Why Kindness Is More Important Than Anything
One of the greatest realizations is that it matters less what you do than how you do it. Whether they’re running a multi-billion-dollar corporation or sweeping a street, the one common factor between all people is the way they treat themselves and others. Maya Angelou said it best:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
The way we relate to others makes all the difference in how we feel, and how others feel about us. The first step to understanding your relationship to others is to notice how you treat yourself. Are your actions based on anger, greed, or hatred, or are they coming from a place of compassion, kindness, and love? Notice your self-talk. Do you berate yourself in ways you wouldn’t talk to a friend, or are you self-critical? Try to give yourself small acts of kindness, love, nurturing, and care.
Our society seems to veer to the extremes of the spectrum, either overly selfish or overly selfless. Someone who is extremely selfless may give and give, without caring for themselves. For someone who is very selfish, there is a need to recognize themselves in others and be more caring. To give energy to either, and neglect the other, can only be detrimental to our wellbeing.
Often, all it takes to change our patterns is to become aware of our feelings and thoughts towards ourselves and others. Try to slow down as you go through your day. When we get caught up in the end goal, we tend to forget about the journey, and all the people along the way – the barista, the receptionist, our friend, our spouse, or even our boss.
Perhaps when we can notice the shared humanity of every person, paying full attention to how we treat each other and ourselves, we’ll discover the key to true happiness.