The Yoga studio is packed and people are jockeying for their “spots”. There is no extra room for coats, boots, bags, etc yet some people take up the needed space. Some people are friendly and chatty, while others are aloof. I find myself getting annoyed with others around me and draw inward rather than smiling or introducing myself. As the class gets going, the yoga teacher starts talking about the difference between kindness and fondness and how we do NOT need to be fond of someone in order to be kind. It was a good reminder and mental reboot. We all run into people who we are not particularly fond of – strangers too. Why should we be kind to them?
Kindness Begets Kindness
Some people may think that this means ‘what goes around comes around’. That may be true, but I think it also means that just as forgiveness frees you of hatred, so does kindness. Being kind to others not only makes them feel good, it makes you feel good. You’ve heard the expression you are what you eat – the same holds true of how we behave.
“Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.” —Eric Hoffer
An article in Psychology Today on kindness points out Buddhist teachings on the subject. “As kindness becomes a habit, we no longer need to figure out whether someone deserves our kindness before we offer it to them. Wouldn’t it be wonderfully freeing if kindness and friendliness became our natural response to others as we make our way in the world?”
Walking out of Yoga class I made a mental note to smile at others. Some smiled back and some didn’t and that’s OK, after all, if I’m smiling that’s a good thing. I included my favorite part of the Elf movie, starring Will Ferrell – you can probably guess which part it is…
Enjoy the holidays, and don’t forget to smile. 🙂