One of the first lessons I was taught when I started studying mindfulness was that to truly find peace in our lives we must nurture the seeds of kindness that rest in our hearts.
In the years since and through my teachings, I’ve found that kindness is the foundation stone upon which all spiritual progress is built. An act of simple kindness can, in fact, be a perfect action, because it is complete in and of itself. If you expect something in return for your kindness then it truly isn’t kindness, it’s more of an investment. Authentic kindness is never conditional.
The seeds of kindness are within us all, but it’s up to us to practice, to nurture them. It’s in our nature to be kind beings, but we often practice things that overshadow it like impatience, anger, frustration and doubt. We practice negative things that will grow like weeds the more we put our energy into them, yet in that garden kindness still exists.
Don’t believe me? Then ask yourself, what would most people do if a little bird flew into their house?
They’d let it out, right?
Opening a window to release the trapped bird may seem like a logical, small thing to do, yet this is a true act of kindness. The action is exactly what is required by the bird in that precise moment of time. Nothing needs to be added to it, and nothing taken from it. We don’t expect the bird to do anything more than to go on with its life. That's Kindness.
By becoming aware of this and practicing kindness in the small things of life, we find that it becomes increasingly natural to practice kindness in what we may think of as the big things. If we have no problem sharing an unconditional act of kindness with the bird why do we find it so difficult to be kind to other people? And why do we always expect something in return? Kindness should be simple, just be kind.
It’s up to us to remove our need to place conditions on our kindness and just be kind. If that kindness is returned, that’s great, if it’s not then why worry? You’re working on yourself by practicing kindness, nothing is required in return. Just be kind and watch that seed grow.
What we practice grows stronger.
Today I choose to practice kindness.