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How to be kind to yourself and to others- 68 thoughts on kindness

If we could learn how to be kind to the world about us, may be the world would be a better place. That’s what we are going to try and understand in this post- how to be kind, and how to make the world a kinder, and compassionate place.

They don’t teach us how to be kind in the school, do they? Why don’t they? If only we knew how we could be kinder to each other, perhaps racism wouldn’t exist, bullying wouldn’t exist, ragging wouldn’t exist and no form of discrimination would exist. Since children end up becoming adults, it is quite likely, we would have a much kinder society. So, we couldn’t teach children how to be kind, we need to figure out a way to teach the adults how they can be kinder, so we can fix our lives and the world retrospectively.

This is not just another post on kindness. I intend it to be an encyclopedia of kindness, so that we could learn how to be kind to ourselves, and how to be kind to the world about us.

As usual, like we do on this blog, let us start with the basics on understanding what kindness means before we jump to the how’s of the equation.

What is kindness?

How to be kind to others
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Kindness is the ability to being kind.

What does it mean to be kind?

To be kind means to be of a benevolent or considerate nature. A kind person is loving and caring of people around him. If you are kind to yourself, you are loving, caring and understanding of your own selves.

Why is kindness important?

Kindness is important because kindness makes the world a better place. If you are kind to yourself, you take care of yourselves and your happiness. If you are kind to others, you feel good about yourself. Think about a time when you helped someone without expecting anything in return. Didn’t that feel good?

Not just that if you are kind to others, you learn to be kind to yourself as well. Kindness is infectious. When we are kind to others, it fosters kindness. It encourages them to be kind to others too. The circles moves, and just because you performed a random act of kindness, the world become just a little better a place, or who knows, a significantly better place.

Kindness is important because it is one of the most important attributes of human character. People who are kind care for others and their well-being, thereby, fostering love and togetherness.

It is important to be kind as human beings simply because it makes us better human beings who are valuable to the world about us. Our lives stop being only about ourselves when we are kind to our friends, families and even strangers.

The opposite of kindness is inconsiderate or cruel. Why would you want to be inconsiderate or cruel? There is no way it makes the world a better place. Rather, it makes the world a painful place.

Therefore, make a conscious effort to be kind in everyday life. Every act of kindness makes the world a better and kind place. All of us want to live in a kinder place, don’t we?

Now, that we have understood that it is important to be kind as human beings, we would look at ways to be kind, so that we can imbibe some of those ways in our lives.

Below are 68 ways to be kind to yourself and to others:

1. Smile at people you like genuinely

It doesn’t take a lot to smile at people you like. A smile makes the world a better and a kinder place. All of us are struggling with a lot of problems and sometimes, under the weight of those problems, we forget to smile.

Smile at others to be kind to them
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However, remember that you infect others with what you carry. If you carry positivity around, you would infect others with it. So, smile to be kind.

A smile never hurt the person who shared it.

2. Watch your words to be kind

Words can make or break relationships. One of the ways to be kind is to speak with love and compassion. Whether you are talking to a family member, or to a stranger, speak with love. They will feel it in your voice. Words can make the world a kinder or a harsher place, depending on how you use them. If there is one key message to learn on how to be kinder as a person, it is to use kind words. Kind words heal.

Words by themselves when chosen carefully, can make the world a better place or worse. When chosen carefully, and said with love and care, they can repair relationships, and heal broken wounds. When used carelessly, they can destroy relationships and hurt people so badly that they never recover from the hurt.

So, if you wish to be kind, use words carefully. Speak slowly if you must, if be careful of what you say. Your words can either make the world kinder, or cruel place.

Additionally, also watch your body language. Your body talks. You can deliver love or hatred with your eyes and your body. Watch what you are conveying with your whole body- especially with your eyes. Eyes talk, and if you look at people with love and compassion, they listen, and their anger and hatred caves in.

3. Listen to people intently- to be kind to them

Listening is caring
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When you are having conversations with people, be interested in them. Do not interrupt them. Do not start sharing a list of your problems when they are telling you theirs. The world isn’t a competition to win about who has more problems.

When you listen to people, even if you can’t solve their problems, they feel cared for.

Just think about it- we live in a world where people are paying therapists to listen to them because nobody else is. People aren’t listening to their family members. Nobody wants to understand each other. Listening intently is listening to understand.

4. Be loving and caring, to be kind

This is simple. If you want to be kind, become a genuinely loving and caring person. If you care for people, you would know to be kind to them. It is hard to be unkind to someone you love.

But it’s hard to love because to love is to understand. That is hard.

Just because it is hard doesn’t mean we don’t try. Becoming a loving person is perhaps one of the most important steps to learn how to be kind and how to be kinder.

Try to be loving to people, to animals (my being non-vegetarian become a bit of a problem for me here, but I am thinking how to resolve this), to plants and to anything that nature contains.

If we can only be caring and loving enough, being kinder would be a corollary.

5. Help people emotionally to be kinder

All of us are starved of emotional satisfaction. Mental health overpowers physical health. Part of It is way easier to be sexually satisfied in the world than be emotionally satisfied. You could pay a hooker to have sex with her if you so want, but you can’t get her to love you, or listen to you, or care about your deepest emotions. What a weird world!

How to be kind to people
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If you want to be kind, help them emotionally. Help them feel good.

Emotions are the output of life. Everything we do, we do it to arrive at a certain emotion. Ideally, we want to feel happy, positive, elated, joyous, energetic, and want to avoid guilt, pain and other negative emotions.

Help people experience positive and healthy emotions. This is what I am trying to do here. When someone is feeling low, try and help them. When someone is feeling lonely, give them company.

Perhaps one of the definitions of kindness is the act of helping turn negative emotions to positive.

6. If you can, help people financially- that’s kindness that easy to deliver

The great thing about money is that you can use it to make the world a better place. If you have money that is spare, help people. Buy food for a poor person and give it to them. You will make their day, and you will also make your day. It feels good to be good.

There are only so many ways to kind, and this one is easy if you have some money, you can give away and not feel poor for it. Every once in a while, when I have time and want to feel good about myself, I buy some food and give it away to a beggar or a kid.

The world is a harsh place for millions of people who are born in poverty for no fault of theirs. You and I have a certain privilege that we were born in better circumstances for us to get some education and a better livelihood. Not everyone is as fortunate.

So, if you want to be kind, this is an easy one. It pays to be kind-hearted. It pays in the feeling that life isn’t in vain, even if for a brief moment.

7. Genuinely appreciate people to be kind to them

Do not hold compliments inside yourself. If you feel that you appreciate someone, let them know. All of us crave for genuine and heartfelt compliments. Do not flatter people. Flattery is cheap praise. That’s what people with low self-esteem do. They flatter others and become a sycophant. You don’t want to do that.

How to be kind- complement people
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When you appreciate people, you make them feel happier and strong. It makes the world a kinder and a better place.

