When I was approached to write about the topic of kindness I was sort of ecstatic. That morning I had literally caught sight of the interview in which a 21-year-old autistic woman had interviewed the handsome Channing Tatum and my heart had melted. Is there anything this man can’t do? A global superstar, doting father, proud husband and all-around good guy who takes time out of what would clearly be a hectic schedule to make this very brave woman’s day.
This, to me, is kindness. (Watch below!)
We’re often told from a young age to be kind to our fellow peer. To treat others how we ourselves wish to be treated, and for the most part we do this. We do this because we’re taught the difference between right and wrong and let’s face it, hurting someone’s feelings is never fun.
This part is simple enough to grasp, right?
But do many of us understand the true benefits of being kind? That being kind doesn’t necessarily mean to others? And where do we even start? Because what we don’t learn in school is that those who truly let kindness drive their life, live every single day very differently.
Kind people take the time to do the following five things and as a result, they are a positive force of nature to be reckoned with:
They put health first.
Kindness doesn’t begin with how you treat other people – it starts with self-care. People who live kindly see the link between health and kindness, and they make time to work out, eat well and practice self-love. Because they are inherently kind, they know how important it is to extend that same generosity and gentleness inwardly, too. Because a better, happier you, means you can always be a great version of yourself with other people.
How will you show kindness to yourself today? Will you let go of past mistakes, tell yourself that you are enough just as you are or go to class and move your body?
They know that kindness always leads to more kindness.
Researcher have shown that generosity is contagious! Political scientist James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, and medical sociologist Nicholas Christakis of Harvard University found “In a game where selfishness made more sense than cooperation, acts of giving were tripled over the course of the experiment by other subjects who are directly or indirectly influenced to contribute more.” (You can read more about the study here.)
How will you show kindness to others? Will you pick up the slack at work for your peer going through a hard time, smile at your neighbor or offer to buddy with a friend who’s nervous to try out a new studio?
They know how to put others before themselves.
…even though it isn’t always easy. They make tough decisions when they understand it’s for the greater good and appreciate that most of the time, putting others first and ahead of their own needs, is for the greatest good.
They remain optimistic.
Because kind people always believe the best in any situation or part of their life, they are often the one that’s reminding those around them to see the brighter side, no matter what. It’s not that they don’t fall down like the rest of us, it’s more that they rise with the conviction to try again. And best all? They approach those trials from an angle of kindness instead of negative self-talk.
They don’t expect anything in return.
Kindness isn’t an act you do to receive anything in return, and people who let kindness lead their lives know that. They don’t expect to be thanked or even met with kindness, they are simply kind because it’s their nature. They show kindness to those who don’t show it back, often more so because these are the people who need it the most.
Kind people are the freaking bomb.