“Happiness is the new wealth, inner peace is the new success, health is the new wealth, kindness is the new cool”
– Syed Balkhi
In a world where everyone is struggling, hustling to survive and earn a living, it has become increasingly difficult to show kindness. How do we show kindness when the life isn’t kind to us? After all, behind the scene and every facade we put on, we all are dealing with some kind of issue. The answer is simple: it costs nothing to be kind. It is also vital to our mental health to show kindness, regardless of any challenge we may be facing.
Finding the courage to be kind to humanity in a world that has never taught us to be requires a full understanding of how important a simple gesture of kindness is to a single mother struggling to feed her children. Or a cancer patient fighting to beat the disease. Life is harsh to most people, and there is no way to identify a burden a person is carrying internally, or the struggle they’ve survived. Hence, what we can do is to show kindness to those in our path.
I have a colleague who we referred to as “the bald guy” because his hairline was receded. We made jokes about his head all the time. Recently, another colleague gave me a shampoo to give to him. I told him about the shampoo, and the conversation went this way.
Me: Hey Henry, (not real name) Henrietta (not real name) asked me to give you this shampoo. I guess it’s for your hair (pointing to his receding hairline and smiling)
Henry: Oh yes! (oblivious of my mockery) It’s for my hair. Do you know I survived cancer? I was diagnosed and went through chemo and my frontal hair stopped growing.
Me: OMG! I didn’t know! When? How? Are you okay? I am sorry. (Obviously apologizing for referring to him as the bald guy all this while)
Henry: It’s okay, I’m cancer-free now. The cancerous cells were taken out and I’m fine.
The conversation lasted a few minutes and Henry went about his day, but my conscience started working on overdrive. I felt truly sorry and remorseful about making a mockery of him. and how we never truly know what people are dealing with in their private lives.
We all have our private struggles. Everybody you come across has emotional baggage you may not know about. There’s always a story behind every human and some people are doing a great job concealing it.
Kindness is a commodity money cannot buy. A show of kindness has to be genuine, must come from a good place, and be intrinsic. When you show kindness, you lighten the recipient’s burden and that can set the course for their day. Kindness is also contagious, when you show a random act of kindness to a stranger, he/she will be obliged to pay it forward, and what that ultimately does to the world is to make it a better place to live in for you, me, and the coming generations. There are different ways to show kindness, but one of the cheapest ways to do so is through our smile. Smiling is contagious; when you smile at a person, the person automatically acknowledges and smiles back.
The world isn’t an easy place to live in, but we can make it easier through a random act of kindness we show to our neighbours. You have no idea what people may be struggling with financially or emotionally. We don’t have to wait for our neighbors, friends, and family to break down or be at the brink of suicide before offering them a shoulder to lean on. We can start saving a life today by saying hello to our neighbors, giving a thoughtful gift, asking our friends how their day was, or offer to help that single parent with a child’s school fees.
Remember, an act of kindness or appreciation shown to other people isn’t only beneficial to them alone, it helps with your mental health as well, and beyond that, you will be serving humanity for the greater good of mankind.