8. Be genuinely kind, for it is human to be kind

The thing is that we shouldn’t have to make effort to be kind because it should be our natural response. Somehow the world functions in weird ways and we are told several lies to make us unkind during our growing up years:

“Do not give money to the poor. They will misuse it…”

“Do not help someone on the road. You may be caught in a mess…”

Do not do this or do not do that. As we grow up, those childhood notions that were given to us as children become part of our everyday behavior and we don’t find a way to fight through them.

As a consequence, we become indifferent to the world, which sucks.

When you give, give with good intentions, and forget about the rest.  

9. Forgive yourself, and others

What’s important to understand about forgiveness is that we don’t just do it for others, we do it for ourselves as well. Perhaps, more so, for ourselves.

It is not easy to forgive. It is extremely hard. If someone pains us, it’s hard to let go of the pain and so we stick to the pain. However, the more we attach ourselves to the pain, the harder it is to get out of the situation mentally.

Therefore, make a conscious emotional effort to forgive the person who pained you and that will ease off your emotional space to be in a loving position again. When we think about kindness, it is not just important to learn how to be kind to others, but also how to be kind of ourselves. After, all, we need kindness as well.

So many of us are so hard on ourselves that we just don’t allow ourselves to be happy. We keep reminding ourselves of our faults and our mistakes, and therefore, the guilt builds in. Just like you remind yourself of your faults, also remind yourself of things you like about you, and things that you do that make your family, your workplace, the world around you happier.

If you do that, you would begin to like yourself, and thereby, be more kind to you.

10. Make time to be kinder to people

Hey, I keep saying- time is the unit of life. Nobody is really busy. Think about it- don’t you make time for stuff that’s really important to you? You do, right. So does everyone.

If you want to be kind to someone, make time for them. Even if you don’t expect to get anything for yourself out of the meeting or discussion, the fact that you made time is an act of kindness that they may cherish.

This is particularly important if you hold a position of power because then, there are people who look up to you. If you want to make someone who is your junior in the hierarchy feel good, make time for them and they would be grateful that you did. This is an easy tip but quite ignored tip on kindness, but now that you are reading it, try and put this to use.

Be kind to your family too by making time for them. Since we all live busy lives, slot time in your calendar for them just like you do for your colleagues if that’s what it takes.

Remember, time is the unit of life. There is nothing more important than time for most of the people who matter to you.

11. How to be kind- Say sorry first

Yes, it is hard to say sorry. It is one of the hardest things to do. But then we are not perfect human beings. As good as our intentions may be, we make mistakes. Sometimes, we make mistakes knowing that they may hurt others, but we give ourselves the benefit of doubt. It is hard to be human, did someone say.

How to be kind: say sorry when due
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If you have made a mistake, be first to say sorry.

Do not go to bed with an apology due.

If your actions or words have hurt someone, deliberately, which should never be the case, or inadvertently, an apology is due. Make that apology. Say sorry if you want to be a kind person. A genuine heartfelt apology heals.

If you are serious about your apology, you will not commit the same mistake again. When you have to say sorry for the same mistake again and again, you were not serious about the apology in the first place.

Be kind. Say sorry before they have to tell you that you owe them one.

12. How to be kind- say thank you, often

Well, not everyone is grateful. Gratitude is an acquired trait and it takes a lot of effort to learn how to be grateful. In fact, there are times when people do so much for you knowingly or unknowingly, that a thank you seems superficial. However, if you mean your gratitude, the recipient will know it.

Sometimes, I feel I overdo thank you. I am a grateful person, and am quite proud of it. If someone is nice to me, I go out of my way to be nice to them. Not just that, I say thank you, every time someone does something for me, regardless of the social hierarchy.

You want to be kind? Never miss a thank you, even at the cost of repetition. A thank you missed, is an opportunity missed to be kind, and make the person who did you a favor feel good about themselves.

13. Be kind to the underprivileged especially

People don’t deserve to be poor. Part of learning how to be kind to is to learn that poverty is not a choice. It is bullshit to say that they are not willing to work hard as well. We behave given the set of conditions we grow up in. Yes, there are people who grow beyond their unfortunate circumstances, given their drive, but most don’t.

how to be kind to the poor
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Don’t be cruel to the poor or the underprivileged. That you are reading this is a privilege of having had education, internet, and hopefully things like air conditioning, besides basics like food, water and a roof on your head.

Be kind to the poor and not so poor. If they had different circumstances, they wouldn’t choose to be where they are. Help them if you can. If you can’t, don’t ever insult them.

14. Laugh, especially at yourself to be kind to yourself

Are you in the process of learning how to be kind to yourself? When was the last time you laughed at yourself?

Think about it. All of us work so hard at trying to be perfect, a goal that is quite a chimera. We are not perfect and we will never be. Life in itself is imperfect. The world isn’t a fair place. We try to rationalize, but there is no rationalization really on offer.

laugh at yourself to be kind to you!
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A lot of terrible people live perfectly good lives, while a lot of good, even God-fearing people lead extremely painful lives, and there is no reason to see.

Laugh at yourself. Laugh at your mistakes long after you have learnt the lesson it offered because it would be hard to laugh while you would be going through the repercussions of your mistakes. Was that funny?

15. Control your ego to become a better person

We can’t learn how to be kind as people if we go around with a bloated ego. It takes some time to realize that a bloated ego can destroy lives- anyone’s. Ego, when out of control can permanently destroy relationships. When ego takes over, we tend to believe as if we are the most important people there are, and nobody else’s feelings matter.

Control your ego to be kind to yourself, and to others. Apologize when you make a mistake. Take it easy on yourself. You are not God. Even if you have to say sorry to save a relationship when it is not your fault but you care about the relationship, do it. Who knows, your short-term sacrifice may lead to long term happiness?

At the same time, do not let others take advantage of you. Yeah, life is hard and hence all of this is complex. But you see, you are I are trying to learn how to be kind here.

16. Complement others. Offer genuine praise

If you want to be kind to others, make them feel great about themselves. Part of learning how to make people feel great about themselves is to complement them for something they are good at.

I should write a separate post about this subject because it is that important. What I have learnt is that if I genuinely try to find something to complement someone about, I usually find it. It’s not impossible.

No, don’t flatter. Flattery is cheap praise, stuff you don’t really mean, and it makes the world a superficial and ugly place.

Offer genuine praise. Make the world a better, and if you will, a little happier a place.

17. Believe in someone’s dream to make the world a kind place

This may be one of the most important action points on this kindness list. I read a post somewhere the other day about a guy how his parents allowed him to start a business instead of taking up a job after his graduation. He said that of all the things his parents have given him, their belief in him is the biggest. And I agree, self-belief is a huge thing and that’s the reason people who achieve great things do. However, it is quite hard to maintain self-belief and therefore, it helps to know that someone else holds that belief in us as well.

believe in the dreams of others
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Believe in someone’s dreams. Sometimes, people may achieve the seemingly impossible just because someone believed in them, and they don’t want to let that belief go away.

18. How to be kind- don’t say negative words

Okay, I know, some of these tips on how to be kind and how to make the world a kinder place may sound like I am writing as notes for self. That’s fine. I am trying to be a better human being as a consequence of writing this post, and perhaps with every post on this blog.

