We all want to see more good in the world. We would rather read positive stories of heroism, triumphs, kindness, compassion and bravery than all of the negative stories we read. I think we long for things that give us hope. We wish the world would be a place filled with good rather than bad. But how do we get there? How do we make that happen?
I believe there already is so much good happening all around us. There are amazing people and stories and acts goodness happening every day. We just need to change our perspective and look for the good. We need to make conscious choice to find the joy that exists around us.
Where has all the kindness gone?
As I go through my days of work, commuting, errands, parenting, and engaging with others, I observe the ways we interact. I notice how we treat each other, see each other and speak to each other. Sometimes I think there is a lack of basic kindness, manners and goodness. I feel like we focus so much on our independence that we forget we still live in relationship to others.
It’s easy to rush through our days not giving much thought to how we treat others and how we affect them. In this age of technology it often feels like we don’t need filters because of online anonymity. We can forget that the person on the other end of the line, or responding online is still a person. The clerk behind the counter that we can’t bother to make eye contact with is still someone with feelings. The comment or like we get on social media comes from a person….someone who could be our friend, our family or just a fellow human being.
We need to change our perspective
Our goal should be to find compassion and kindness in every situation. We should look for this even if it means looking past the negative. In every circumstance we have the opportunity to choose to see the positive effect. For instance, when we go through trials like sickness or losing a job, we have the opportunity to find the good. Maybe the sickness brings greater appreciation for what we had, maybe it brings us closer to loved ones or maybe it renews a strength and determination we thought we had lost. When a job is lost unexpectedly, maybe we need to look for the new opportunities that become available or the motivation to learn a new skill.
“Kindness is universal. Sometimes being kind allows others to see the kindness in humanity through you. Always be kinder than necessary”. ~ Germany Kent
Kindness is a choice. You don’t have to agree with or even like each other to be kind. It is a conscious effort that we can make on a daily basis. Goodness is a choice. We choose our actions and words knowing they will have an effect on those around us. By showing kindness and goodness in our lives, we spread it to others and help them see the good in their lives too.
Research studies have shown that showing kindness to others and “being the good” also leads to personal happiness and a propensity to want to spread more kindness. It becomes a circle and we will, in turn, start seeing more good around us.
How can we “be the good”?
As Ghandi famously said…
“We need to be the change we wish to see in the world”.
If we want to see kindness we need to show kindness. If we truly want to see more positive in the world than we need to be a more positive person ourselves. Here are some simple ways to be good:
- We can listen to people and give them our full attention.
- We can smile at strangers.
- We can offer a helping hand.
- We can share a compliment.
- We can do a random act of kindness.
- We can use the manners we’d like to see in return.
3 challenges for this week where you can “be the good” and make an impact
1) Make an effort to look for a positive attribute in someone around you and pay them a compliment. Try to do this at least once a day and notice how their reaction makes you feel.
2) Smile at a stranger in a situation where you would normally look away (an elevator, in line at a store, passing a co-worker in the hall). It may be uncomfortable at first but try it on a few people and see how often the smile is returned.
3) Do a random act of kindness for someone and focus on how it makes you feel. Notice if your perspective for the rest of the day changes.