What is Kindness?

Kindhearted, warm-hearted, goodwill, affection, warmth, gentleness, tenderness, a good deed, a favor, help

These are some of the ways of describing kindness according to the Oxford dictionary. Anyone need to gather round the campfire and get their cumbias out? This description is so sugary sweet some people may feel the need for a dose of emotional insulin.

However, when using a collective word map some very interesting ideas pop up (thank you AI). There’s still some fluffiness, but a clearer picture emerges.

Courtesy, Empathy, friendly, selfless, brotherhood, generosity, compassion, selfless, understanding, altruism

However, it still feels like a close up of the flower while missing the grandeur of the meadow. Let’s look at three components of Kindness

Emotions

Relationships

Ego

We each are capable of feeling compassion, empathy, and a slew of other emotions such as anger, guilt, heartache, and apathy.

Empathy and compassion are the emotional titles that sum up the base foundation of kindness. To have compassion is to feel concern for the suffering of others. The opposite of compassion is indifference. Empathy is the ability to feel what others feel or to put yourself in their shoes. The opposite of empathy is distance. The emotions that block kindness are indifference and distance.

These feelings translate into our relationships. In deep friendships most people are courteous to others and are aware of how their actions and words affect those friends. The opposite of this is hostility and ignorance.

Finally, we have the self or Ego. The ego is arrogant and self important. The ego directly counters friendship, courteous actions, empathy, sympathy , compassion and ultimately true altruistic kindness.

Moving past physical, emotional, and mental habits we learn that we are the awareness behind each choice. In order to move into kindness each person makes a conscious decision to act solely in self interest or in the interest of others as well.

So what is kindness? Kindness is the choice to remain emotionally open to others while maintaining boundaries, to engage in relationship with others and ourselves with awareness, and to choose to include the interest of all in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Kindness is a choosing to engage in life without self agenda and ego.

Until next time,

Be well and at Peace,

Moriah