Do not say negative words. Words that are not positive, encouraging, uplifting should not be said in the first place, because once they have been uttered, there is absolutely no way to bring them back.

Watch your language and do not say negative words. Do not talk about things you don’t have. It doesn’t solve anything. Rather, work towards having them and I am sure you are. Everyone is. That’s what life is about- to fill up the gaps we see in the world about us.

Do not say hurtful words. I know that’s extremely hard because we do end up in professional or personal situations where we tend to lose our cool, and end up saying stuff that’s hurtful to the recipient. The recipient could be your spouse, your boss, your colleague, your business partner, your friend. We end up hurting them and then we regret later.

Here is what I am going to try and do before I feel I may say something negative- I will either shut my mouth, or if possible, walk out of the room, or off the meeting. It may be hard at the point, and awkward, but it would be better than saying something I will regret forever.

I am working on this agenda of not uttering negative words- please do let me know in comments if you have suggestions I could use.

19. How to be kind- try to be emotionally strong

Emotions are the output of our lives. Everything we do, we do it to achieve a certain emotion. If you do things that make you happy, you would be happy. If you do things that pain you, you would be in pain. But I know, it’s not as easy as said. We tend to make wrong choices about what makes us happy, and as a result, achieve the opposite.

Be emotionally strong!
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However, if we want to be kinder people, we need to figure out how to be emotionally strong. What does it mean to be emotionally strong? It means being able to control how we feel, and not let negative emotions overpower us into submission or capitulation.

Think about it. At any moment, you could be feeling multiple emotions, depending on what you mentally focus on. Even if you are in a terrible situation, and you look at it as an opportunity for a turnaround, it is likely that you would find a way around the situation.

If we are emotionally strong, we aren’t just kind to ourselves since we are able to avoid a whole lot of pain, but we also put ourselves in a situation of kindness to others. If we don’t learn how to be kind to ourselves, it’s unlikely that we would figure out how to be kind to others.

20. How to be kind- be sensitive to others’ needs to be kind to them

Dictionary defines sensitive as having acute mental or emotional sensibility; aware of and responsive to the feelings of others. This is hard. It is not something we are born with. We all grow up in different kind of environments and how our parents dealt with others, has a massive impact of how we deal with the world.

For example, how did your parents deal with the underprivileged? Did you ever see them donating money or clothes or anything anywhere? Not just to the underprivileged, how did they behave when they saw someone crying-did they comfort them, and if they did, how exactly did they do it?

Just like gratitude, being sensitive to others is an acquired skill. We need to learn it. We can only learn it by doing. Yes, most of the important stuff about life isn’t taught in school. Be aware of how your words and actions affect others. That’s being sensitive. Be aware of the pain people feel when they lose a loved one. That’s being sensitive. Be aware of how someone feels when they lose their livelihood. That’s being sensitive.

We don’t live long enough to experience everything ourselves and therefore, it is important to read and to listen. If all of us were sensitive to others around us, and not indifferent, the world would be a much kinder place. May be, one day.

21. How to be kind- care enough to be kind- mean your ‘how are you’ s?’

When was the last time you asked someone how they were doing? When was the last time you genuinely asked that question, which means, you would care to listen I case the answer wasn’t in the affirmative?

You know where I am headed here. If people started answering the question, how are you genuinely, we would be listening to the answers all day. But, that’s not true. Most people struggle to open up, and rest almost never open up. There is a loneliness crisis because we don’t have people to genuinely talk to.

‘How are you’ has given way to ‘What’s up’ or worse, ‘wassup?!’

No one would ever care to give a genuine answer to wassup. Trust me.

You are reading this because you want to figure out how to be a better and a kinder person, just like I am trying to figure for myself. Care, and mean the question when you ask.

22. How to be kind-hug people- hugs heal

I am from India. Indians (most) don’t believe in hugging; we just believe in producing kids or we wouldn’t be racing to be the most populated country in the world pretty soon. However, we are fine to have sex with strangers, who parents arrange in arrange marriages.

How to be kind- hug people- hugs make the world a better place
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Anyhow, we are talking about kindness here so I will do my jokes elsewhere. A hug is one of the most genuine acts of kindness, and that of love. I have never hugged someone and didn’t mean to love them.

Hugs don’t lie. They can’t lie. It’s quite hard to hug people you don’t like. Try it. Hugs can heal and hugs can forgive. Hugs can start new relationships. Hugs can make people feel less lonely and hence belonged.

Become a hugger even at the cost of coming a little creepy. I mean, don’t be creepy, whatever.

23. How to be kind-cheer up a stranger

This one I am adding to my list to act upon. Life is hard and there are so many people who could use our help. The bourgeois society is too preoccupied with their own selves to care about others.

You could do this by buying something for them, or just by using your talent to make them happy, even if for a little while. A kind moment doesn’t ever go wasted. Whenever you have time, go cheer up a stranger. Every time you would do that, you would make the world’s load a little lighter.

Not just giving away stuff money can buy, we can also make people happy through smiles, laughs, jokes, positive thoughts, whatever works. Go cheer up and stranger who could be having a bad day and make the world a kinder place.

24. How to be kind– tip well for a great job, always

Everyone is trying to do a good job. You, me and all of us. There are opportunities to tip blue collar workers who do physical work every day, viz. drivers, salon guys, spa therapists, restaurant servers, these people are all around us and they don’t just make through their income. They all make a certain proportion of their money through tips kind customers give them.

Tip for a job well done.
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Whenever you have an opportunity to tip someone because they did a great job, please do that. If you want to do something kind, over tip and make someone day. Money that may be small change for you may mean a lot to someone.

Always tip well for a great job.

25. How to be kind-schedule a be kind to animals’ day

Since I do not want to sound like a hypocrite, I am a non-vegetarian. I eat chicken fish and sometimes, mutton, and realize I am not kind to all animals and I don’t have any plans on becoming a vegetarian at any point. I am a carnivore and am conscious of that. That’s how nature has designed me, and I find it quite hard to shy away from that.  

how to be kind- Be kind to animals
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However, I find dogs quite lovable lately. A lot of people find cows adorable and even worthy of worship, like Hindus do. I know I am not being kind to the animals I eat, but I can choose to be kind to the animals I like. May be, I will change in a few years but sometimes, I just buy some biscuits and feed stray dogs, and look at them eating.

May be, I will adopt a pet one day. Till then, I need to figure how to be kind to animals. I know, many of you reading this would already be vegetarians and getting angry at me here, but that’s where I am. If we are to make a kinder world, we need to figure out how to make it better, not just for human beings. Okay, you figure out this one for yourself. I am trying to understand how to do this myself since clearly my thoughts are messy here.

26. How to be kind-spread optimism and positivity to be kind

Whenever possible and wherever possible, spread optimism. What is optimism? Optimism is positive outlook towards life. Optimists tend to look at the world through the prism of gratitude and abundance while pessimists tend to look at the world through the prism of scarcity and insecurity.

Whenever you have a chance to say something, say something positive and uplifting, if you want to make the world a kinder and better place. The world is full of negativity because somehow pessimism is way more popular. Stand on the opposite side of pessimism, and talk about why it’s a beautiful world, and why life is worth living.

Let people come to you because they want hope and positivity, because there is ample toxicity in the world to deal with.

27. How to be kind at work

Remember, your colleagues are human beings. You may want to compete with them as much as you like, but after all, they are people and need kindness as much as anyone else.

How to be kind at work
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Here are a few ways to be kind at work, when you have an opportunity:

Appreciate your colleagues at every given opportunity

Wish them on important work occasions, viz. promotions

Cheer up your colleagues when you find them feeling low

Do a good job; it makes everyone’s lives easier

Warm up the emails- there are too many cold emails floating around

Greet people warmly

Don’t just be a colleague, be a friend in need, as long as you like your colleagues

If you can’t do a good job, leave and find something where you would be good at

Yes, these are a few ways to be kinder at work. Just remember, colleagues are people with emotions. Behave accordingly.

28. How to be kind– celebrate everything

People complain that marketing has turned the world into a capitalist phenomenon. On the other side, people also complain that life is dull and boring. I am writing at this moment on Mother’s Day, although this piece has taken a lot time overall. This day didn’t exist while I was growing up and yes, it is a part of the popular culture. However, I don’t see anything wrong with it. I wished my mother; happy Mother’s Day and it was just a sweet thing to do.

How to be kind- celebrate everything
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Why complain about celebrations in a world where a large chunk of the population seems to be struggling with malaise like depression and anxiety?

Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, first dates, break-ups, whatever comes. Celebrate everything possible to be kind to yourself and to your loved ones, because we have no idea when the celebrations stop.

29.  Write a testimonial for someone out of the blue

Hey, you want to be kind to someone today? The great thing about the internet is that stuff stays forever. If you appreciate someone, go write a testimonial post for them on social media. Tag them with a picture and write a few nice things about them that you genuinely feel. The key is to be genuine about it, because if you are genuine, they would feel it and it will make their day.

I do this once in a while for a friend, or even for a colleague I appreciate, and I hope it makes them happy. Sometimes they tell me. Sometimes, they don’t. Everyone isn’t expressive. But I am sure they like it and it makes them feel that their life is worth living. That’s being kind after all- to make someone feel that their life matters.

30. How to be kind-call an old friend

Pick up the phone and call an old friend out of the blue. Make sure you have no agenda besides asking how they have been and what they have been up to. Make the conversation about them and to make them feel truly nice that something wonderful happened to them when you called.

Life takes over and we do not manage to keep all the relationships well oiled, as much as we like. So, even if you can do this once in a while, do it. Be kind. Call an old friend today.

31. Leave a positive message at the end of the day, and log out

If you have been talking to someone and the conversation has been painful for a while, try leaving a late-night message when they would be asleep, and sleep. When they get up in the morning and check their phone, which we all do, they would hopefully smile, and may be willing to look at the relationship with a new perspective.

How to be kinder
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Of course, you care, or else why would you want to not be kind. You want to leave a message, and forget about it. If they respond back, who knows what kind of bonus you may be in for.

32. How to be kind-throw your ego in the bin

I realize this is the second point about ego, but I also realize I am not done with the subject.

Ego isn’t the same thing as self-respect. I have thought for months, perhaps for years about it and reached the conclusion is ego is harmful. It doesn’t lead to anything positive besides make us feel important about ourselves, and thereby undermining our relationships.

An egotistical person is harmful to his or her own interests. It is important that we segregate ego from self-respect and self-esteem because those are positive attributes, we all need to live a good life.  

But ego is a bloated sense of respect.

Yes, that’s the difference between self-respect which is balanced and useful, and that which is harmful to oneself and that to others. Egotistical people find it hard to be kind to others because they are just too full of themselves, and thinking about themselves that they find it hard to think about others.

If you want to be kind to yourself and to others, learnt to control your ego and manage the ego. Ego doesn’t just harm you, but it also harms others around you.

A bloated ego comes from an extreme sense of insecurity about yourself. That’s why, people who are full of ego struggle to be kind to others, because they feel others are better than them or they don’t care.

I will write a more detailed post about ego and managing it in a bit, but for now, I wanted to just drive the idea that a bloated ego is harmful and we can’t be really kind, either to ourselves, or to others if you don’t learn how to manage our own ego.

Trust me, I am trying myself.

33. How to be kind-don’t let a kind word be unsaid

Hey, I know, we are all short of time, and life is busy. We are also struggling to understand where do we best use our time. Sometimes, people we like, aren’t friends with us, and are just acquaintances.

Say nice things to people to be kind
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Since the above seems totally theoretical and hard to understand, I will share a story about kindness. There is a guy I really like. I mean, I don’t like a lot of people but I like him and for various reasons, we aren’t quite close friends, and I am not sure that’s likely to happen.

But recently, he lost a close relative and I felt sad for him. I can’t quite go and meet him right now and even a call seemed inappropriate. So, just sent him a message saying that I am around if he needs to talk. I hope he feels better because there are things that time never heals.

The point I am trying to make it that different forms of communication have different contexts, and if you can’t reach out to someone through one medium, try a different medium.

Don’t let a kind word be unsaid.

34. Raise your voice against discrimination of any kind

Raise your voice against discrimination, if you want to make the world a kinder place. There are many people in the world who face constant discrimination for no fault of theirs- the black community, certain races, castes, LGBTQ people etc.

Stand guard against discrimination, racism and bigotry!
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In India, the caste system continues to discriminate against the lower castes, which is a matter of shame. Nobody should be treated well just because they belong to a higher caste, and nobody should be mistreated because they belong to a lower caste, but that’s not the case, unfortunately. The same thought holds for races and communities, who continue to be discriminated just because of their place and family of birth.

This is the 21st century and identity-based discrimination must stop, and should have stopped years back. But the world unfortunately is going in a direction where hate gets more traction than love.

Keep making noise for love, and against hate, wherever and whenever you have a chance. If those who are not exploited yet, do not speak out, one they would be within the exploited.

35. Observe your own behavior every day

Watch yourself all the time- are you being kind to yourself? I think it’s important to learn if we are being kind to ourselves, because if we learn how to be kind to ourselves, we would probably be able to apply the same yardstick while dealing with others.

Be kind to yourself when you commit a mistake. Find ways to be kind to yourself when you are angry. Be kind to yourself when you are insecure. Be kind to yourself in different situations. You are always trying to be the best you can be, assume the same for others. How to be kind and foster kindness is a muscle that we need to learn to build, since it doesn’t come inbuilt in us.

36. How to be kind-assume positive intent from others

This is a hard one but it is worth trying. I learnt this is in a LinkedIn learning course I took. When you find it hard to deal with people, assume positive intent, as long as you can justify it. Sometimes, people hurt you beyond repair and you may not be able to find peace with them around.

However, if we learn that most people are trying to be nice, and have positive intent behind their actions, which sometimes backfires, we are likely to be more kind towards them than we would otherwise be, when we believe they are malicious crooks.

