By: Rachel Doherty | Tweens 2 Teen
As we wander through the 12 days of Christmas, it’s time to look at the topic of kindness. What it means to be compassionate and create community around us.
Kindness is about being friendly and helpful. It’s the consideration of others and putting their needs ahead of our own. Some people seem born to be kind, but most of us have to work at it.
I’m at the halfway point of my 12 days of Christmas! I’ve been looking at the amazing gifts we can give to our loved ones straight from our character. If you’re just joining me, you might like to start with the 1st day of Christmas, where I dove into the topic of love.
“Christmas works like glue, it keeps us all sticking together.” – Rosie Thomas
Kindness makes life worth living
There has been so much hate and hurt in the world this year. Yet there have been times of great compassion too. We all have a better life when we’re generous and kind, not only to people we like and love, but strangers too.
Here’s ten thoughts on how you can be part of filling this world with kindness:
1. Look at things from a different perspective. Issues often make more sense when we put ourselves in another’s shoes. Particularly when it comes to misunderstandings and hurts. The most compassionate people do this instinctively.
2. Don’t project. Our reaction to others is often driven by our own fears and insecurities. We need to own what makes us uncomfortable and be willing to learn more. Not just hide away in our ignorance.
3. Start a movement. Kindness is a rather contagious thing. If you act kindly towards others, they tend to not only do it back, but find others to share kind to. In fact, being kind is the easiest way to change the culture in a family, workplace or whole community.
4. Grasp opportunities. Everyday we see openings to be kind and help others, but we often hold back from fear of offending. Just offer! They might say no, but it’s still nice to hear. And if they do say yes, you’ll both feel better.
5. Thank people. Gratitude goes a long way. Don’t get slack with your “please” and “thank you”s.
“Whoever goes hunting for what is right and kind finds life itself – glorious life.” – Hebrew proverb
6. Be friendly. In this season of parties and get togethers, there’s always someone who drifts to the back and looks uncomfortable. Be that person who goes up and says hello. Introduce yourself and find your common ground. Don’t just stick to your friends all the time.
7. Look at the upside. The kindest thing we can do is to help others see the good in life and themselves. The world is full of negativity, but swim the other way. Be optimistic!
8. Find the right motive. There’s a difference between someone who’s kind for their own benefit and generosity. Don’t let self-interest be what gets you acting kindly.
9. Do the little things. Being considerate is about doing the things that people don’t often notice but add up to make a big difference. Washing up the dishes at work. Mowing the neighbour’s front lawn when you do yours. Taking your plates to the counter in a cafe. It’s amazing how many of these little things you see when you really open your eyes!
10. Talk it up. As parents and people who work with kids, we get the privilege of shaping the next generation. This is our chance to point out good values and help them see why they don’t have to be kind, but life is much better when they are.
Kindness is one of those qualities that is rather hard to ignore or abuse. If you spread kindness day after day, then not only will your relationships change, but your community will too. Caring communities are build on everyday acts of kindness.
Article supplied with thanks to Tweens 2 Teen.
About the Author: Rachel Doherty helps those living and working with young people, through supervision, coaching, speaking and consulting.