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Unaiza Farooqui

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REKINDLING KINDNESS

As I sit down to pen my thoughts on kindness, I wondered what more can I say on this topic, that has not been said before? Although, I realize the need today is not to say anything extra ordinary about kindness that has not been said earlier, but to instead rekindle the importance of kindness that already exists in each of us and why we must choose it every single day of our lives.
Kindness- An act of being generous, affectionate, caring, emphatic, & warm.
Novelist Henry James wrote in the 20th century, ‘Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind, the second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind.’
How frequently have you heard the phrase, ‘kindness is the need of the hour’? Is it though? Hasn’t kindness, a virtue begged attention since centuries? I think it has and will always be the need of the hour. The need of every moment and the need of every second of our lives.
More often than not, being kind is associated as an act we do towards somebody else- probably a friend, parent, your spouse or a colleague.
However, it is enthralling to know that kindness is as much directed towards someone else as much as it is for our own selves too. Research suggests that inculcating kindness not only improves the quality of every relationship we hold but also makes us a happier, content and a satisfied individual. Kindness not only feels good but actually does us good too.
It is the smallest gestures that have the most profound impact in igniting hope and love in people. One doesn’t have to engage in out of the world acts but something as simple as holding yourself back when you want to say that mean thing at the tip of our tongue. Yes, that is often a bigger challenge than anything else.
Kindness is as much as giving someone a glass of water every time you go get yourself one as is also letting go of a mistake your loved ones made. Kindness is yes, holding a door open for a stranger or giving up your seat for an expectant mother but it is also eating that food your mother prepared with love- and maybe complimenting her on it. Kindness is helping a stranger who probably will never be able to repay you back but you help them anyway.
‘Kindness is a mark we leave in this world’
Research indicates that devoting your resources to others than having all for yourselves, brings about lasting well –being. Positive feelings such as joy, compassion, love all arise with a simple virtue of kindness. Embracing it has allowed people to feel an inner satisfaction. More often than not, giving feels better than holding back as it is vital for our longevity and contentment. Scientists have emphasized how kindness goes a long way in healing loneliness.
The next time you hold yourself back from checking on a friend- think again as your gesture might be the only thing that can truly make their day. Kindness bridges the distances that exist between siblings, friends or spouses. Research also shows that, individuals who are isolated and lack social connection have a 26% higher chance of death as comparison to those with a strong social network. The need for quality relationships is absolutely critical for both our physical and mental well- being.
Kindness nourishes and heals, it uplifts, it is audible to the deaf and visible to the blind. It is a trail of goodwill that can crack open the rugged of hearts.
Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. Do yourself and others around you a favor- celebrate your loved ones, give honest compliments, email someone appreciating their work, call up your parents, check on your siblings, donate your old clothes, volunteer at an NGO, share your homemade food with someone. Amidst all of this, don’t forget to be kind to the one you share the longest relationship with. Yourself.