Kindness is something inherent in humans. We have this natural tendency to help out others since the time of our ancestors. However, as times change and as we developed more complex tools and ways of living as part of the evolutionary process, most of us have forgotten or may have repressed our compassionate and altruistic nature. Although true that competition for resources is a key to the survival of a species, more often than not, it is cooperation that ensures survival. If we are seeking a better place to live in, we need to start a change in our lives.
Kindness and compassion should begin in ourselves and at home. Being kind and compassionate goes beyond simple sharing and helping of other people. It can also be helping them feel better through emotional support or through gentle physical contact such as an assuring hold of the hand or a gentle pat on the shoulder. We begin being kind to ourselves by knowing what our bodies not and reconsidering the wants and putting some of those wants aside. Our bodies need enough nutrition, exercise and rest. Once we become healthy, we show a healthy and happy disposition to others and we are physically, emotionally and mentally able to help out others in need. A healthy and compassionate spirit can also be achieved through meditation. Finding inner peace and connection with God helps us realize the beauty of God’s creations and how we can help our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Once we become equipped with kindness, the next thing to do is spread kindness and compassion to the people closest to us – our family. We should be good role models and examples of compassion to them in order to inspire them to follow your lead in being a compassionate person. Kindness in the household can translate into a peaceful and loving family.
Once we have helped our family on how to be generous, it’s time to venture out onto the outside. The level of appreciation from people who we barely know or don’t know can be different from the appreciation of our family members. However, we should still be good examples and doers of compassion especially to the people who need compassion most. The “ARK” is a useful acronym to guide is in being compassionate to our fellow humans: acts of random kindness. Random here is synonymous to being spontaneous: no doubts, second thoughts and reservations when helping others. When we are already attuned to our own needs, it is easy to identify what another person needs and what we can do to help that person with his/her needs. As mentioned earlier, most of the times, it isn’t the things we give in kind that people need. They also need companionship, friendship, encouragement, kind words, forgiveness and prayers. Just being able to put a smile or to make other people laugh can have a big impact on how their day will turn out. If we can change the disposition of other people for the better, then they themselves will feel better about other people and thus would eventually spread compassion.
Spreading compassion can be easy and achievable, and to make it into a habit and daily practice, it needs constant and repeated application. If we were only compassionate to one another, then everywhere around the world would have been a better and happier place. Even if it might still be virtually impossible as of the moment, we can try to focus our generosity on the in our immediate vicinity and let the kindness and compassion spread wider through every person we help. If we could only practice paying it forward – helping others and letting them help others in return –, we can definitely reach far across the world with compassion. Let’s not lose hope and pray for God’s guidance and grace for the fulfillment of this wonderful cause. Let’s spread compassion now!