Kind your ass off. Look for every opportunity you can to show kindness but only in ways that are genuine, within your means, and likely to bring a positive effect/value to the recipient and are within everyone involved’s comfort. Conversely (and this is so, so important) if you are lucky enough to be the recipient of some kindness, look for ways to feel and own it. It is a two-way-street no matter where you are or want to go. Share the road. HOPEFULLY there is a fill for every need. But it may be only be a partial void relief.

Be kind, people! You will not know if it is worth it or not until it is done/too late but you should feel great just  putting the effort out there. The beauty? It is also a personal decision if you're being kind enough.