Kindness is Revolutionary.

Via on Jan 19, 2011

We have recently witnessed the result of one man’s madness that was unleashed on a group of innocent people in Tucson, Arizona.

This recent horror occurred largely because no one responded when the young killer was previously silently screaming for help. And then we witnessed two prominent voices speak up, one in defense of herself and one encouraging greater kindness and compassion.

Sarah Palin used the occasion to defend her own mistakes, such as targeting Congresswoman Gifford, in the process making herself appear to be both the injured party and the savior. She criticized those who ‘manufactured a blood libel’ against her without realizing what it meant, rather than accepting that she might be the one who had erred.

In contrast, at the memorial for the victims, President Obama urged us all to look at our own behavior: “At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized … it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds… We may ask ourselves if we’ve shown enough kindness and generosity and compassion to the people in our lives… what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame — but rather, how well we have loved and what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better.”

The world is made up of endless difficulties and challenges. But blaming others or losing our cool does not resolve the conflict. Such self-centeredness is not kind or compassionate; rather it breeds greed, hatred and further delusion. When we are self-centered we think of ourselves first; when we are kind we think of both ourselves and others.

Wikipedia describes a revolution as a “fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.” Normally applied to politics, we believe this can also be applied to our own inner structures: how we think, talk and behave with each other.

A revolution also means a turning around, so a kindness revolution means turning ourselves away from hate, self-centeredness and derision, toward caring, kindness and compassion. And a revolution is a re-evolution, an opportunity to transcend differences so we can offer genuine respect to one another. Kindness is completely revolutionary: it will change each one of us, it will change others, and it will definitely change the world.

How different our world could be if we were all required to be compassionate and kind! So what is it that stops us? Kindness is free, it never goes bad, it has no sell-by date, we can never get enough of it, and we can never give enough of it. As the Dalai Lama says, kindness is his religion.

However, kindness is often overlooked or undervalued. Which is a pity as it takes only a very small amount of it to turn someone’s day from bad to wonderful. Discover kindness. Practice being kind to others for the whole day and see how good you feel. Then try doing it for a week, or even a lifetime!

What does being kind mean to you? Can you see how to bring more kindness into your life? Do comment below.

Photo by Aaron G Stock at Flickr.com

About Ed & Deb Shapiro

Award-Winning Authors Ed and Deb of Be The Change, How Meditation can Transform You and the World, are mindfulness, meditation and yoga experts. Deb’s new novel: Merging: Women in Lovewhat happens when you fall in love with the least likely person of the least likely gender?—and she is the author of Your Body Speaks Your Mind, now in 19 languages. They have three meditation CDs. See more at their website

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16 Responses to “Kindness is Revolutionary.”

  1. TamingAuthor says:

    How can there be kindness when there are lies?

    Is the deceptive man who smiles to your face while planting the knife in your back a kind man?

    Is the man who uses half-truths, innuendo, and character assassination a kind man?

    Was the serpent in the garden a kind creature? Is Mara a prince of kindness, luring us with illusion and desire?

    Kindness is not revolutionary. What is different and new and revolutionary is the ability to cleanse the mud of ignorance from our looking glass. What is new is awakening to the realization that deception is evil, particularly when it masks itself as kindness.

    One can extend one's vision to the beginning of this universe and discover the majority of beings are good, and very, very kind in nature. That is their very essence. Nothing revolutionary there. Nothing at all revolutionary.

    Then one discovers the kindness was preyed upon. One finds kindness was used against beings by deceivers who used the goodness of others to ensnare them in the trap of deception.

    Caught in the glue of deception, struggling against the blackness of lies, beings became enraged and insanely mad. Today we find a world that is the sum total karmic condition arising out of ignorance brought about through deception. We find men so blinded by rage arising from betrayal that they would rather destroy a planet than sit with the devil who put chains on their goodness for the sake of his evil intentions.

    But then, as now, it is our responsibility to shun deception and to seek truth. It is our responsibility to reach for awakening and freedom from the snares of deception.

    It is our responsibility to be awake when covert and deceptive men promise kindness when all they want is to use your kindness for their evil ends. Shun the liar. Shun the covert manipulator. Above kindness honor truth and wisdom, for your kindness will mean nothing when it is harnessed to the engine of evil.

    Find the deception in this article.

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Carrie Armitage, Red Fox. Red Fox said: We Need A Revolution In Kindness http://bit.ly/hp3Fpe [...]

  3. Thank you so much for this inspiring article. Kindness is indeed an act that is often overlooked. I really appreciate this with all of my heart: 'When we are self-centered we think of ourselves first; when we are kind we think of both ourselves and others.'

  4. ed shapiro says:

    Hi Tanya – de nada (welcome)

    enjoy the journey – life is a precious gift!

  5. I think kindness is about being mindful of our actions, taking responsibility and forgiveness…. I just wrote a post about it:
    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/01/forgivenes

    If we pay attention to how we are in the world, kindness follows.

    Namaste.

  6. Todd Baxter says:

    This is a revolution I can get behind. Thank you for speaking this truth.

  7. TamingAuthor says:

    There is no kindness in lies and character assassination, there is only the type of hatred that seeps into the world through false smiles. Kindness begins with truth. When truth is missing, one never has kindness.

  8. Joe Sparks says:

    The most dangerous, functionally violent human being, who used to be marked for destruction in previous human history and is still treated this way in states or countries which use the death penalty, always is curable if sufficient compassion, kindness, and caring be brought to bear on the person. Inside the distressing behaviors there is always a completely wonderful human being who has in every case been very badly hurt or he or she would not be acting hurtfully to anyone else.

  9. Cindy says:

    I remember my children's first pediatrician had a poster in his office. It was a bunny sitting in a field of lush green grass. Beneath it: Be Ye Kind. I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to start children early on the path of kindness and gentleness toward each other. I don't think we can be too kind.

  10. ed shapiro says:

    Hi Tanya – de nada (welcome)

    you are a kind person!

  11. TamingAuthor says:

    An interesting discourse on lying and deception.
    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/s

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