In an increasingly aggressive world, kindness has become synonymous for weakness. And the opposite should be because kindness is increasingly needed - today more than ever. To make our lives better with myself and with others. It is never too late to turn over a new leaf and be kind.
True kindness is an inner attitude that makes us feel good, opens opportunities for us to contact other people, creates a positive and calm environment. And it's contagious. When it's emphatic, it does not mean surrender, but the availability to listen and try to understand someone else's opinion, without prejudice. Being kind has become a real life choice. Never before has kindness been so necessary, without human interpersonal relationships one can neither live nor survive.
In an increasingly cruel world whose rhythm is increasingly frenetic every day and where indifference and unscrupulous competitive spirit have become laws of survival, kindness has become a rarity. Although, when you look closely, kindness manages to survive with the help of thousands of small and banal gestures in everyone's everyday life. In this global cooling of relationships, kindness has become the courage of hypermodern times. A new act of heroism, in contrast to the firmness and pervasive cynicism, if constantly used (towards oneself, others and the environment) can help a better life. Because, behind apparent weakness, kindness is a powerful and revolutionary force that can change people around the world.
And the Dalai Lama has always said: "Kindness is my religion". Of course, it is not the facade of kindness, but the real one, one that comes from the depths of the soul. Intense, which means openness, attention, respect for one another. It’s not about so-called good manners, which can sometimes make us happier and more aware. It is true that formalities, however hypocritical they may be, are more necessary than ever before, as they often help to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts that can cause a great deal of trouble among strangers. To feel a kindness is good, everyone likes to be understood, treated with care and courteous. Of course we cannot imitate Dalai Lama and his perfect stillness, but we can try. Heroism of small gestures:to thank a colleague at work and a saleswoman at the supermarket, to turn off the cellphone bell in a restaurant and theater, to hold the elevator door and wait for a neighbor… ?
In today's competitive society which separates winners and losers and is dominated by power, kindness does not seem like the most ideal way to succeed and gain respect. Why does it have a bad reputation? The characteristic of the loser is considered to be a thin protective barrier against someone else's aggression: "I will be kind to you and so you will not do me any harm" - psychologists say. Kindness even evokes feelings of doubt and mistrust, we know it can be false and used meaningfully. Or as one form of camouflage narcissism: we are kind enough to be content, to get what we want from others. Indifference and arrogance are so widespread that when we meet a kind person we first think he has some hidden goal. Widespread feelings of fear and insecurity instinctively create resistance to the most positive feelings and behaviors. We act defensively, fearing we will be hurt.
But why do we need to be kind? What do we get? Society does not function without kindness, without it endless problems arise because it is difficult to live in a hostile, closed and distrustful society. The cardinal virtues of modern man are independence and self-sufficiency. But we all depend on someone else, we only exist when we are in relationship with other people. That is why we need to rediscover a strong and empathetic man whose well-being depends on the quality of the relationship he is able to achieve, and kindness can become a significant asset to help open up to others, create relationships, the intimacy we seek. Being kind does not mean showing humility and surrendering. On the contrary! As experts note, it is not possible to be kind to others unless you have a good opinion of yourself and lack self-esteem.
Kindness is contagious, if we choose to give someone a smile, we can be sure they will come back to us. And kindness, of course, can only be chosen, but not imposed. But man is a special being, trained to feel pity and responsibility, and in that sense kindness becomes a form of social intelligence, our inseparable part.
And Gandhi said so: "The scent remains forever in the hand of the one who gave you the rose."
Edit: Sanja Paić
Source: Gracija 21/2014.