How many of you knew today is National Kindness Day? The only reason I found out was that I was scrolling through facebook and came across Mister Rogers images. Many people are wearing cardigans today in honor of him.
So, what does it mean to be kind? According to the dictionary, Kind means, " of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person: a kind and loving person. having, showing, or proceeding from benevolence: kind words. indulgent, considerate, or helpful; humane, to be kind to animals."
And, what does benevolence mean? " the quality of being well meaning; kindness."
So, perhaps they are very similar in their meanings.
What does it mean to you? When someone says to "be kind". Does that mean you help out at the Food Pantry? Bring a dinner to your neighbor? Help a stranger in the street? These acts of kindness mean the world to many people. Just the smallest action can speak volumes to another.
For example, I make it a point to connect with my clients and respond to their emails as quickly and efficiently as possible, and keep them in the loop on the process of their orders. In other words, clear and good communication.
A few months ago, I had the joy to photograph a local doctor who was starting a side gig as a life coach. All through the process, I communicated with her just like I do with all my other clients, and her words over and over again were, "Thank you so much for responding so quickly and making this so clear". To me, that meant that having clear and quick communication was very important to her, and/or she has been "ghosted" by many people in the past. (I really do not like to use that word, but it speaks to what I mean!)
She was so thankful for this act of kindness, in a sense. Even though it was in the business world. But, having a business is very personal and to me, and communication is extremely important. Those reasons are why I make every attempt to have clear, concise, quick communication with my clients. But the main reason is that they are important and valuable to me and deserve kindness and respect.
Let's explore kindness a little further.
So, if kindness means benevolent, humane, and well meaning, does that always equate with something "good"? Let's take the case of someone who is abusive to another. Do we take the kindness route with them? Sometimes, kindness looks like leaving. Kindness looks like not getting into an argument with that person, or kindness looks like saying no to the person. You probably will not feel very "kind", but you are. Kindness takes on a different look.
In general, kindness means holding the door for someone. Taking your elderly parents to the grocery store. Assisting at the Food Pantry. Leaving love notes at people's places of employment. Saying no. Looking at others through the eyes of love and treating them with respect.
An older sibling will not understand how to "love" their new baby sister or brother, but he or she can be kind. He or she can treat the new baby with respect and tenderness and soothe him or her when he or she cries. The older sibling can hold the door for mom or dad as they juggle diaper bags, purses, toys, etc as they are leaving for a trip. That is kindness and that son or daughter does not even realize it.
So, in honor of National Kindness Day, wear a cardigan and make an effort to give ten acts of kindness to others today. Keep a journal and continue your efforts after today and see how life changing it can be.
What does Kindness mean in your life? Send us a message and let us know.