Kindness Is A Gift
How do you take the measure of a person? What criteria do you use in your evaluation? One of the joys of being a life coach is you meet and work with so many different kinds of wonderful and truly impressive people.
What really impresses me is usually not so much the more superficial attributes, the God-given gifts, such as attractiveness, intelligence or certain special capabilities, although those can certainly be impressive.
I’m just more taken by people who decide to live their lives in a consistently positive way … especially by the choices they make when the true nature of their character is on the line.
For example, take the case of when someone needs your help and there’s absolutely nothing in it for you … except maybe some inconvenience, aggravation, or expense. Maybe even some safety risk.
That’s when you see the true measure of someone … when they’re kind and generous when they don’t have to be and have nothing material to gain from it.
Kindness and generosity of this sort should instantly signal to everyone they’re looking at a good human being.
I’m writing about this, because I want to recommend a TV series called The Kindness Diaries. I’m sure many of you have already seen it and some of you have seen the little “thumbnail” on your menu of shows and wondered if it’s worth watching.
Absolutely. It’s wonderful. One of the best things I’ve ever seen. Touching. Insightful. Charming. Often funny … and quite educational to boot.
Watch the first season on Amazon Prime and the second on Netflix.
This show puts on full display the goodness that resides in the hearts of so many people … people you’d never know about. They’re not famous. Many are so poor it makes you weep when you see them giving so generously to someone they don’t know … just because he needs help.
I won’t give away much. I’ll just tell you the show features the adventures of an Englishman of Greek heritage, Leon Logothetis. He travels the world relying completely on the “kindness” of strangers … to fill his gas tank … to fix his vehicle … to feed him and give him a place to stay … because he has no money and can’t accept gifts of money.
What people do to help is astounding, heartwarming, and sometimes heartbreaking, because they often have so little to give … and yet they give. And it often seems as if those who have the least to offer give the most readily and have the biggest hearts.
But the giving doesn’t go just one way. Sometimes Leon discovers people to whom he would like to make his own gift, often a life-changing gift. Leon’s a very genuine, sweet guy and very generous himself.
“To give is better than to receive.” Many of us believe this and some of us let it actively guide our daily actions.
But it goes both ways. The giver also gets.
And what exactly do we get back in return?
Happiness. And I can prove it … sort of.
You know who the “happiest man in the world is?”
Matthieu Ricard, a French born Buddhist monk and writer living in Nepal.
How do we know he’s the happiest person? Well, if that phrase looks like a catchy tabloid headline, you’d be right.
That said, give him credit for being very, very happy a whole lot of the time … especially happy … remarkably happy. We know because he tells us he is and because he proved it to scientists by participating in a 12 year study where they repeatedly stuck 256 sensors on his head to monitor his brain activity. While he was meditating on compassion, the happiness centers in his brain lit up big time … like no one else’s.
And what does he say is the secret to attaining this kind of happiness?
Focusing on being benevolent.
And isn’t that what kindness and generosity are all about?
So, what goes around DOES come around. Others get what they need from us and we experience happiness in return.
Enjoy Thanksgiving. And be kind, even to the relatives who drive you crazy!
P.S. If you want to get an email from Leon called Feel Good Friday with Leon Logothetis, you can subscribe here.
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