A couple weeks ago I celebrated my 33rd birthday in New Orleans, United States (which was amazing btw). I had a long flight back to The Netherlands and while on the plane I started to reflect on kindness. Kindness at the workplace and family, friends, acquaintances, strangers and kindness towards myself. I couldn’t help but wonder: Can I be kinder? more compassionate?
And how can I apply this towards the workplace, strangers, my personal relationship… actually ANY relationship?
I remember when I was about nine years old and I was staying with my aunt in Amsterdam. She ALWAYS used to say: “ Jennifer, try your best to be a person who is clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. And so you try to live up to that standard that is put in front of you. But then you get older and life happens… And you forget why it is SO incredibly important to be kind, to have compassion towards others but also towards yourself.
On today’s blog post I want to share why being kind is important not only for the people around you but also for YOU.
First things first! Let’s define the meaning of kindness. “The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.” according to the Oxford Dictionaries. Great okay, thank you Oxford dictionaries. Now let us dive into what kind of effect it has on you and others. I looked up a couple of researchers and I also had a look at what the Bible has to say about it.
“Let’s be nice and help each other grow”
The power of kindness
Being good to others can be good for you too. Treating other people well isn’t just good for your karma. It’s good for your health and vitality, too. And here is why, psychology researcher Barbara Fredrickson studies how “micro-moment” of connection with others, like sharing and smiling or expressing concern, improves emotional resilience, boost the immune system, and reduces susceptibility to depression and anxiety! ~ Barbara Fredikson is a PhD, author of Love 2.0: Creating Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection.
Kindness has been found by researchers to be the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage. Many colleges, including Harvard, are now emphasizing kindness on applications for admission. In the Bible, it’s even referred to as ‘ ‘The Fruit Of The Spirit! In a 2003 study of 37 cultures around the world, 16,000 subjects were asked about their most desired traits in a mate. For both sexes, the first preference was kindness!
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about”… well, ain’t that the truth. There are many different ways of expressing kindness. It’s important to realize the positivity that kindness can produce in our lives. There is no doubting that being kind can be extremely difficult in certain situations, but sometimes it is necessary in order to be the “bigger person.”
Acts of kindness
Kill them with kindness
Walk a mile in their shoes
Forgive and forget
Don’t beat yourself up
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about”
Kindness is magic!
Kindness is a simple concept, yet it has a huge impact. When someone is nice to me, I’ll become inspired to reciprocate. Especially when someone displays kindness towards a stranger. When this type of encounter occurs, I find myself wanting to do the same thing. I want to make someone’s day. Or even better, to be the reason someone has a smile on their face. Nothing more rewarding than seeing someone smile, am I right?
Kindness has the power to drastically improve our own well-being as well as that of our family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. The very act of expressing graciousness to one another can make us more empathetic to other people’s hardships! Also within the workplace, at work kindness can be inspiring to employees to be more productive and make the business more profitable. And within our communities, it contributes to safer schools. I strongly believe it can make the world a better place by ending a suffering at the hands of war, hunger, human rights violations and injustice.
I would love to hear from you!
What is your opinion on this?