Today is World Kindness Day. I’ve been blogging over the last few days on the subject of kindness and today I’d like to talk about the power of kindness as I’ve experienced it.
Not one of us can say that we have not been recipients of kindness. Whether it has come to us from a member of our family, a friend or a stranger, we have at some point in our lives received kindness. As the Dalai Lama says, our survival depends on kindness.
“I believe that if we stop to think, it is clear that our very survival, even today, depends upon the acts and kindness of so many people. Right from the moment of our birth, we are under the care and kindness of our parents; later in life, when facing the sufferings of disease and old age, we are again dependent on the kindness of others.” – Dalai Lama
I’ve been at the receiving end of kindness so many times that it’s hard to share it all. Having changed schools so many times when I was young, because of my Dad’s transfers, there were always other children who reached out and accepted me into their circle. There have been kind teachers who went easy on me until I caught up with the rest of the class. In later years, teachers and friends who reached out to me when I was quite ill and away from college for almost two months. People who have said a kind word, complimented me, encouraged me to show my talents…Others who’ve helped with my studies..Co-workers who were always ready to pitch in and help. Team members who gave me a lot of encouragement to speak my mind. Friends who were ready to listen to me whenever I needed a ear. People who’ve helped me to prepare for presentations and training. Bloggers who’ve pitched in with ideas and help when I asked for it. People who’ve made me feel at home in their country when I’ve visited. Strangers who stood with my husband when he had a fall on the road and offered help…..I could go on..
I’ve been blessed also to see great examples of kindness shown to others. Memories of strangers becoming friends in my grandparents’ homes as people alone in the city were invited to join in family celebrations for festivals. Many youngsters who came to play in the big family yard, always went back fed with attention and food. An aunt making soup for ailing people and taking it to them herself. An uncle giving away medical advice and medicines for free to the poor. A cousin subsidizing and sometimes not charging at all for hospitalization. An aunt giving free education to the deserving children in her school. My parents meeting travelers at railway stations with hampers full of food – in the days of long journeys and no proper food en route. Other members of the family taking over funeral arrangements when death came suddenly to someone’s home. A brother rushing to rescue a neighbour who was aflame. These are just a few examples that come to mind… All done quietly, with no expectation of gratitude or a reward. But I’m certain that the rewards have come in ways that we cannot fully understand…
The power of kindness is such that it has the ability to work good not just in the life of the recipient but also in the giver. From my own experience, I’ve seen that each time I’ve reached out to someone in kindness – even a simple gesture, it has left me feeling so much better about myself.
“To receive kindness does us good. Think of a time someone has been kind to you, in a big or a small way: A passerby gave your directions to reach the station or a stranger threw herself in a river to save you from drowning. What effect did it have on you? Probably a beneficial one, because if someone helps us when we need it, we feel relief. And everyone likes to be heard, treated with warmth and friendliness, understood, and nourished.
Something similar happens on the other side of the equation: Giving kindness does us as much good as receiving it. . . . The true benefit of kindness is being kind. Perhaps more than any other factor, kindness gives meaning and value to our life, raises us above our troubles and our battles, and makes us feel good about ourselves.” – Piero Ferrucci
The power of kindness- it transforms us like nothing else does!
Today I’m happy to add the links of a few other bloggers who’ve blogged about kindness:
Sunita reminds us that kindness begins with ourselves.
Alana shares about how another blogger reached out to her about her fear of falling.
Gretchen Kelly shared lessons in kindness from the worst day of her life.