Saturday, 29 January 2011

KINDNESS

We all appreciate degrees of kindness, we all like to think that we are kind, but the cold truth is that many who would consider themselves as kind are so far from that reality, it's just a concept in their mind. Kindness like love has no boundaries, no strings, no purpose other than the act of giving freely for the sake of it, usually as a gesture of goodwill and something that radiates from the heart, it doesn't have credentials. The reciprocal side of kindness is gratitude, and even a smile to someone on the way to work even if it's not reciprocated is a gesture from the soul, it's a personal building block that will always elevate you no matter where you go or what circumstances you are in. Being human we place to varying degrees our bench mark on what we deem as good or expedient or acceptable, we can be wrong  but never the less it tends to reflect how we think and feel about certain aspects of life, people, ideologies, circumstances and anything else. There are those who are generally kindly natured, it doesn't mean they are a soft touch nor a pushover but have a benevolent understanding of life and those within it. There are however those who are calculating, always seeing "what's in it for them" or "why should I" or "they don't deserve it" or "I never had that" and so it goes on the endless lists of feeble selfish excuses that they live by. Kindness can be manifested in many ways, it can be financial, but it can also be akin to helping others, sharing some time, listening, giving advice, smiling, just saying hello to someone who looks as if they need someone to say hello to - and surprisingly there are a lot of people in that situation. It can be met of course with "hey who are you smiling at" or "what do you want" or something equally as cold, but such people are to be pitied as being so low and pathetic on the human scale is obviously a reflection of their position in life and the cold way in which they live move and think.

Kindness is an essential part of our lives, those that have good lives are rich in kindness within them because it's the sharing part that both gives pleasure as well as purpose and that gratitude exists as well. Kindness is basically a reciprocal emotion and deed, where it isn't there is a gross deficiency in that person or persons. Those that "keep themselves to themselves" or those that "keep their love awaiting the right person" are mean to the core, as love is forever replenished and kindness never runs out. Kindness usually goes hand in hand with thoughtfulness and there are many people 'out there' who have little thought for anyone else or indeed anything else unless it physically interfaces with them and there is something tangible at the end. Such people tend to be sceptics and see good things that others do as divisive or even silly such is the reflection of their own thoughts about themselves. Humour is in abundance with kind people (not to be confused with comedians who can be mean) because they see the good and funny side to life, life is by its own nature lighter because of it. Kindness builds our inner strength, it makes us stronger and more resilient to the gruff and tempestuous and leaches that hide amongst us, we bounce back when smitten whereas others sit in a wallow in their self created misery, kindness sees unrest and upheaval for what it is, it sees indiscretions and failure as something to brush over and not make an issue of like a cheap publication would do. Kind people are more trustworthy as they have no axe to grind by telling everyone or others their secrets or enter into backbiting as a cheap form of downmarket entertainment or in order to make themselves feel important.

The effect of kindness in both giving or receiving raises our immune system, it promotes healing and stops our minds racing towards avenues that are dark and dank. Kindness makes us more accessible as well as more communicable and opens the possibilities of others communing with us or vice versa without degrees of rejection or untoward action. Kindness is not premeditated other than a distant thought for birthdays, Christmas or some other occasion ahead of time, kindness has a value of its own, it stands its own ground and makes its own statement too, it's forthright and solid, it fears no rejection as those that reject kindness have always something to hide of themselves and it's often deeply rooted within. For the bigger part of our short lives we need kindness to make it wholesome, for without any degree of wholesomeness we will feel both short changed and at the same time always have that desire to grab more just for the sake of it, which leads us into unrest. We gravitate towards people of a similar ilk to ourselves, the good to the good and the not so good to the not so good, and those who are left in between fluctuate to live off the jet stream of whoever they think is the flavour of the month, which ultimately serves them with ill gotten gains. With kindness being an attributable factor within, there's little that can go wrong with the self, only life's external conditions, but then we can cope with those.

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©John Rushton / The Life Alchemist 2011