At the start of most yoga classes the teacher will take a moment to have you set an intention for the class. For a long time I have almost exclusively made my intention kindness. First of all I am intent on being kind to myself during class. I do not want to injure myself and I also do not want to judge myself if I cannot do a pose.
Secondly and most important I want to carry that kindness with me for the rest of the day. I want to keep being kind to myself but I also want to extend my kindness to everyone I interact with. There is no cost to me for being kind and there is no expectation that others will return in kind.
If I start with an intent to be kind my hope is that I will remain optimistic in all situations. There are times where kindness needs to be less gentle but in the end I am striving to help and solve an issue.
Many people call this naive and unrealistic and I wish them well and move along with my life. If I have learned anything it is that there can never be too much kindness in the world. I am far from perfect in this regard and fall into the trap of distrust and fear of others intents.
Is it possible that people will take advantage of my kindness? Absolutely and over the years this has occurred and I have learned not to deal with those specific individuals. The challenge has been to prevent those experiences from prejudicing me from ever treating people with kindness.
Kindness is a choice. You can choose to treat everyone kindly or you can choose to distrust everyone. I prefer to live in a world where we choose to be kind to each other.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr (MLK) Day in the US. MLK was a proponent of non-violence and human equality and a major persona of the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s. He is best known for his I have a Dream speech in which he described a dream in which he saw people of all colors and walks of life living together in harmony.
Today we appear to live in a world that shows an incredible amount of kindness and at the same time a vast lacking of kindness. It feels like the answer it to just tell everyone to be kind to each other. Unfortunately hate blinds people from seeing, giving, or receiving kindness.