It's Random Acts of Kindness Week!
Ha! OK. This might be 50% feigned excitement, but there is some excitement.
I know that it's tough at times to be kind to others, especially during New York winters. But, what a world it would be if we could all be kind to each other. I would especially love it if the folks with the most privilege and power were the most kind.
But, darn it! I think studies have found that the more privilege and power you have, the less empathy and compassion you have for others. Sigh. But still, crossing my fingers that during this week and every week, wealthy people give 100% of their wealth to others. Lol! A girl can dream.
I am a big fan of practicing kindness. I've mentioned before how love is one of my values and that I'm always trying to find ways to love myself and others better. I have the same attitude towards practicing kindness.
My biggest fantasy is that eventually we live in a world where we're all trying to help each other all the time. We're smiling when we walk past each other. We're saying hello. We're complimenting each other. We're stopping and asking: Can we help with anything? Do you need anything?
If we have the funds, we're stopping random people and saying: I have so much money so I thought I'd share it with you. We're buying meals for each other when we're eating out. We're paying each others' bills randomly (just kidding; in my dream, bills don't exist). And, oh my goodness! There would be no bullying on social media. There would just be understanding, acceptance, gentleness and patience.
If you're rolling your eyes at my dream world and you're like: ugh! the last thing I want to do is live in that world, maybe this correlation will make you feel less annoyed. Kindness towards others has actually been shown to increase well-being a bit. I'm sure you've noticed this too-- that sometimes when you do something nice for others, you get a little boost of joy.
I think one study, in particular, found that if you do four or more kind things in a day, you are really going to be out here, feeling SO GOOD! Just, super connected and present and hopeful.
So, if you can, why not be kind to the folks around you? It might make you feel good. It might make the other person feel good. This article says that even when we think about doing something nice for others, we tended to feel happier. It also discussed that spending funds on others contributed to lower blood pressure. And, wow! I hope rich people out there are reading these studies lol!
But, the good news is: you don't even have to have millions to give away to others. Being kind could be as simple as: smiling at and making eye contact with someone. Even simpler? When you notice yourself judging and criticizing others, practice empathy and compassion instead. So, next time you're scrolling through social media and you find yourself judging others hardcore, see what it's like to practice having kinder thoughts towards them.
We are humans. We're living in this really difficult environment that's filled with injustice, trauma, and grief. The pain that we experience is just so incredibly exhausting, paralyzing, and at times lonely. I hope that we can practice to be a little kinder to each other, so that we feel less alone and hopeless in this world, and so that our pain can soften a bit.
Here's my plea to you. If you're someone who doesn't typically go out of their way to be kind to others, have an intention to do one small (or big, if you'd like) act of kindness a day. The next week, have an intention to do two acts a day. The next week, three acts a day. Just keep practicing to be kind as often as possible. The more you do something, the more it becomes natural and second nature. The more it becomes a habit. And then, before you know it, there'll finally be peace on earth and you're going to be like: wow! I am amazing! I really did that! Ha!
Thank you for reading!
I hope that you're surrounded by so much joy and kindness today, and everyday.