Excerpts from: Robert Puff Ph.D. at https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca
Have you ever thrown a rock into a still body of water?
The impact of the rock creates a ripple effect that spreads outwards across the entire pond, until those ripples reach the edge of the water. It can be a beautiful experience, and it also illustrates how our actions affect other people.
When we display love and kindness to others, that feeling ripples out to people in our inner circle and perhaps beyond it touching other people's lives and inspiring kindness everywhere the wave goes.
Spreading love and kindness not only has positive effects on others but also on ourselves. I personally feel my best when I help others and I feel my worst when I’ve made someone upset.
I believe that kindness is a skill and is something we decide to put out into the world every day. The most difficult part of expressing love and kindness to others is when the other person doesn’t deserve it. Even in those moments when anger feels overpowering, I still believe that kindness should prevail. And when that isn’t possible, because there will be times when your anger overpowers anything else, I recommend walking away. Leaving the conversation can help stop those ripples of hate from going out into the world.
Letting love and kindness guide my decisions creates a great deal of happiness in my heart. When I do things for others, I don’t need to know the effects of my actions necessarily because doing the action is enough for me. My heart feels full when I create happiness for others.
I want to challenge you to choose a day or a week to be especially kind to others. This could mean complimenting strangers, being extra thankful to people who help you throughout your day or asking how someone’s day is going and really listening. We are presented with many opportunities throughout the day to make a positive impact. I urge you to lead with kindness and love, and to not look for a response from that kindness, but to simply share it.
Kindness is like perfume. You get to enjoy it, but the people around you can enjoy it too. After a day or a week, you might even start to notice how your actions affect the people around you.
It is important that we take care of ourselves as well when we show so much compassion for others. I do believe that we’re only able to radiate love and kindness in the world when we feel that same love and kindness towards ourselves.
We’re only able to pass that positivity off to others when our own energy is replenished.
Kindness is a skill that we can learn overtime. But it’s most important that we learn to speak to ourselves with love and compassion. When we love ourselves, we’re then able to love others. And when we let this love and kindness guide our decisions, I believe that the world we participate in will become more beautiful.