Kindness - how can kindness improve our lives as well as others?

Written by Taylor Satchell Bentliff

We may think being kind isn't such a hard thing to do - but being kind without any selfish ambition is sometimes another story. True kindness loves without a catch. It helps us to guide others, and show them their value and worth. It allows people to become a priority, and to be seen, which can have life-changing effects. Plus, it also gives back a return of great gifts...


Freedom
We get real freedom when we’re able to be kind without a hidden agenda. Kindness is a pretty good driver for all we should aim to achieve in life. Getting that configured can help us to walk in line with our goals and achieve healthy relationships. Kindness is not just beneficial but often sacrificial or counter-cultural. It goes against our rigidity, measures of success, and to-do lists. From inviting an elderly neighbour round for dinner, to visiting a convicted criminal in prison. Kindness goes against the grain and puts people first. It can free us from other people’s expectations and help us to exceed our own!

Empathy
Kindness is kind of infectious. When we experience how it feels to receive kindness, often we can't help but pass it on. Living in a nation where strangers pass each other, faces down, headphones in, it can be hard to remember that spontaneous or intentional kindness exists - and yet, when someone seems to understand just what we need, it makes us feel valued. The simple act of being let out at a junction, being offered a pen, given a tissue, somewhere to stay, we can remember the impact it has! And our response should be to pass it on, and even exceed it. Understanding the feeling of what it is to ‘need’ can help us to thrive in giving kindness to others. It’s no surprise then, that the Guardian, the London Economic and many more have reported that poorer people give a higher percentage to charity than the rich!

Repentance
When someone is continually kind to you, blessing you, and helping you, it's a lot easier to give back or follow that person's guidance and advice. Knowing they've got your back, knowing they care means their advice can be trusted and taken seriously. And yet we've probably all resisted someone’s good intentions and guiding words. Raise a hand if you've struggled with a parent's authority, a teacher’s request, or a doctor's prescription. Or maybe you care for children of your own who are insistent on choosing the wrong option. Where’s their thanks for all of your sacrificial kindness!? Why won’t they repent and turn from their bad choices!? Often, there's a stubbornness within us all that prevents us from allowing someone who loves us to lead us the right way. For example - how often do we reject God’s advice, when mercy and kindness towards us are in his very nature! The truth is, when we allow ourselves to trust those who are being kind in their honesty or direction to us, it's only going to do us good. Plus it gives us a framework on how to care for others.

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash