Kindness, like most actions and behavior, is learned. We learned it and continue to learn it from our parents, teachers, elders, family, friends, strangers, and even children. But for various reasons, many of us tend to forget it, or we tend to be very selective when we do it, or we get jaded, become cynical and ignore kindness in ourselves and others.
But action begets reaction that begets action that begets reaction, in a cycle. Thus, a kind act tends to generate a kind response and positive reactions, emotions and thoughts, not just in other people but in ourselves as well, while an unkind act does the opposite (I’m sure we have our own experiences confirming this). A cycle of kindness starts with one act of kindness, just one, and instead of waiting for someone to start, why don’t we start it ourselves? The Christmas season is the perfect opportunity to do it. Being kind is also a fabulous New Year’s resolution for the coming 2014.
One great way to start practicing and reinforcing acts of kindness is by focusing on doing one kind deed at a time. An act of kindness does not have to, and does not always, involve saving someone from imminent death or anything grandly heroic. Personally I believe in starting small. Often, it is something as simple as helping an elderly person carry his groceries to his car, or thanking the cashier at the supermarket for being on her feet the whole day to assist us, or to use an example a friend of mine gave me, helping lost tourists find their way. And, we do not have to necessarily do one different good deed each day. We can choose one deed today, do it, and then keep repeating it until it becomes second nature to us. Then, choose another good deed and repeat the process. But what is important is that we do it. The more we act with kindness, the more we get used to doing it.
Doing an act of kindness makes us feel better, and if we do it often then we feel better often. For those of us living with Diabetes, feeling better lessens stress, and less stress means fewer opportunities for higher blood glucose and other ill effects of stress on our bodies, which in turn adds to our control over Diabetes, which in turn helps us win our War On Diabetes. Really, it’s a win-win situation.
(PS Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!)