When I was a child, my mother always reminded me to be kind to others. It was our household commandment, although it didn’t stop me from arguing with my brother and sister whenever I had a chance.
Every Christmas there is that subtle reminder for us to be kind to others. I hear people saying thank-you more often. I see people opening doors for others. I notice others picking up garbage off the street, or taking time to volunteer at the local food bank.
It’s reinforced everywhere at this time of year, but I wonder too whether there is more kindness, or am I more conscious of my own efforts to be kind, and then can’t help but see others taking the same path.
It’s a bit like when you get a new car. Until you get that car, you’re oblivious to all the others who are out there driving the same car you are. Once you have it, it seems like its everywhere.
So, if kindness is happening all the time, perhaps it isn’t so much about the number of acts, as it is about the awareness of the act itself.
When we are aware of our actions, we deepen the impact. That energy is then picked up by others. Saying thank-you on auto-pilot doesn’t mean nearly the same as looking someone straight in the eye, pausing and saying thank-you. Now an exchange has taken place – a gift and a receipt. It’s a beautiful thing to behold.
We can practice kindness any time. It’s not the size of the gesture, but the intent. It’s not the words, but the feeling. It’s not the gift, as much as it is the love. It is truly, the thought that counts.