It seems that in the world today everyone is in a rush. We have a drive to be first and be the best. It seems that we have lost part of our capacity for kindness.
There are 3 major things that I think have caused us to lose a sense of kindness towards others:
- Moving too fast
Sometimes we think we are better than someone else. Or we want others to think we are better than them. We put ourselves first and won’t admit when we are wrong. This pride is robbing our society of the caring that should exist among all humans.
Don’t cut people off on the freeway. Help someone load groceries into their car. Give up your seat on the bus for that tired-looking person. Be compassionate to those in need around you. Don’t judge others.
Often I find myself trying to move quickly from one thing to the next. The faster I can get to where I’m going, the better. The faster I can finish my school work and housework, the sooner I can get on to the next thing. This speed leads to frustration with people around me who are in the way of my speediness. That frustration strangles kindness and makes both parties upset.
Life is not a race and there are no “winners” and “losers”. Slow down and appreciate the people and places around you. Show gratitude for the love you receive from your friends and family. Don’t drive so fast that you forget to show kindness to others.
Recently I was traveling to my parent’s house on the highway. I was driving just over the speed limit and the man behind me decided that wasn’t fast enough. He got as close as he could to my car and then flashed his lights until I moved over. I caught up to him at the next red light. The act of moving too fast inhibited this man’s kindness and brought up feelings of unkindness in myself. Moving too fast can harm both you and those around you.
Distractions are everywhere — online, on TV, at work, at school, in our homes. Distractions remove us from things that matter. When we are distracted we are less likely to show kindness simply because we do not notice. Distracted drivers don’t show kindness because they are occupied with cell phones, music, noisy kids, makeup, etc.
Sometimes distractions are unavoidable, but this is no excuse for letting them distract us from kindness. Put the distractions away or remove them from your life. Doing so will allow you to see and take more opportunities to be kind to others. Put down the phone and give your spouse and kids a group hug. Turn off the TV and listen to your child as she talks about her day.
If we can all show a little more kindness there will be less fighting, fewer traffic accidents, less road rage, fewer misunderstandings, and a generally happier population.