There are a few things in life that are non-negotiable. One of those things is the effort taken to be kind. It does not take much to do and while it can be difficult to be kind all the time, it doesn’t cost anything, and the effort is always worth it. Some of the issues that we experience in our world is due to a lack of kindness in our daily interactions. If more people tried to be kind towards one another, I could guarantee that a lot of conflict, irritation, and resentment would go away.
Someone who is always kind to anyone regardless of who they are or what they can or cannot do for the person will stand out even more. The smallest gestures can make all the difference in another person’s day or week. As the popular saying goes, “It costs nothing to be kind.” I would add on to that saying but highlighting that, “It costs nothing to be kind, but it means everything to be kind.” When you do kind gestures and use kind words, not only will it reflect well on you, but it will also endear you to the people around you.
When we are living in a day and age of rapid technological, social, and political change, it is even more important to stay true to the morals and values that make people trust, believe, and have faith in one another. Showing kindness and being a kind person helps make the world a little bit better in a measurable way. I have written before about the ripple effect and how your kind gesture is likely to lead to another kind gesture from the person you impact. I’ll give an example to highlight just exactly what I mean.
We open and close doors multiple times a day and usually we are in a public place when we must do this. It takes approximately three to five seconds to hold the door open for the next person. You may not think it’s a kind gesture, but I would like you to imagine that the person behind you has a bag or two bags in their hand. Maybe, they also have their dog with them, or they are on a cell phone call. Thus, when you put it like that, the simple gesture of opening the door for them so they don’t have to use their arms if they’re full or if they’re busy with another urgent task can make all the difference.
You will have to exert a little bit of physical effort to hold that door open to a complete stranger but think about if they automatically would not hold the door open for you when you are in need. It would not feel that good to you if you were the person occupied with other items or tasks and the person before you did not hold the door open for you when you need that. When it comes to kindness, we do have to think about being in someone else’s shoes and how a lack of kindness can make our day worse and not better.
I do believe that when you do a kind gesture for someone, they will likely then reciprocate by following that learned behavior. It’s similar to what we do when we are children, and someone offers us a piece of gum, or a candy and we do that to someone else as we learn that “sharing is caring.” You can have that kind of impact each day by holding the door open for someone reminding them that they themselves can do that same small act of kindness for the next time when the opportunity presents itself.
In the Post-COVID era where we were instructed to stay away from each other to prevent the pandemic from spreading, I think it’s not even more important to get back to looking out for each other in the opposite way by looking out for one another even more after a hard period of isolation, distress, and uncertainty. The world remains in a tumultuous and difficult period still but now we have the chance to make life a little easier by being kind because it is the right thing to do as we are taught since we are children.
Whether it is holding that proverbial door open or asking how someone is really doing and hearing them out if they are not doing well, or remembering to check in with friends and family from time to time and asking if they need help with anything, especially if you have elder family members in need. We truly show our humanity when we look out for one another, and it is the singular characteristic for which we will be remembered for or not remembered for when we are gone from this Earth.
While we would like to think we were remembered for having a prestigious job or for all the things we did for our own personal gain or benefit, or for what kind of impact we had in the world, which are not bad things to be remembered for, I do think it is better to be remembered as a kind person firstly. I believe it is best for others who will remember you to focus most on if you were the kind of person who endeared himself or herself to others in a selfless manner without expectation of a return for having done so.
You can bet that if you are a kind person, people who will remember you when you’re gone will focus on that quality more than anything else. If you have ignored being kind to others or have not focused on it as a character trait, it is never too late to instill more kindness to people in your life. Every effort matters and kindness always matters. If you can change your ways to a better person, being a kind person is a trait that will always be remembered long after you’re gone. Remember that people are struggling out there and the simplest kind gesture of asking how a person is doing, opening the door for someone else, and checking in on people to help them if they are in need is the greatest gift to share in this world.