Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~
Inspiring Quotes of the Week + Bonuses!

The Power of Kindness

By Linda Sapadin, Ph.D

“When I was young, I admired clever people.
Now that I am old, I admire kind people.”

~ Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

It’s not unusual for an act of kindness to shift a miserable day into an uplifting one. Wow, what power! And yet, we’re often too busy, too distracted, too focused on something else to take a moment out to be kind to a fellow human being.

Ironically, we tend to show more kindness to a pet than to a person. We’re walking down the street and a person inadvertently bumps into us. Before he’s had a chance to offer an apology, we’ve responded with a dagger look and a reprimand: “hey, watch where you’re going.”

Yet, when a four-legged creature with a wagging tail comes to sniff us out, many of us respond with pure kindness. “Hey, such a good doggie. You’re so cute. Look at those eyes. So beautiful.” Your response reaps dividends for the lucky dog, his lucky owner and you. You all have experienced a winning moment which makes your day just a little bit more pleasant.

With our harried pace of living, we often make no time to be kind to each other. The upshot? Let’s eavesdrop on a conversation I recently was privy to. A husband, clearly in distress, called his wife’s internist...

“Hello, I have to cancel my wife’s appointment. We’re in crisis. She can’t move and I can’t get her there.”
“I’d like to speak to the doctor.”
“Oh, it’s crazy here. We’re so busy. He’s not available now.”
“I have a crisis situation here. My wife fell. I can’t get her up. And I can’t get her in the car. I have to cancel her appointment. But I need to talk to the doctor. When can I speak to him?”
“Call again at 4 o’clock. But I can’t guarantee he’ll speak to you then. He’s so busy. I gotta go. And oh, have a nice day!”

An inappropriate “have a nice day” is the essence of impersonal communication. It’s not a nice day, but a sad day when we are so busy that we cannot take a moment to be genuinely present with a fellow human being in distress.

Kindness, however, should not be limited only to those who are in obvious distress. Everyone experiences problems. And no one carries a sign around on their chest publicizing the stressful things that have been happening in their lives.

I can guarantee you, however, that everyone has a battle that they’re fighting. Sometimes it’s a battle that takes its toll every day of the week. Sometimes, it’s simply a “I woke up on the wrong side of the bed” kind of day.

Certainly, you don’t know what kind of struggle that stranger who bumped into you in the supermarket is having. Could she have just been diagnosed with breast cancer? Could she be at her wit’s end trying to raise an autistic child on her own? Could he have just received a notice that he’ll be laid off at the end of the month? Has he just buried his dad?

Moreover, you don’t even know what battles are going on for your defiant son, your distressed wife or your agitated husband? You may think you know what’s happening but you’d be surprised at the intensity of their feelings, their fears and their unresolved issues.

If an act of kindness can alleviate the stress one is feeling or bring a smile to someone’s face, why be stingy? Do it. Give someone your seat on the subway. Let a mom with an agitated kid break the line. Compliment a person on something they’re wearing. With a loved one, be kind with your criticism. Tell him how much you appreciate his thoughtful action. Share with her how much you admire her courage.

The kindest people make other people’s day better and brighter. That is a worthy goal in and of itself. But if you need further incentive to be kind to strangers and loved ones, know that you yourself will thrive as you become more compassionate, considerate and caring.

Copyright © 2013: Linda Sapadin, Ph.D
Linda is a psychologist and personal coach in private practice who specializes in helping people enrich their lives, enhance their relationships and overcome self-defeating patterns of behavior. For more information about her work, contact her by email or visit her website at PsychWisdom.

More personal development articles at the Counterpoint Article Library

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Looking for a better life?

Trans4mind Training - our series of online, interactive video workshops - presents the most effective methods of personal development, combined with support from expert life coaches. The human heart made visible.

A great way to support your Trans4mind Training is to use these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
I think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd