Friday, 29 July 2011

Keeping it Kind

Over the years I have come to realise that nothing digs so deep as nastiness. I am ashamed to say I have been responsible for it – gossip, a sarcastic remark or two, an ‘IN YOUR FACE’ thought. I have however made a pact with myself to ‘try to’ no longer engage in gossip, I will keep you posted on how I go.

The catalyst for my newfound feelings of wanting to be kind was kicked off after I started following the Dalai Lama on twitter. By golly that guy is enlightened. I adore every word he speaks and am in total awe of his obvious inner peace and genuine kind spirit. I want to be just like him. Just in my own threads.
So I started thinking how nice it would feel to be filled with feelings of kindness and sincerity rather than judgmental thoughts and cynicism. There is only one way to find out, and it starts with me. I have discovered that it is not difficult, it is catching and it sure feels a lot nicer than nastiness.
My own little list of steps to be kinder:
One...If I have nothing nice to say, zip it.
Two...Be considerate when using sarcasm – the jibe may actually hit closer to home than I realise for the other person.
Three...Go out of my way to be kind. One morning recently at the supermarket I pulled a trolley out of the trolley rack and saw a lady having trouble retrieving a trolley. I gave her mine. Simple gesture, she was chuffed.
Four...Don’t judge. We all do things differently.
Five...If I have an issue with someone close, tell them (not another).
Six...And the most difficult of all, do not engage in gossip.
I read somewhere recently that “It is human nature to gossip” but I don’t think that makes it right. Sure, commenting on someone’s achievement to another or giving one’s opinion on another’s circumstances, or commenting on someone’s behaviour and the like seems harmless enough, or is it? I would like to think those people that I hold dearest - my family and my closest friends - would not engage in gossip about me. But then maybe that is the naive dreamer side of me. I have come to accept I cannot change the fact people will engage in gossip, and quite possibly about me. I have also after much thought realised we gossip or engage in chit-chat about others often due to our own insecurities or envy or jealousy, namely negative feelings. There really is not a lot I can do to change that. I can however change how I react to gossip, and I can certainly not engage in it about others. Easy said, but actions do speak louder than words.
I can truthfully say I have no desire or inclination to speak a bad word about my family. I don’t have bad thoughts about them and I guess thoughts proceed to discussion therefore the urge to speak ill of them does not exist for me. Time to put my money where my mouth is with all others.
In the words of the Dalai: “If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.


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