A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.William Arthur Ward
Recently it has been so easy to focus our attention on the negative actions of others and perhaps even feel cynical about people in general as opposed to seeking out the positive in the situation.
There is no doubt that there are mean spirited people in this world and those who don’t seem to care about anyone other than themselves. Yet, in my experience, there are so many really good people who truly care about others and go out of their way to be kind—if you choose to look for them.
We’re not talking about the extreme sort such as terrorists who kill people or someone who is clearly courageous and heroic like Rahman Perkins from the Hoboken train accident a couple of weeks ago. We’re talking about the everyday people who cross our paths.
Don’t Overlook the Goodness in People
So often I hear people say things like “People suck” or “I like animals much better than people”.
We tend to remember:
- The people who cut us off on the road as opposed to those who allow us in the lane.
- The people who slam the door in our face as opposed to those who open the door for us.
It is human to remember the experiences that bother us and trigger a negative emotional response yet we would be better emotionally served to pay more attention to the simple acts of kindness of everyday people.
I personally see the goodness in others and I tend to come across such people in my day to day travels through life. It’s not that I am deluding myself regarding some of the darkness that does exist in our world yet I truly believe in my heart in the goodness of others.
Is it no wonder then that I am so often a recipient of kindness? My friends and people that I know often ask me this question: “How come people are so nice to you?”
It is not because I am so special, it just may mean that I love people and know that most are intrinsically good and kind. Thus, I see this wherever I go. I feel blessed each day to be the receiver of kindness.
It’s the Law of Attraction
What we put out into the world, we receive back. Also though, it’s important to recognize where we choose to focus our attention. Perhaps kindness has always been right in front of us and we’ve yet to notice.
Are we certain that the cup is half empty? Or have we realized the cup is half full? If we’re putting our attention on people who are ignoring us or people who are frowning—we tend to see this negatively.
If I smile or say hello to someone, they’re bound to say hello back. If I’m frowning or looking at the ground, people are reticent and not comfortable in initiating a kind gesture.
For more tips on finding kindness in a sea of negativity, please click on the link below for my complete article.
My wish for you today is that you discover the little wonders in your day, and the people surrounding you, to enable you to view the kindness in the world.
-Kathleen Dwyer Blair, LCSW, BCD
Director Nassau Guidance and Counseling