37. How to be kind-throw hierarchy in the trash bin

I love this one and I try to practice this every day, not sure how successfully. If you have been fortunate to have a good education, work and family life, especially work life, a lot of people would be below your level of designation, economic level and social levels.

Throw social and economic hierarchy in the trash bin, and treat everyone with kindness. Just because we have had a certain level of life and privilege, we don’t need to be cocky to anyone.

Be kind to everyone underneath you, just like you are to everyone at your level or above you. Everything is a loop.

38. How to be kind-encourage people on small wins

When people are trying to achieve their dreams, it’s a tight journey. There are steps, some of which go right, and some of which go wrong. If you want to be kind to people, encourage people and celebrate their small wins. When you celebrate their small wins, they may feel it may be worth to keep going for the big shot they are aiming at.

Be kind to others-celebrate their victories
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Small wins matter, because they boost our confidence to go for the big goals. But it helps to have someone recognize that and nudge us forward.

What a beautiful point, no?

39. How to be kind-go slow through life to nurture kindness

I know. This is a hard one. So, I will take some time to explain. For most of my life, I tried to run quite fast. To try and achieve a lot of things. However, once I achieved a certain goal, I realized many a time that I was running in the wrong direction.

It’s only in the last few years that I have understood how important the right direction is. And realize it is okay to go slow. When we run fast, we are not being kind of our own selves, mostly because our families, the society in their ignorance add so many pointless goals to our lives that we feel that we need to achieve them all, and really quick. Most of those goals are meaningless since they are externally imposed.

Go slow on yourself so that you have the time to take care of you.

Go slow to understand how you feel at every step, so that your steps add value to your life, and that of the world about you.

In addition, it is only when we go slow that we would really how can we be kind to the world about us. I have gone particularly slow with this post on kindness because I just feel I haven’t finished yet, and I will keep going till I don’t finish because I think it matters, and will help make the world a kinder place, whenever people read it, and act on it.

40. How to be kind-breathe when you are angry

I guarantee one thing. None of us can be kind when we are angry. People destroy relationships within seconds of fury because they are angry. Unless and until we learn how to deal with anger well, it’s hard to learn how to be a kind person.

how to be kind when angry
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Now, I am guilty of this and ashamed of some of the things I have done when I have been angry. Now, when I angry, I try to breathe and walk out of the situation to deal with it later. I know when I am angry, I won’t be able to say or do anything to make the situation better, so this works for me.

We can’t quite stop being angry because that’s not how life works. We tend to disappoint ourselves and people tend to disappoint us, which makes us angry. However, we need to know how to deal with anger if we are to become a calmer and more balanced human beings who can deal with anger, and learn how to be kind.

Therefore, if you wish to be kind, learn to deal with your anger to it doesn’t destruct your life, and those of others around you.

Anger and kindness never go hand in hand.

41. How to be kind-nurture patience

I have had a hard time with patience. I usually want it quick, but apparently that’s not how patience works. Why is it important to be patient to be kind?

Simply because to be kind, we need to understand people, understand where they are coming from, and then see we should best respond to them to make them feel cared for. It is hard to be patient because yes, life is short, and we want results as soon as possible.

But then, think about it, patience is stretchable, and if you want something bad enough, you would figure out a way to be kind.

Won’t you?

42. Let time heal things, for yourself, and for others

They say, time is the greatest healer and they are right. Imagine, sitting next to a friend who is crying because their closed one passed away. You can’t do much in that particular moment because there is really nothing that you can say that would ease off their pain.

However, you are there, and if you have seen enough life, you know that time heals things, for good or for bad, but people are able to grow beyond their deepest pains and live a worthy life.

Let time heal. It will.

43. Be extra kind to the poor ones

Remember one thing- nobody really chooses to be poor. It is only an act of utter ignorance (which I am guilty of, given the upbringing in the culture), which could make the privileged believe that the poor deserve to be poor.

When I was a young child, my family told me that the poor choose to live on the streets. It was a random, and as you can see a pointless story about how the people who live on the streets can choose to be anywhere else, like in palaces, but they rather enjoy living on the streets. It took me some level of maturity before I could realize how bullshit that story was.

The other day, I had some time, and so I decided to do something nice for the evening. I bought 30 samosas (samosa is an Indian snack pretty famous in the world) and it costs me less than $ 10, about 500 Indian rupees and I went about town looking for people to distribute the samosas to.

I distributed the samosas to little girls, men waiting for work, women waiting for work, or for the return of their men folks, right on the road. It took less than 30 mins for the samosas to finish, and I felt extremely joyous insight for that small act of kindness I could do, which cost me less than 2 hours, and some money, which didn’t impoverish me. That reminds me, I should do it often.

Be kind to the poor ones. They are people, just like us, people with a terrible hand of destiny.

44. How to be kind: Respect time, yours and that of others

Hey, I know this is not a usual list about kindness. What I am trying to do here is to help myself, and in the process help you understand what it would mean to be kind to others. If someone were to be kind to me, they would respect my kind, for I am next to furious at people when they waste my time. I could choose to spend that time idling away, but nobody else has the right to waste my time.

How to be kind to others- respect their time!
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No, I am fooling about. I don’t waste my time. I am never free. Don’t ask me when I am free. I am never free. Sometimes, I choose to spend my time resting, yes, but I am NEVER free. I schedule my days usually in advance, and try to live my life accordingly.

If you want to be kind to people, respect their time. Respect their right to do whatever the hell they want to do with their time. If they want to sleep, let them sleep. If they want to work, let them work. Schedule time, even with your mom, or your wife.

Life is busy. All of us are busy, and it is fine. That’s how things are meant to be. It’s a good thing to be busy, because to work meaningfully, to spend time with people we care about is all that life is about.

We never have enough time for it, during the peak years of our lives. So, respect your time, and respect that of others. If you do that, they would respect yours.

It is an act of awful indifference and unkindness to not pay attention to time.

45. Heal broken relationships with kindness, love and compassion

It is quite hard to heal broken relationships. Well, we all try, don’t we. Sometimes, we try for a lifetime but some relationships just don’t improve. It’s quite hard to accept that you can’t speak to a blood relative for 5 mins because both of you can’t stand each other.

Life is hard. It’s easy to say give up. We can’t even just give up on things. Some of those relationships that seem broken now used to beautiful at some point. They gave us happiness and joy, and things unfortunately changed somewhere on the way. You find hard to understand how things changed and how you turned out to be so different and how the other person turned out to be so different.

Most people aren’t bad. Good people get into horrible relationships because they are incompatible. Values don’t match, but hey, can you give up on your father, your mother, your wife, your sister, your brother- people you loved so dearly at a point in time? Can you give up?

What has kindness to do with all of this?

Well, it’s terribly unkind to you, and to the other person concerned to have a key relationship in life unsolved. It makes life awfully lonely.

So, try and try till you can. Don’t give up. Perhaps even time won’t be able to heal those wounds. How do you heal painful relationships?

