Caring with Kindness

Photo by Nathan Lemon

How often did you lose your temper or words didn’t really form the way they should and you looked for a way out in the intention you’ve set? The intention is valued very little if it’s not formed in an open and kind way. Love cannot be portrayed through negative attitudes as much as we like to lie to ourselves and tell ourselves that that’s alright. It shouldn’t be. Act from a place of love with kindness and you are more likely to get the response you are after.

How You Speak Rather than What You Say

Photo by Nick Fewings

We sometimes run scenarios in our mind of what we could have said differently and beat ourselves up about what we added to a conversation. It might come as a relief saying that how you express things, what emotions you convey, the tone of voice, facial expression, matter more than the choice of words.

The difference between ‘What did you say?’ and ‘WHAT DID YOU SAY?’ is quite obvious, and yet when trying to get a certain reaction we forget that working against people rather than with people cannot enable collaboration. Many relationships are damaged because of our people skills. It’s not our knowledge or our identity hurting people, but how we treat them, our attitude towards them, how we make them feel.

If you come from a place of sincerity, care and loyal interest, your words will be better received even when they’re criticism. Being calm and positive will not leave residue of guilt and pain as the opposite would.

Getting Back on Track

Photo by Hayden Walker

It’s easy to lose track of time and forget even what day of the week it is without a structure in place. A pleasant way of marking the uniqueness of each day while making it feel somewhat familiar is to create traditions.

When takeaway Fridays are no longer an option, traditions around home cooked meals and exercise can go a long way. Most of us are living life on a loop determined by external factors. Gaining independence through exploring our home environment can offer liberties we weren’t aware we can claim, such as finding time for loving words and old interests.

Getting back on track means readjusting to the current reality. Is us with the world, trying to stay well and help others keep well.

How Is Accountability Different from Criticism

Photo by Andrea Tummons

Accountability comes from a place of love. It shows understanding of one’s circumstances and it asks for transparency on both parts. The person being held accountable would have to perceive it as a positive intervention rather than criticism. The person who takes the power must use it with respect and kindness.

Why Not Self-Accountability?

Being able to set rules and implement them in your own life is a superpower. It takes practice and discipline and putting something on the line can add to the level of commitment. We can go quite soft on ourselves when we planned to get out of bed at 4AM and we need to face the cool air. Negotiating with ourselves in the moment is challenging – because winning in the short-term is not winning in the long-term.

Here is where an accountability partner comes in. Someone who we respect for their commitment and care, for their interest in seeing us improve. It can be someone you’ve met on a forum, the hotel reception or a good friend. People care about people and that’s something we can use to our advantage to practice self-care and self-discipline.

Random Act of Kindness

Photo by Sebastian Abbruzzese

Being kind doesn’t measure through the money we can dispose of for a good cause. Doing what’s right over what’s easy, giving up on something that would make your life easier and someone else’s life possible, helping without waiting to be asked. These are all traits that reflect kindness.

We all do the right thing for different reasons. Sometimes it can be for status or recognition of value, displayed altruism rather than purity of thought. I believe that every good deed contributes to making the world a better place – feeding your ego while feeding the hungry doesn’t sound all that bad to me.

Today is the Random Act of Kindness Day. Be spontaneous. Buy a sandwich and water for the rough sleepers you’ve been ignoring for years. Admit to your mistakes if you’ve hurt someone at some point. Buy a coffee for a stranger just because they look like they need it. And most importantly, be kind to yourself.