Sunday, May 17, 2009
Kindness does matter.
What kind of a person do you want to be once you've gotten somewhere?
What if you got that dream job that pays you handsomely, or you are promoted to a position that gives you power over many people? Would being incredibly rich make you happier and less kinder? It never made sense to me that someone who would achieve any kind of success in life, would want to become a jerk!
Sad, but somehow it certainly seems like the unkind, the wildly ambitious, the stab-you-in-the-back types are rewarded time and again. It really shocks me when I encounter people who think kindness doesn't matter. Because I think it's pretty much the only thing that matters. No, it's not about being good or nice, which really often has to do with worrying about being liked. It's ultimately about compassion, and recognizing that all of us are going through it all in our own particular way, no matter what our social status is.
Of course, It's not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not. We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, even—or rather, especially when we'd prefer not to be. For me, it's simple and not entirely unselfish: When I'm kind, I feel good; when I'm not, I feel horrible.
Where will any of this get you in life's battle? Maybe nowhere. But that's not really the point. Kindness is not about instant gratification. Rather think of it as a low-risk investment that will appreciate steadily over time. One thing I've found to be true in whatever field we are in is that, whatever you put out there comes back to you in some form eventually. And hopefully, one day you look around and say: "Hey, I've got a pretty nice life full of fantastic people."
If you have a better definition of success, then, I'd like to hear it!