Kindness speaks to our humanity and answers the most basic need we have, that being the ability to connect with meaning and purpose with our fellow man. It is unselfishness, a moment where our wants are set aside in an act of service that elevates the needs of another selflessly and without motive; a sense of altruistic purity occurs, in showing kindness, we are selves are made whole.
I met a friend about a year ago on Twitter. Her name is Phyllis Mufson (@phyllismufson) and, I have never spoken to her or had the opportunity to meet her in real life yet, she is a part of my day and a person who extends a smile and make my days just better by being who she is. It was an act of kindness in the form of a random DM (direct Message for you non-Twitter folks) that was the beginning of a wonderful friendship. She emailed be a bit ago and asked if I would participate in a #kindness party on Twitter. Normally, my Twitter feed is filled with the meanderings from my journal, things I've pondered while creating in my studio or out in my normal course of business. It is an online Moleskin journal with instant feedback on a global scale really. The point is, I said yes. Yes to filling my Tweet stream for 2 hours of #kindness, kindness by way of a thank you, a haiku, a funny story, a shortened anecdote, a tear wiped, a prayer asked for, a simple winter wish for healing. For me, working and living in the creative community, RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) are not foreign, they show up in random letters and artwork in your mailbox, art supplies to those in need, help in getting the materials needed together for a last minute class, volunteering on grand scales and sharing one's talents and passion with strangers. A RAK can be paying for a stranger's coffee behind you in the drive-thru, but it also could be a 10,000 dollar check in the mail to pay for a semester or two of college for a young single Mom.
Kindness isn't always easy. It isn't something that comes naturally, if it were our bellies would be grumbling and it'd be easy to trade our spots with the guy in the cardboard box who hasn't eaten in a day or two. We wouldn't speed up to give the "eye" (you know that sideways glance) that says, "You jerk, I can't believe you cut me off..." or even tougher, showing kindness to an enemy who wounded you deeply. Kindness, the act of putting another's needs in front of your own, without the desire to be recognized or acknowledged, and takes the kind courage that sets folks apart which really does change the world.
If this post meant something to you, Pay It Forward by doing something random, something bold, something out of your comfort zone, something life-changing, something brave... Be Kind.