Throughout our lives, we constantly hear sageful advice such as:
“Treat one another as you would like to be treated yourself “– That wise old Confucian saying of “Do Unto Others as You would have Done Unto You.”
We hear this, we know this, well most of us implicitly know this, yet often despite this, ego takes over. People might become selfish, or narcissistic, or begin to look-out, only for themselves.
Are they tired, fed up, or have been taken advantage of?
A kind word can have a powerful effect on a stranger, but also for a loved one.
With immediate family, it is often the case that we reveal our true selves, completely unmasked when we are relaxed and comfortable. Some people might border on apathy in the presence of loved ones and let manners fall by the wayside. So sure are they of unconditional acceptance in that herd or group.
However in a workplace, decorum, tact, judgement and professionality is valued and countenanced.
We might hold back from our true thoughts and selves in a workplace.
In doing so, are we still being kind?
By being grateful,
a man makes himself deserving
of yet another kindness.~ Nigerian Proverb
If holding back in a workplace is the way to be kind, to save our colleague’s feelings, then that must mean if we are honest and speak what we think, within a family setting, we must therefore be unkind and hurtful? Yet in that aura of unconditional love, we are accepted and loved despite our comments. Comments that would be hurtful in other circumstances.
When confronting a family member who has unleashed ‘brutal honesty’, on someone close to you, the perpetrator often become dismissive, stating that they were joking around, or as we say in Australia, “having a go at ya.”Just Friendly banter !
Which leads me to the question of kindness in society, at large?
Is decorum and discretion really a style of kindness that sometimes is thinly veiled in dishonesty?
Kindness costs nothing but can mean everything to someone– Anonymous
Perhaps the Nigerian proverb gives us some insight into the beneficial ripple effect of showing kindness.
Join in on the discussion at Something to Ponder About this Sunday