I have always been moved by the kindness of others.

One of the earliest examples of kindness was a story my mum used to tell about my Uncle Jimmy. It happened around the time of my father’s death.

The funeral had taken place. The grieving friends and family had gone. And we were all completely bereft, as well as vulnerable, as dad was the sole income provider. It was at this time that Uncle Jimmy returned with groceries.

This, of course, didn’t change our immense feelings of loss. It was a small act of kindness. But it was one that was never forgotten.

There is, of course, the common, everyday kindness that most of us show without realising it. Simply smiling at people, being friendly and inclusive, and giving genuine compliments are all small, but meaningful, acts of kindness that help people to feel better about themselves.

Certainly, we show kindness when we show consideration or help others without the expectation of return. But we can also remember and be grateful for acts of kindness shown to us and make sure we carry their example forward. American author, Brian Tracy, says that we should always ‘give without remembering and receive without forgetting’.

Kindness is not always easy. It is a less common act of kindness when we self-control when we are upset by others and doing our part to repair a relationship. We also demonstrate kind words on occasions when we empathise with people or apologise for our part of a difficulty.

It is less common again when we practise kind thoughts – finding less harsh, more compassionate ways to view others, when this is possible, or choosing to forgive others who have not taken responsibility for their behaviour and made amends. There are also thoughts that prompt us to show consideration for others and realising that better relationships begin with us.

Kindness can be healing and also shows consideration and respect to others. Kindness also has it’s own rewards for the giver – feeling good when we help others and becoming more like the person we want to be.

Kind thoughts, kind words or kind actions – which is best? Goodness knows we need them all.

Quote of the week

“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”

– Albert Schweitzer