Accept your part of the problem– Things don’t just fail because of other people. It takes efforts to make a relationship work, and probably you didn’t play your part. Why didn’t you play your part? What would it take?

Eat the frog– An unsolved relationship that you can’t give up on, is like an open wound, it would keep hurting the rest of your life, till you solve it. Do whatever it needs and solve it. Even it means putting the rest of your life on hold.

Keep trying, don’t give up– This is the hardest part. Trying to heal a hard relationship that’s not working for whatever reasons would cause you pain, but you cannot give up because they are your people. They may be unreasonable, but they are your people. They may be painful right now, but they were loving in the past. Keep trying to work on yourself and heal the relationship

Be honest to yourself– Okay, I know some of you would be thinking, hey that’s stupid, why would you want to make a relationship work, that’s clearly not working? The point is that you would know in your heart if you have been responsible for the other person to behave the way they do. Sometimes, you would be responsible, sometimes, they would be behaving the way they do because of what they have been through, irrespective of your behaviour. Be honest to yourself, and do not give up that easy. Do not give up, if your life depends on it.

That’s it. This point assumes that people become painful because of the pain they have been through themselves, and they can heal with kindness, love and compassion. I want to believe in that.

46. How to be kind-make time to think and reflect about life

I am sitting alone in a café to write this. A lot of the writing I have done in my life has happened in cafes and in situations where I have been all by myself. Writers need solitude or they can’t operate.

Make time to think- how to be kind to yourself
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So do you. Make time to think how to be a kinder, a better person.

Make time to think about it. Cultivating kindness, gratitude and acts of self-improvement need thinking time. Thinking time is not idle time.

47. How to be kind– let go of pain from the past

If you have had a painful past, it could traumatize you. When we go through a long period of pain, it makes it hard for us to enjoy good times when we have them. But, if you think of life as a roller coaster, which it is, there would be periods of pain, and that of joy.

In fact, what I would suggest is live your life like a screenplay. Look at every scene of your life, some would be painful, and some would be joyous. Do not let the pain take over life and destroy moments of joy. This is easier said than done, just like almost everything on this post. But, hey, we are trying to be better people, and it’s not easy.

Live your life in day tight compartments (Dale Carnegie)

When it rains, dance. When there is love, immerse in it. When there is passion, drink it in. When there is sunshine, soak it in. Live, while it lasts.

48. How to be kind-live life like a screenplay

Do you know how a movie is written? It’s written scene by scene. There is vivid description of how a scene might go and then the actor enacts the scene. Some scenes are good in a movie and some aren’t. So is life.

However, this is a little different from a screenplay. The point I am driving is that let the scenes be exclusive to each other. If you have a bad scene in life, you fought with someone, someone close passed away or anything that caused you pain- do not let that scene interfere with a positive scene.

If you have a yoga or a dance session, or you have work to do that you love, try emotionally, to not let the previous scene interfere with this happy scene. Life is hard and it is quite hard to stay happy.

Do not let the pain of the painful moments interfere with the happiness of the happier moments.  

That may be one of the most beautiful things I have written ever.

49. How to be kind-eat the frogs of your life

Hey, it’s not hard to see. The big problems in your life pile up on as emotional baggage. As long as you have a few important problems unsolved, for example, financial problems, your marriage, your career that you feel isn’t going in the right direction, you won’t be able to be kind to yourself, and guilt will keep eating you up.

eat the frog!
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It is hard to practice kindness when guilt continues to eat us up from inside. Until and unless the big unsolved problems keep eating us from inside, we would not be able to be kind to ourselves, forget loving ourselves.

Therefore, figure out how to eat the giant frogs of your life- the big foundational problems like career, close relationships, love or the lack of it, loneliness- you know things that are the core of your life. If you don’t solve them, nothing really will move. All these core parts of your life feed into each other, and one unsolved will eat into other areas of your life.

Eat the frogs from your life. Brian Tracy would agree.

50. How to be kind-do one thing at a time

I have realized that it is quite a privilege to be able to do one thing at a time.

how to be kind- Do one thing at a time!
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Actors act. They have managers to do their finances, handle business development, accounting etc.

Artists who succeed have the ability to focus on their art. In the early years of their struggle, if they are lucky, somebody works to support then financially and emotionally so that they can achieve their single-minded focus. Without that focus, they can’t win and most people don’t.

Sportspeople play. Sachin Tendulkar played cricket since he was 16 or even earlier. He had the talent to be a national icon and by the virtue of being able to focus on that one thing that he had the talent for, he became what he did.

Same goes for excellence in any field.

Start-ups succeed when they focus on one thing.

These are examples of excellence. However, the bare truth is that we can’t quite focus as human beings on multiple things a time. When we focus on more than a thing, we aren’t doing justice to any of those, as well to ourselves.

I started by saying that it’s quite a privilege to be able to focus on one thing. It is, and that’s why we end up focusing on multiple things and multi-tasking has become a supposed virtue in the world.

Be kind to yourself. Even if you have 25 things to do in a day, do one thing at a time.

If you are a writer, when you are writing, remove other distractions. If you are a corporate employee, do chunks of work together. For example, respond to emails together, and when you are drafting an email-do that. There are millions of sloppy emails in the corporate world.

When you are with family, be with family. Put distractions away.

Whatever you are doing, do that. That’s kindness. The more you can do that, the more the quality of each of your areas would be better.

51. Realize that to love and be loved is the hardest problem in the world

Look at the world around you. There is a sea of loneliness-people who are successful financially but nobody to love, or to love them. Then, there are millions in broken relationships.

It’s hard to love and be loved. You are not the only one struggling. People who love you or try also struggle because we are all different, and to accept each other’s differences in hard, especially when living under the same roof.

That is why compatibility is important. To seek people who are like us in some substantial ways is important because that makes life, perhaps a little easier.

It is a blessing to be to be loved, and to have someone to love. Perfect compatibility is near impossible since people are so different. So, people need to adjust and get used to each other’s way of living if they are to love each other.

Keep at the problem, till you find a solution. There are millions who end up living a lonely life because ego comes in the way of acceptance, and people fail. Love requires going beyond ourselves, and that’s hard.

However, it’s not harder than being lonely.

52. How to be kind-seek out new friends

Seek out new friends at different stages of your life. Life is not linear, which it used to be for most people in a generation where people took one job and stayed with it for the whole of their lives. Even then, the situation of life contexts of your friends changes and they don’t have the time to be with you.

How to be kind- seek new friends!
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Your life context could change, and you may find yourself in places you didn’t even imagine because of the twists and turns of destiny, which you didn’t anticipate. Seek out new friends and people you like to talk to.

You don’t want to be so unkind to yourself to find one day, that you have really nobody to call. Perhaps, you can have more friends than you think you have. You are in your way.

Accept that you are vulnerable and you can’t fight this thing alone. Seek out love, and seek out friendship. We are not Gods.

53. How to be kind-practice gratitude often to practice kindness

Practice gratitude regularly, at least once a day, or sometimes, multiple times a day. We as human beings have a tendency to veer towards the negative, whenever there is empty space.

