Earlier this week, I was mentioned on a list on the blog Be More With Less, and ever since then, I’ve experienced massive amounts of traffic to my blog. What I’ve most enjoyed about this is that I’ve received many comments on posts that are incredibly encouraging and I just wanted to say thank you! I hope that I can continue to inspire and excited people about simplifying their lives – it’s something I am so passionate about.
That being said, I want to reflect on kindness. Kindness is an essential element of living a happy life. Not only does it help us be happy people, but it also helps deepen relationships, improve our health, and even lengthen our lifespan.
In the age of the internet and anonymity, it seems that kindness is fading away. However, as I delve further into these simple living and minimalist communities, I find that there’s an abundance of kindness and gratitude floating around. And it’s not because we own nothing that we are turning to kindness. It’s because we’re developing a stronger awareness of what we do own, and how we own it.
Simple Ways to be Kind
Kindness doesn’t always have to be random and target a stranger. It’s one of the most inexpensive and effective ways to make a permanent impression upon someone’s life. Most of us know about these “tricks” already, but why don’t we start incorporating them more regularly?
- Say I love you to a parent, friend, or significant other when saying goodbye on the telephone. I would say that 1 in 7 or 8 conversations I have end this way. Why can’t more?
- Say good morning – and mean it. Don’t groggily say good morning and proceed to complain about how you haven’t had your coffee yet. Learning to be kind when you’re too tired to function is a difficult, yet rewarding, skill.
- Next time you disagree with a partner about a meal, a movie, an activity, or something rather insignificant, hand over the choice to them. Be gracious and don’t pout; the more they see you exhibiting this behavior, the more apt they’ll be to return the favor.
- Clean up after yourself. I’m guilty of this – I tend to leave my dishes out, my clothes on the floor instead of the hamper, and my few cosmetics lying out on the bathroom counter. While I compensate by scouring the apartment about once a week, this is still something I could do without being told that my fiancé would greatly appreciate.
- Offer to help, in any way you can. Be genuine about this, and be honest with the person you are offering to help. Maybe you can help by cooking a meal for them, cleaning their home, or if you can’t be there to help physically, maybe you can send a few words of encouragement via snail mail. Be reliable, and you’ll reap the rewards of a loyal and strengthened relationship.
Of course, being kind isn’t always about the rewards. Be kind without seeking reward. Challenge yourself to being kind unconditionally.