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The virtue of kindness in an unkind world.

November 16, 2017

The virtue of kindness in an unkind world.

 

 

When growing personal relationships, teaching my children core values, or building work associations, I believe it is kindness that should form the foundation.  In a world, where there is less physical contact, an ever increasing desire for speed, and a ‘need’ for self-enrichment we become desensitised and inadvertently a part of a world that is impatient and merciless.
 
What does it take to be kind in an unforgiving world? In a world where we are progressively disconnected (except from our smart devices).  In a world where we are steam rolled by the pace of life itself.  In a world where the vice like grip of consumerism stifles us.  In a world where leaders do not show us the way.  In a world where social media is given more attention than the ones we love.  In a world where there is little mutual trust in those around us.  In a world where everyone considers themselves first in the quest to ‘get ahead.’ In a world where doing a good deed is conditional and about recognition.  In a world where our material needs blind us to the real needs of those around us.  In a world where self-gratification replaces compassion towards others.
 
Could the simple act of kindness be the catalyst needed for positive change in a world lacking empathy, personal connectivity and a world increasingly desensitised to the struggle of those around us?  Could kindness uplift those around us, and increase our own self-worth as a result?  By simplifying life, could we focus more on the core value of kindness, instead of letting the stresses of everyday life be the stimulus to destructing the very relationships which matter the most? 
 
What does it mean to be kind?  To me it means fostering a culture of encouragement.  It means being genuinely sympathetic to the difficulties of those in your community.  It means using your own expertise to uplift others.  It means going out of your way to make someone feel worthwhile.  It means adopting an unassuming nature and being approachable.  It means saying no way to those that show aggressive and callous behaviour.  It means being outspoken about your core values and what is right.  It means standing up for the underdog and those around you in need of a gentle helping hand.  There are so many ways to be kind: 

Personal kindness are selfless acts which bring happiness to you and people around you.

  • Words of encouragement
  • Send a thank-you note or flowers
  • Offer to help when a friend is in need
  • Unexpected gestures of love/ friendship
  • Let people know how much they are appreciated
  • Make time for a phone call/ drinks/ lunch/ dinner/ weekend away

Environmental kindness is thinking about future generations and nurturing our planet.

  • Reuse
  • Recycle
  • Repurpose
  • Collect litter
  • Conserve water
  • Say no to plastic

Social kindness is considering the needs of those within your community. 

  • Make two lunches and give one away
  • Be gracious in how you conduct your ways
  • Put your phone away while in the company of others
  • Smile in a difficult situation, instead of reacting negatively
  • Be thoughtful and respectful to everyone with whom you interact
  • Take time to connect with a stranger and show genuine interest in who they are

Consumer kindness is purchasing with a purpose and choosing who you wish to support.

  • Support local
  • Support handmade items
  • Choose sustainable products
  • Know the source of your products
  • Support business initiatives with a social conscious
  • Purchase ethically made products from companies who value fair trade principles

 Business kindness is uplifting people and services within your business community.

  •  Motivate staff that you may lead
  • Support a colleague and hep them to succeed
  • Go out of your way to compliment good service
  • Promote a local product/ service that deserves your support
  • Use your business as a platform to raise funds for a good cause
  • Really listen to your customers and show appreciation for their business

 

Kindness takes little effort but can make a massive difference to all of us.  Imagine if globally the emphasis of people was to put kindness at the forefront of all decisions.  This would result in a world movement of togetherness and mutual respect for one another.  Perhaps this is a fanciful idea - but is there any real reason not to implement small acts of kindness in order to generate positive change?  Kindness shows true strength of character and is a powerful attribute that should never be taken for granted in today’s unkind world.                                                        

Kirsty Jones                                                      
Co-founder: Artisan Lifestyle                                                 
     


 

 





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