January 30, 2013

Why Spontaneous Kindness Feels So Sexy.

The Dalai Lama says kindness is his religion.

Wikipedia says that a random act of kindness is “a selfless act performed by a person or persons wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual … There will generally be no reason other than to make people smile or be happier.”

Being sexy means something is delicious, fun, delightful; it makes us feel good with a smile in our heart. Put that together with kindness, and we have the ultimate feel good action!

We first heard the saying, “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty,” many years ago when we were at Findhorn, the renowned spiritual community in Scotland. But there can be some confusion about this. Perhaps the receiver of the kindness might not appreciate it; it might make them apprehensive or distrustful in some way. Sadly, this seems to speak more about the suspicious world we live in than about the nature of kindness. If there is such wariness then what is needed are more acts of kindness done by more of us, not less.

Perhaps it is the use of the world “random” that is misleading, and that it would be easier if we used the word “spontaneous” instead.

Spontaneity means we are acting on an impulse, in the moment, freely; we are moved to do something for someone without any thought of receiving something in return. Such behavior is surely the ground of a healthy and joyful society, where we happily give of ourselves to help another and such an act is happily received.

 “Be generous. Give to those you love; give to those who love you, give to the fortunate, give to the unfortunate—yes, give especially to those you don’t want to give to. You will receive abundance for your giving. The more you give, the more you will have!” ~ W. Clement Stone

What stops us from acting this way?

Invariably it is our own insecurities, lack of self-esteem and self-love, doubts and inadequacies. And the same qualities also stop us from being able to freely receive. If we feel unworthy then we believe we have nothing to give; if we don’t love ourselves, then we don’t trust why someone would be kind to us. We fear that if someone gives without reason that they actually want something from us, or that they have an ulterior motive.

If we feel uncomfortable with generosity, we can get stuck in uncertainty, fear or unworthiness. When we doubt ourselves, we fall into an endless pit of self-denigration. When we appreciate the beauty of kindness it takes us out of such self-centeredness; it enables us to let go of self-centeredness and to freely reach out to each other. We can both give and receive. Such egoless moments are exquisite!

Giving spontaneously can have a remarkable effect on all those who come in contact with it. For instance, HuffPost blogger Arthur Rosenfield was in the drive-through line at Starbucks. The man in line behind him was getting impatient and angry, leaning on his horn and shouting insults at both Arthur and the Starbucks workers. Beginning to get angry himself, Arthur chose to keep his cool and change the negativity into something positive. He paid for the man’s coffee and drove away. By the time he got home at the end of the day, he discovered he had started a chain of giving that had not only continued all that day but had been highlighted on NBC News and within 24 hours had spread around the world on the Internet.

 “Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” ~ Scott Adams

Can you imagine a world where no one gave to each other? Where we all just looked after our own needs but ignored everyone else’s? This would surely be a miserable place to live, for ultimately, whether spontaneous or planned, we cannot be happy without being kind, by giving and caring for each other.

Spontaneous kindness is essential to our well-being, it liberates us from self-obsession, selfishness and isolation. True generosity is giving without expectation, with no need to be repaid in any form. This is the most powerful, unconditional, and unattached act of generosity, free to land wherever it will.

Being kind can be as simple as smiling.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Almost anything we do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that we do it.”


Coming Soon: Join 32 inspiring meditation experts and luminaries on a magical mystery journey that will transform you from the inside out. Join Congressman Tim Ryan, Marianne Williamson, neuroscientist Richie Davidson, Tara Stiles, Gabby Bernstein, Waylon Lewis and others, on a meditation e-Conference, March 4-8.


Like elephant Spirituality on Facebook.

Ed: Brianna Bemel

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Ed & Deb Shapiro  |  Contribution: 14,200