What Goes Around Comes Around
The past decades have been full of rapid economic growth. It’s been a time in which we have become more and more focused with our careers and materials. And along came technologies like wireless internet and smartphones, transforming our magnificent earth into a hyperconnected globalised playground.
We are more connected than ever, yet have never been more alone.
We have created new gaps in our interpersonal relationships. Having family meals together, helping an elderly person across the street or having a chat with a stranger on a bus – for a while they seemed to be a thing of the past.
But as mindful beings we are increasingly awakening as we rise up from these self-centered past years. We realise that chasing money and power alone, will not give us anything except short-term rewards. In the long run, it will neither make us entirely happy with ourselves nor with the ones around us.
There is a call for compassion. A wonderful movement of people reconnecting with each other and making our society a little brighter with random acts of kindness each day.
I have felt the shift. Everyone seems so much nicer lately. And even though it seems like the world is burning more than ever, people have never been more kinder towards one another too.
A REVOLUTION OF KINDNESS
Fortunately this hasn’t gone unnoticed and it seems like a change is ahead of us. People are trying to get back to make “real” connections and to be kind and loving towards one another. They are trying to spend more time and focus on interpersonal relations that were already there, as well as on small-talking and more acts of kindness towards strangers.
You can see it when going to the grocery store, people seem less rushed or concerned about being first in line, they are more patient with the new cashier and more willing to help someone (read: me, I’m not very tall and often need to ask someone to get things from the top shelf) if needed.
Also, the increasing number of sincere “thank you’s”, “please’s” and “have a good day’s” can’t go unnoticed. The social media-messages about starting the new workweek are turning from “I don’t do Mondays” into “It’s Monday, don’t forget to be awesome!” & “Okay, let’s do this!”.
And I’ve never heard so many people making nice compliments about each other’s appearances, work or hobbies, even the less commonly accepted ones.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF, BE KIND TO ANOTHER
The central tendency of the past years was: “help yourself first, then help others”. But being concerned with each others well-being is no longer seen as being less concerned with yourself.
Being nice to someone and being nice to yourself is the exact same thing. – Ferucci in The Optimist
Some might say that true altruism doesn’t exist, but feeling good about being nice to or helping people seems only natural to me. Same goes for being kind to people because they will treat you better in return, it functions as a logical system of giving and taking when done right.
BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS
The “new” kind isn’t weak or soft, it’s venturous & hands-on. You are actually not being soft at all, since it takes a lot of courage, self-knowledge and confidence to be honestly kind to someone. You aren’t only exposing yourself but you are also the one to take this step and breach certain stigmas.
No more turning your head or pretending you didn’t notice, no more ignoring that colleague you don’t like. Being kind to people, also to those who normally aren’t nice to you, takes a genuine person with a grounded personality. It requires respecting each others shortcomings and differences while still staying true to yourself, and you’re pretty awesome if you can do that!
“The “new” kind isn’t weak or soft, it’s venturous & hands-on.”
It feels truly amazing to meet fellow kindred spirits. Knowing that our number is slowly but steadily growing, makes it all the more easy to handle those (unhappy) few that don’t respond to our kindness. I like to think they “haven’t seen the light” just yet, or maybe they are just having a bad day and you stepped in at the wrong moment. That’s okay, we’re all still human! I’m not saying you can never be grumpy, nor that you should keep spending your positive energy on people that really don’t deserve it.
Being nice is not about covering up or avoiding negativity, it’s about sincerely expressing positivity towards one another. This might be the hardest part: it requires a certain level of honesty. It is not a thing you can shut on or off with a button, it’s something that you might need to discover and learn again after being used to an environment of self-centeredness or people taking advantage of you.
You may think that it is about being extroverted, and although it might help in expressing your positive feelings, there are plenty of other ways to express kindness without having to be too obvious about it if you’re not such the outgoing or outspoken person.
“The hardest part about being nice: it requires a certain level of honesty.”
HOW TO BE PART OF THE HAPPINESS COLLECTIVE
1. Make Time For One Another
Whether it is to listen, to have that coffee with your elderly neighbor, to watch your friends dog or to wait a little longer at the register and let someone go in line first with less groceries. You’ll automatically get the time you “lose” back when people do the same for you. That, and so much positive vibes! If that’s not worth your time, than what is!?
2. Stay True To Yourself
You don’t have to change yourself as a person to be more kind. Find out what works for you and what you can do from your perspective to add to the positivity.
Smiling will make everything a lot easier, people will automatically treat you nicer and you’ll feel better, even if you aren’t having the best day.
4. Don’t be afraid to take the first step
It might take a bit of courage but give it a few shots, you’ll see that you rarely get a negative reaction, even if it’s from that colleague you have been avoiding for a while.
5. Be honest
Don’t fake it! Try to be as honest kind as possible, not only are people likely to notice if you aren’t, it also won’t feel good towards yourself.
I sincerely hope that it’s not just me, and that we are actually working towards a world that is a true society by all means of its definition. One in which we offer a helping hand when needed, look after each other, accept one another’s flaws & differences and where kindness is the rule, not the exception.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article, I hope you’ve enjoyed it and have some new insights on how to be part of the kindness. Please let me know if you have any comments or additions, it would brighten my day!
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