Therefore, positivity and gratitude take regular practice. It’s hard to move towards the stuff you want in your life without being grateful for what you already have.

Gratitude is the key principle of happiness. People who are grateful are happier, and kinder, for they see how far they have come. People who are ungrateful are unhappy and negative. They won’t be kind to anyone else because they can’t find a way to be kind to their own selves, and be thankful for how much they have already achieved.

54. How to be kind-let people let their anger out if you care about them

When others are angry, they want to be dealt with patience and love. So do you. It’s really hard to do that. When people are angry, they tend to be in a situation where they can hurt others, and if you are facing someone who is angry with you, you have the possibility to be hurt.

However, if you think your behavior is the reason, they are angry, then there is no way out. You made a mistake, or a series of mistakes, and there is nothing you can do besides owning up to it, saying sorry, and trying to not repeat that behavior.

There is no way but to let the other person let their anger out, and hear the music. You earned it.

This is hard, because life is hard.

55. How to be kind-understand that love is at the essence of kindness

Whether you want to be kind to yourself, or to be kind to others, love is at the essence of kindness. Love is the strongest force in the world, and we have learned that it’s quite hard to love, and be loved.

If you love, you would figure out a way to be kind to them, to love them, to accept their weakness, and see them for the good they have in them. You would see the poor people and realize that they aren’t to be blamed for their poverty. People who can’t see the good in others, can’t figure out a way to be kinder.

So, what am I saying?

To be kind is to learn how to love and be more loving. To love is to accept people for who they are. So, to be really kind, we need to figure out how to love people. If we don’t learn how to do that, we fail as human beings.

56. How to be kind-touch people kindly

If you are close enough and you see someone in pain, touch them kindly and be close to them. Sometimes, just being around helps. Sometimes, there are situations when we don’t know what would help, and in such situations just being around helps.

a gentle touch is an act of love
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All touch is not sexual. The internet has destroyed the definition of touch. There is so much pornography and illicit material on the net that few people understand the importance of a genuine human touch imbued with kindness and warmth.

Just like a hug, a kind touch can heal a lot of pain.

57. To be kind to yourself, do not give up on your dreams, or things that matter to you

Hey, this is as true, as the fact that water is wet. For a variety of reasons, I didn’t work out the whole week.

Now, I hate myself.

If I give up on my dreams, I hate myself. Even trying is enough, but the feeling that I gave up, whenever I do, even if temporarily kills me.

Don’t give up on things that matter to you. It’s the basic thing about life. If you give up on what matters to you, you end up hating yourself, and when you end up hating yourself, you can’t be kind to yourself.

People who can’t be kind to themselves, cannot be kind to anyone else.

Just like charity, kindness begins with you. A colleague/friend of mine shared a quote the other day that said, ‘if you want to help others, help yourself.’ I could add, ‘help yourself first.’

58. Work on becoming a kinder, a better person

Work on yourself and face your faults. You have been through a lot, and perhaps that has made you a little hard on yourself. Maybe you have forgotten how to love yourself and how to love others in the process.

We are all broken somewhere. There are only a few who survive the hardships of life. A lot of us go through life with period of pains and tribulations which make harder, stiffer, or perhaps unkind.

To learn how to be kind, loving and compassionate is a lifelong problem. Watch your behavior on a regular basis and see where you can improve.

Life, is a constant process of repair. Some repairs take longer than others. Don’t give up.

59.  How to be kind-find ways to cheer yourself up and ways to cheer others up

I usually like to say that happiness is not only the desired output of life, but it is a prerequisite. You can’t do something well, if you feel negative about it to start with. Kindness is about improving the state of happiness in your heart, and in the world about you.

Figure out ways to find your happiness, even in small things, and then find ways to make others happy. This is the only way we can create a kinder world, and a happier one in consequence.

60. Talk to yourself like talking to the person you love the most

If you want to be really kind to yourself, talk to yourself like your best friend, or talk to yourself like a lover. Okay, don’t talk like a lover, that may mean doing weird things to yourself. Talk to yourself like your best friend. Use loving words and language. You really are your best friend. When there is no one about you, and when there is no one who believes in you, you are there. What you say to yourself is more important than what the world says to you.

The world can go blabbering but you don’t have to accept all of that. You can discuss what they said with yourself, and accept what makes sense to you. Do not let the world talk you down, because you are there for yourself, when nobody is around.

Be your cheerleader, your motivational speaker. Be your happy person.

61. How to be kind to yourself- a brief summary

We have said a few things here about how to be kind to yourself. In this point, I will make an attempt to summarize this subject:

  • Talk to yourself like a friend: because you, after all, are your best friend
  • Accept that you are vulnerable and seek friendships and love; a lot of people end up in life extremely successful and lonely  
  • Forgive yourself- you have been trying to do the best you can-there is no such thing as a perfect human being- we are (besides criminals) are trying to become better human beings
  • Eat the frogs in your life- that is solve the most important problems in your life or otherwise they would keep bothering, no, lets call it what it is, keep eating you inside
  • When angry, breathe in, and try not to say anything- I have ALWAYS regretted or had to apologise (rightfully) for things I have said when I am angry; I try to leave the rooms where I am angry; and not meet people who make me angry
  • Exercise and meditate as often as possible; ideally every fuckin day- I guarantee you can’t get or stay depressed if you do that

62. How to be kind to your parents

We haven’t quite covered this subject in detail, but since kindness is subjective to every situation, let me attempt here to briefly sum up the subject of kindness towards parents. Here we go:

  • Recognize the generational gaps: okay, I understand that in case of some parents, the generational gaps may not apply since they have kept pace; but in most cases they do
  • The reason to love is not smartness- you love people because they love you; that’s why you love your parents; unless they don’t, in which case, I am sorry
  • Help them understand your work, as much as possible, if they show interest; don’t discard the question
  • Spend time with them- schedule time just like you would schedule everywhere else
  • Put the phone away when listening to them, listen attentively
  • Be there when they need you; provide psychological safety

Yeah, like I say, life is harder than writing of idealistic writers. So, please follow everything I write as guidance.

63. How to be kind to your friends

You are lucky, if you have a few friends who care for you. Like I said somewhere above, we can’t live this shit by ourselves, so we need people to depend on. People need you as well, so be a friend when you can, as much as you can. Good deeds are counted in the universe, even if nobody says it. I know.

Let us see how we can be kinder to our friends:

  • Make them feel that they aren’t lonely: unfortunately, a lot of people belong to broken homes and hence feel lonely. If your friend belongs to one, and you know, make them feel they aren’t alone
  • Listen and understand them: understanding is at the essence of love. We are lucky if we have people around who understand us
  • Be there for your friends in every possible way you can

I realize some of this stuff I am writing here is notes to myself. My writing is also a process of self-analysis and improvement. So, please don’t presume I have done everything I am writing here. I am a man under construction.

64. How to be kind to your partner

The person you choose to be your partner, is the most important person in your life. Life is hard, and especially living together with another person when as human beings, one of our core needs is independence.

You can’t live without love. I mean you can, but that sucks. So, in the process of finding love, being loved and sustaining love, we need to figure how to be kind to this person you spend a lot of your life with.

