I was reminded, due to my own experience with mindfulnees, that how i related it to kindness was probably a tad, we'll i missed an important aspect, and at the same time realized that I'm not doing a particularly good job of actually putting theory into use. So I stayed up last night drinking copious amounts of coffee and using the bathoom as you mihgt think. First, what is mindfulness. I wrote about this before but didn't really capture what it is. It really is not a very complex concept but putting it to use is more difficult. It is rather like Buddhism in that meditation is a key to mindfulness. 
A definition, short and complete, would be "Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally." That's from the founder of Mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn, so i suppose it is the best summation. A very large element of Mindfulness is creating a loving, caring space for yourself, in yourself, through meditation and awareness of this moment. 
How does this relate to kindness and this is where it gets a bit sticky for me. But here's my interpretation. Our society, North America for a definition, is hollow, almost built on low self-esteem. How do we address this? A new car. A larger house. Better job. Competition. When we come out on top, a little, not long lasting, esteem boost. 
Mindfulness teaches person should develop a love for themselves, for who they are and what their capabilities. Create a spirit of acceptance, 'the feeling of being wrapped as a baby in your mother's arms,' a metaphor a friend uses. To me, developing that renders esteem, low, meaningless. Perhaps replaced by contentment.
Back to kindness. People, essentially volunteer and offer kindness in two ways. One they think they should, the are doing it more for themselves than the people they want to help. I don't dismiss this but those who are receiving this kindness can suss out the motivation.
Second, involves Mindfulness. Once we create that love for ourselves, that personal zeitgeist is felt oout in the world, by those you know, and those you come in contact with. If you are volunteering that spirit oof relating human to human is, if not obvious, in the ether.
How am I doing with this. Halfway, perhaps. When I meet someone in the market whose in need of money, I treat them as a human, no better or worse than me, just in a bad circumstances. However, when I was trying to put together a web page for companies and individuals with a local or consicous philosphy, I was very frustrated by the general wariness of generisoty. I wanted nothing from these people which seemed to increase the 'what does this guy want' attitude. Examining that I don't think I was doing it totally from a 'good for the community' but also a won't I look good if I can make this happen. 
In the end, I still have much to learn, learn that's more positive. I need to understand why I'm finding this an important thing to do. And mostly I think, I just want to add a little more kindness to the community, city, the world. However, I believe I have to build a more solid foundation for this. 
That I hope is a better understanding. However, I do have to admit to a very selfish reason, I don't know maybe it's not selfish at all. I have 2 children and I dearly hope they inherit a world better than this. And we're not doing a very good job in making their spectacular, inspiring view of the world remains just that.   

Leave a Reply.