It’s now been close to 7 months since I embarked on this odyssey to simply be kinder. Like most who think they know what they’re talking about, I knew squat. I knew what I thought was kindness, treating others as humans no matter their circumstance, helping if I could.

This is undoubtedly part of kindness, but certainly not the whole of kindness. In fact, though my intentions were to create some sort of equality between me and, say, a person on the street, I know realize that the equality was more me bending down, rather than helping up. I’m not going to deny that kindness was guiding me but was it true kindness, part of kindness or the kindness that we often see in the way of grand balls to help some charity or another? Well, it certainly wasn’t the last and I don’t think it was the first, looking in hindsight.

I remember reading somewhere, that to experience something you have to see both sides, in this case express kindness and to receive. Fortunately, in a sense, I found myself in a position of having to receive kindness and it was remarkable. I could very palpably feel those who were truly kind, generous people and those who kind and giving because that was part of their job description. I’m not diminishing the latter because they were still incredibly helpful, but the former were helpful in a way that touched the spirit and truly engendered hope.

Lately, I’ve been reading a book called ‘The Now Effect’ and to boil it down to one phrase: there are spaces in our lives, perhaps our lives are made of these spaces, between something happening and our response when we have a choice. That choice can diminish us, hold to status quo or be an opportunity for growth, which is almost always leading to a kinder path. The essential point is we have many choices to make. At times, we overstimulated, driving perhaps, and we flip the autopilot switch on, just to cope. Other times, perhaps walking, we can pause momentarily to watch the wind take away white dandelion petals or smile at a person sitting on the street, perhaps offer a few coins, but in a mindful way.

Remembering that dignity and kindness within, spread out.


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