When someone seems to have acted unkindly, or hurt your feelings, or offended you in some way, consider the fact that there just might be more to it than is apparent. Maybe they are acting in response to circumstances you are completely unaware of. Any of a number of other things may be affecting them, such as shyness, stress overload, health, money, illness or loss of some kind. Or there might have been some mis-communication so that expectations were not in sync.
Instead of lashing out, or reacting instinctively in a negative way, resolve to just try being the good guy here. Create an opportunity to be kind. Extend yourself, and evoke your higher nature. See yourself as resourceful, serene, refined, confident, and just BE NICE. It feels good! And it is contagious.
There is a difference between Shame and Guilt." Guilt says I've done something wrong; shame says there is something wrong with me. A child raised with lots of strict rules and very little forgiveness gets accustomed to not listening to his feelings. He is emotionally numb, and much more prone to getting out of control under extreme circumstances, to have low self-esteem and feel same and guilt. His parents didn't trust him. He doesn't trust himself.
On the other hand, a child raised with principles rather than rules knows how to make a value judgement and do the right thing. His parents trusted him, and he trusts himself to find the appropriate mode of feeling and behavior.
A child taught to be ashamed of his own body would quite likely think nothing of being in denial about addictions to nicotine, alcohol, drugs or worse. Alan Watts wrote that like bad parents, religions too often keeps people in tow by forbidding every natural human impulse, and then making them feel ashamed that they cannot live up to impossible or super-human standards. One doesn't need to be religious to be ashamed, but they usually go together.
In fact someone raised with very strict rules often ends up in the clergy, the military, or some other situation where their decisions are made for them. They are also much more prone toward escapism of all kinds, obesity and depression or even crime and violence. Someone who has never been treated with respect has no respect for themself or for others. But treating someone with respect earns respect in return, and builds the character of that person at the same time.
Children certainly want boundaries and desirve to have examples of appropriate modes of feeling and behavior. But where free will is squashed the result is frustration, anger, and ultimately despair. Especially in matters of intimacy, kindness is the best role model.
If you weren't parented in the way you wanted, you will find a lot of healing in parenting someone else in the right way. If you find yourself lapsing into unkindness, then find ways of being kind to yourself and see yourself and thouse around you as deserving kindness.
" Perhaps we're too embarrassed to change or too frightened of the consequences of showing that we actually care. But why not risk it anyway? BEGIN TODAY! Carry out an act of kindness, with no expectation of reward or punishment. Safe in the knowledge that one day, someone somewhere might do the same for you." - Princess Diana
Just as a "Talking Stick" can be used to promote respect and kindness, this page can be used in a similar way. Simply e-mail this page or its location to communicate that you are interested in kindness and understanding. If you send this link to someone it means you are willing to take a step in the direction of compassionate understanding and kindness.
The ACTS OF KINDNESS movement was sparked by a book published by Conari Press in 1993 and grew nationally, spreading through classrooms, churches, hospitals, corporations, merchants, municipalities, and service clubs. It has been recognized and applauded by President Clinton; state, county, and municipal governments nationwide; and media outlets such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Leeza Show, and ABC News.
The Random Acts of Kindness Week is a grass roots awareness campaign and celebration of the power of Random Acts of Kindness as a counterbalance to random acts of violence. The goal is to reverse the tide of anger and violence in our society by increasing self-esteem and deepening our connection with others through the practice of simple, day-to-day kindness to our fellow humankind. "Random acts of kindness are those sweet or lovely things we do for no reason except that, momentarily, the best of our humanity has sprung into full bloom..." (Daphne Rose Kingma, from the book Random Acts of Kindness, Conari Press.
Random Acts of Kindness groups of many women and men have signed up to spend as little as 5 minutes a day just making someone else smile. There are 33 Heartfelt "Stories of Kindness" in a Collection of Stories, Random Acts of Kindness Edition, by Rebecca Ryan Resources. Ellie's Angels is a group of volunteers bound together with a single and simple goal: to create gifts of love and kindness for the terminally ill. There is an extensive list of ways to be of service in your community. Still other suggested Random Acts of Kindness you can practice are here.
WALKING IN KINDNESS IS A WAY OF LIFE, by Rose Morningstar, tells of the Native American approach to the practice of kindness. Kindness for Everyone is an interactive magazine dedicated to the promotion of acts of kindness as a way to stop acts of violence. Also, The Buddha's Teaching on Loving-kindness is a classic text on these matters.
Meditation is an excellent way to gain inner peace and strengthen inner resources. Here is an introduction and many links on the topic. Kindness Meditation Practice can be used to develop concentration and to develop the quality of kindness, according to a book by the same name, authored by Jack Kornfield.
Bo Lozoff and Ram Dass came up with the idea to help prisoners to use their prisons as ashrams if they were tired enough of seeing themselves as convicts just biding their time until they were released. Motherheart - a resource that encourages nurturing in all aspects of life. There are over 300 links plus stunning art with cogent and lucid written commentaries.
The Kindness Society reminds us what a happier world this would be if each one of us were to be always just as kind as we could be. Earth would be almost heaven if all unkindness were eliminated from our lives. Links about Random Acts of Kindness - a place to share your stories with others and help spread kindness. KINDNESS Search-Engine(tm) -by Dale E. Friesen. This site helps find other sites about "Random acts of Kindness". Kindness Incouragement lists quotes to provide a new perspective, and you can email a brief description of your act of kindness.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Beauty is a site is dedicated to recognizing those beautiful, faceless, nameless, people out there that do things of their own free will that help out someone they don't even know. Start a chain of free giving. Join this conspiracy of generosity which will infect the populace with random acts of kindness. Spreading Kindness Home Page will introduce you to an interactive magazine dedicated to the promotion of acts of kindness as a way to stop acts of violence.
Studies show that over 80% of all children enter school feeling good about themselves. By fifth grade, that percentage has dropped to 20% and by twelfth grade it is only 5%. It is the day to day peer violence in the form of "put-downs" and bullying behaviors in our schools and families that eventually erodes away the positive feelings of our young people. Students in all grades often show they care by helping others. Here are some random sightings of their kindness in action. Kindness Is Contageous, CATCH IT! Here is a Program Guide For Elementary Schools, sponsored by www.stop-violence.org. Also Helping Young People to Change the World is KJ TODAY.
Pay it Forward - Official Web site for the motion picture "Pay it Forward" from Warner Bros. The premise of the novel Pay It Forward, by Catherine Ryan Hyde is one that any person can implement in his or her own life, at any time. It begins with doing a favor for another person-- without any expectation of being paid back. Indeed one would request that the recipient of that favor do the same for someone else: ideally for three other people. The unconditional favors can be large or small.
SKM links - Here are more related web sites, which you may like to visit and share others' thoughts on kindness. If you come across similar web sites, do let us know so that we can include them on this list for everyone to share.
- Everyday Tao - (article) balance in a crazy world.
- Friendship homepage you can send as e-mail. Or you can just send Hugs.FRIENDS ARE LIKE PRECIOUS GEMS -let someone know you think they are a gem. Angel Friends Greeting More e-mail friendship cards (this one helps the environment too). Friendship and Loneliness
- Purple flower friendship meditation card. If you receive this link from someone it means they honor your capacity to be considerate and caring. If you reach out, even a little, you just might be able to meet in the middle somewhere.