Without kindness we go sour. Kindness forces us out of our narrow concerns, usually about ourselves. Kindness reminds us that self is rather narrow and constricting. When we escape the confines of self into something bigger like family or community or a cause, we spring ourselves from self’s prison.
Kindness isn’t extravagant or showy so we often miss it blooming. It’s the invite from the neighbor for a cup of coffee, the timely message of care and concern from a friend, your spouse doing your “chore”, a nodded hello to a stranger.
A friendly, tender or well-disposed effort on behalf of others makes both giver and recipient happy. Kindness leaves a trail of goodwill in its wake.
I keep a daily gratitude journal as a way to practice noticing. I recommend the practice, if, like me, you tend toward nursing grudges rather than gratitude. Documenting gratitude lightens your psyche. This month, I kept a kindness journal. Kindness stuns in its regularity and diversity.
Kindness isn’t going to radically change the world, even if it makes everyone’s life a titch easier. Practicing kindness doesn’t deliver particular or extraordinary results. Some days kindness just lets us happily hang out.
Kindness isn’t magical, it’s magic.