  • Feel grateful for their presence in your life and tell them once in a while
  • Living together is running a home together, so clarify duties and responsibilities
  • There will be fights and arguments; work on prioritizing the relationship over altercations
  • Pay them compliments
  • Working on a relationship is as much working on yourself

Well, this would be a long article in itself, but for the purpose of this post, we will stop here. To be kind to your partner is important because if you aren’t kind to them, they won’t be kind to you. Enough said.

65. Life is hard. Be kind, to yourself and to others

Try to be kind- heck, try to be as kind as possible. It’s not easy. All I have done through this article on kindness or blog post on kindness, whatever you may want to call it, is to define kindness, and help understand how can I and you be kinder as human beings. That is my only intention here.

Life is hard. Be kind.
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As I finish writing this massive post on kindness, I have come to the realization about the fact that kindness and compassion is not about happiness. After all, happiness is the purpose of life, but kindness and compassion are about the acknowledgement of pain in life.

What does kindness mean, then?

What does it mean to be kind?

The meaning of kindness cannot be viewed from the perspective of joy. Kindness is about lack of joy in people’s lives and how, even if for brief moments by being kind, we can help them reduce that pain, and may be, just be a little happier.

Kindness remembers that life is hard for us, and for those around us, and it is our responsibility as human beings to recognize that, and be kind- which is to be understanding of that pain, and help ourselves and others alleviate or perhaps, lessen that.

That is kindness.

Therefore, to be kind to yourself, accept that you are an imperfect person who is working hard to be happy, and help others around be happier as well.

To be kind to others, accept that they are imperfect as well, and struggling to find love and happiness in their lives.

To be kind to the poor, acknowledge their pain, and help in any which way you can. Wherever you can find an opportunity to lessen someone’s pain, and make them happier, you do that. That being kind.

66. How to be kind-do NOT give up on kindness

We are all humans under construction. Sometimes, when I think about people like Robin Williams committing suicide at 62 or in case of some people, even earlier, I wonder what may have gone wrong. I don’t know, but one could guess he had unaddressed pains that nobody would want to pay attention to.

If people who are rendered alone not out of their own choice, have someone to speak to who would care, they may want to live again, and be happy again.

Do not give up on kindness. The world today needs more kindness than it ever has.

67. What if kindness fails?

One of my favorite Elon Musk quotes is the below:

When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.

Elon Musk

Kindness is important. It is important to be kind.

 Why is it important to be kind?

The opposite of kindness is somewhere in the proximity of unkind, indifferent or worse, cruel. When we are unkind, indifferent, or cruel, we become less as human beings. To be human is to learn how to be kind, loving and compassionate. If we fail to be kind, we fail as human beings.

Sometimes, kindness doesn’t work. You try to be kind to someone, and they STILL snap at you. What do you do then?

I am not sure I have the answer to the question. Sometimes, people have been destroyed internally to a point that they can’t even respond to kindness. I guess the answer is clear, and we need to admit it.

You move on, after you feel you have tried enough.

Life is short, and we can only spend our positive emotions on people who would reciprocate, or at the least acknowledge the positivity we are trying to send towards them. When kindness and positivity is consistently met with unkindness and indifference, it makes the world a harder place to live in.

However, life is hard, and sometimes stuff like this would happen.

You would buy some flowers for someone, and they would throw those flowers back at you.

Another day, you would call someone to say hello, and they wouldn’t pick, or call back.

You would want to talk to someone to understand how they have been doing, and they would tell you to fuck off.

Yeah, life is hard, and sometimes, kindness fails.

Don’t stop being kind to the rest of the world just because a few people do not respond to gestures of kindness. It is too big an agenda to be left to aberrations.

68. A few stories on kindness from my life

In the end, the proof of the pudding is in the doing. I urge you to write a few stories on kindness from your life in the comment section, so as to make this web page the go to destination for people to understand what kindness means, and how can we possibly be kinder as people. I will start.

Story 1: My kind friend Ravi

I think this story is there already somewhere on this blog. But it’s quite relevant here. So, here we go.

When I was quite a young child, I had a friend called Ravi. We used to play together- marbles, sticks, cricket, some random, and some non-random games. One day, I don’t remember what we were playing, I hit his head with a piece of rock and he started bleeding. I was scared that I would get caught and get beaten by his parents.

He headed home. I headed home. Nothing happened.

Next day, Ravi came over to my house, with bandage on his head- to play. He told some random excuse to his parents how he got hit. Bastard, didn’t even complain about me. I had tears in my eyes when I saw him.

Even after decades, I have never forgotten him and that he forgave me. I have never forgotten him for his kindness.

May you be happy, Ravi, wherever you are.

Story 2 on kindness: My history professor in school

I was pretty much above average through most of my school life in academics and a non-entity beyond academics. I was quite shy and didn’t think I would amount to anything in life.

In standard 9th or 10th, I can’t remember exactly, I had a history professor, who kind of liked me and while I was heading off to the exam, he looked at me and said,

‘Apse hamko bahut umeed hai (I have high expectations of you.’

I don’t remember how I performed in that exam, but I have never forgotten that line, or that scene in my life.

Thank you, Sir.

Story 3 on kindness: My friends, when I got depressed

In 2007, I went to Singapore for my MBA. It should have been one of the best moments of my life, but I got depressed. I have written separately about the possible reasons of the depression, but this is not about that story.

When I was depressed, most of my MBA batch gave up on me. But there were people who regularly came to check on me. I remember Rajesh, Anupama, if I have the names right here. Not sure I would ever, ever forget your kindness. I know, I disappointed you eventually as well, but you did the best you could.

Thank you.

Kindness Story 4: I would like to thank myself for being kind to myself

I am a nice guy. Yeah, I have made mistakes in my pursuit of happiness but I am a nice guy. I am there when nobody is there around, and have believed in myself when the whole world has refused to believe in me. I have been doing pep talks to myself for decades, without which I would not survive.

Amar, I love you, and I promise to be kind to you always. You deserve love, and happiness.

Yeah, guess that’s about it, as far as this post goes.

In Conclusion-How to be kind to yourself and to others

I am sure if this is NOT a comprehensive guide to becoming a kinder person, but if you read all this way, you realize, this is almost a size of a small pocket size book on kindness. I will review this post again in some time to add if there is more to add to how to be kinder. As you see, I am a student of life, and that of kindness, and am trying to become a better person.

I think kindness is essential to love and learning how to love ourselves and others is at the essence of human life and that of its purpose- happiness. Again, thank you for reading. I can’t appreciate it enough.

Why do I write this blog?

The purpose of this blog is to help you find your happiness. Please read the other posts on the blog, and follow so that you get updates when new posts are published. Please share the post with your friends so that they can also find their happiness. If you have any feedback for me, please leave it in the comments and I would be happy to work on it. If you would like to support my writing and this blog, you may please send a donation through PayPal here.

I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness.

Love,

Amarvani

If you enjoyed reading this piece on how to be kind- you should check this one out as well:

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