Several weeks ago I was in the frozen food section of a large warehouse. As I started to open the door to retrieve some frozen vegetables large boxes of food started falling toward me. Some of the items were on the floor and some were stuck in the door.
I found myself holding the freezer door shut. If I let go of the door I could see that more items would fall to the ground.
Immediately another shopper rushed over to help me. As we tried to pick up the items and stop the avalanche I looked around at the other shoppers who were just standing around staring at us. No one else offered to help. They were not rushing off to do other things – they were just standing there watching. . .
Finally a worker came to our aid to help us move the food back into the freezer. He explained that he had been using a fork lift to move the food behind the freezer doors and he had pushed forward just a little bit too far.
After this incident I started thinking about what causes us to act. Are we willing to be kind only when we have control or if we see a reward attached to the act? Do we do random acts of kindness for a few days during the year and then forget about them the rest of the year?
I’m starting a personal project to work on developing the Habit of Being Kind. A habit is something that we do without even thinking about it (just like the shopper who rushed to help me in the store). A habit becomes easier the more that we do it.
Practice KINDNESS 365 days a year
Here are a few things I have found that make it easier to be kind.
Showing Kindness Does Not Have to be Difficult
Being kind does not have to be a huge project that takes hours of planning. It can be as simple as a smile, holding a door open for someone or responding to someone in line at the grocery store.
Make it a Habit
It helps to start small by setting a goal to do at least one kind thing every day. Practice makes it easier and we become stronger in the process. Over time it becomes a positive habit and something that can be done without even thinking.
It helps to be PRESENT in life. This means paying attention to everything around you. This is as simple as putting down a mobile phone and actually making eye contact with the person bagging the groceries. It is saying “thank you” and listening.
Finally, it is important for us to actually mean what we are saying and doing. If life is lived every day with an intention of contributing something positive then it becomes a way of life. We can be assigned projects to be kind, but it is so much more worthwhile if we actually mean what we are saying and doing.
Are you willing to join me on this journey of practicing kindness 365 days a year?