My momma used to say “The best way to help yourself is to help others.”
Wise woman – for so many reasons – including that phrase.
I find myself puzzled upon realizing that sentiment again. (Self scolding: “You already knew that!” ).
It’s not as if I’m living day to day with blinders on for my interests only. I take care of my family, work, reach out to friends, am involved in organizations and events as time allows — but like many of us running around the planet in a hurried frenzy from one fire to the next, my focus gets lost from time to time.
I’m going with the notion that – at least I’m open to the kindness epiphany.
Getting Past the Impasse
It’s intersting how life presents these reminders to us in subtle – and not so subtle ways. A recent asignment for a class I’m taking is to read the book Sabbath by Wayne Muller. This book is really more about taking time to reflect. Unwind. Be present & grateful. Which put me in line for the kindness “reveal” I mentioned earlier.
I’ll admit – I need all this in my life right now. Like so many I’m at an impasse of sorts – for a variety of reasons – so my momma’s advice is ringing in the ears ’bout now.
Years ago (interestingly enough – at another life altering moment) I had the pleasure of “stumbling” onto 29 Gifts. (Of course I’m using the quotations around stumbling as a wink and a nudge to the fact there really are no coincidences in life…) Participating in the 29gifts challenge was one of the best things I have ever done — for me personally. The whole idea is for you to give to others – something, each day, for 29 days. I encourage you to try it – you won’t be sorry you did.
And keeping with the “no coincendences” theme, today in my Linkedin Pulse I found this very timely article about “Choosing the Kind of Person You Want to Be” which circles back to kindness mantra. “Day after day you have the option to choose kindness. Do it.”
It sounds so simple — for all of you, it probably is. Gut check: Not always the case for me — I’ve given up wondering why. And let me be clear – I’m pretty certain I am kind on a daily basis. Most of us don’t think about it, we just do it — compassion is in our DNA. You hold the door or elevator for people, you say excuse me, you pick up something that is dropped on the floor, you say “bless you” after a person sneezes, you ask a coworker, “how’s your dog?”, you donate to charities, you care for those in need, etc….
I’m talking more about the times in our life where the troubles and burdens weigh us down and it is dangerously simple to jump into the “Are you serious right now?!” pity pot — and I think most of us have been there, a time or two in our lives.
#Transformation, is something we post, mention and share often on this blog. For MasterCare the transformation is in regard to the company, the spa bathing products we develop and the effect – although it may be small – we have on the care of people in need of bath assistance, ie: Elders and those in Care Communities.
We acknowledge there are several ways to transform: A business, a product, ourselves.
Which is one of the reasons why I continue to broaden the #Transformation topics here… which is how I got on the Simple Act of Kindness kick and the #Transformation I think I need (again) in that area.
So, I’m looking to get out of my head for awhile and focus more on what I can do for others. And, I am going to do myself a favor and not dwell on the times where my kindness was not appreciated, or was misinterpreted, or abused – because I can almost guarantee it will happen again. Not being cynical, just honest.
Kindnesses for Kindness Sake
But, that’s probably the greatest thing about the act of kindness – not all efforts will be acknowledged. But it just makes you appreciate – on such a deeper level – the ones that are. And, really, is the spirit in which it’s received the reason for being kind? Likely not.
Besides, we aren’t in control of how other people behave. Someone’s inability to be grateful or abuse of a kindness is NOT a reflection on the giver. Perhaps that person’s reaction is all their capable of. We have no idea what is going on under their skin. Or as I tell my kiddos —
“Don’t judge a person till you’ve shuffled around in their shoes.”
That’s a post for later…
Thanks for taking the time,