“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.”
- Henry James, American Author
James’ quote, while simple, carries with it life lessons and a guidepost as to how we might conduct our relationships with those around us. Kindness should be our first response. I actually had a coach tell me years ago that if she showed kindness to her players they would think she was a pushover and not work as hard…Hmm, really? I’ve never thought of kindness as a show of weakness, but quite the opposite. To be kind is a discipline. It takes restraint, perspective-taking, and control.
But let’s face it, we fall short on occasion. We find ourselves being sharp with our children, our students, our co-workers. We might be quick to anger, ignore, or disrespect those we perceive as beneath us. Kindness is not always the go-to behavior. We try…we believe we are kind. We hope others would say we are, and it has even been said that we are wired for kindness…until…well, we catch ourselves not being so kind.
So how do we make kindness a mindful act instead of an aspiration? Gabriella van Rij, speaker, author, and kindness activist lists four simple steps for making kindness a habit in your life.
Kindness is a language the deaf can hear, and the blind can see.
Be kind to yourself, and then extend that kindness in your words and actions to the humans around you. Peace!