July is Kindness month. Kindness is infectious and warms people`s hearts.
Kindness is being thoughtful, helpful, gentle and forgiving when it is often easier to be angry.
A kind word can overcome anger, calm the soul and even form friendships.
The smallest acts of kindness can be rewarding.
A kind word, a smile or gesture can be as beneficial as the kind deed.
So in this month of kindness, July, the question is, what does kindness really mean to you?
Is it as simple as being kind to each other, or is it "kindness" when you actually go out of your way to help someone in need.
Some folk are kind because they are inherently caring, others as they are always tolerant.
Perhaps being generous or affectionate means kindness to you.
In reality, kindness is perceived differently and has many varied meanings to us as individuals.
There is a connect with where we fit on the personality spectrum coupled with our intrinsic values.
But it is our behaviour that is indicative of our true level of acceptance of kindness which is reflected in how we conduct ourselves in our everyday lives.
Even the most cynical of us are capable of kindness, it's in our DNA.
Kindness can be driven by other motives too, such as wanting to be seen to be helpful or feeling we know better what is good for someone.
The person doing this may feel they are being kind, but the person they are trying to help may just feel exasperated by their interfering.
"I think you can't afford to be too glib about kindness. We have to be careful we don't act in the name of kindness when we might really be acting because we think we know better, " said Dr Carmen Moran, Adjunct Professor in the School of Psychology at Charles Sturt University and Highland FM Presenter and Trainer.
"Some might liken kindness to love, and certainly some forms of love provoke kindness. To be kind to people we don't love - that is the challenge. Part of that challenge includes the possibility that we consider some people not worthy of kindness.
"Perhaps there are times when people need to know that they have wronged, behaved badly, hurt someone, or are on a dangerous path. They may consider it unkind if you tell them of their shortcomings, but in its own way, that is a greater form of kindness than praising them.
"I have met some very kind people and they glow. I can see kindness radiate from them and I value it. So, I am not dismissing the importance of kindness. All of us have the potential for kindness, so if we act as though we are kind in a way that we would like others to act towards us, we can hope that one day our kind actions will evolve into that genuine inner kindness we can see in others."
Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Affection, gentleness, warmth, concern and care are words that are associated with kindness.
While kindness has a connotation of meaning someone is naive or weak, that is not the case. Being kind often requires courage and strength.
Kindness encourages tolerance and brings peace and happiness. Random acts of kindness and generosity of spirit are long remembered by both the giver and receiver and restore faith in our society.
We are living in particularly difficult times, everyone is affected in some way. Just one act of kindness could help those most affected get through another day.
If every Australian did one act of kindnessa day for the month of July, that would be 775 million acts of kindness in Kind July.
Kindness is not something that demands hard work or huge amounts of time. It's something all of us can strive to achieve every day. And, knowing that the power of the gift of kindness is immense, why wouldn't you want to help others?
"Don't talk about it, do it." (Actor George Burns)
Highland FM 107.1 has partnered with Southern Highland News and Community Links Wellbeing, ReFrame to promote kindness in the community with our Kind Hearts campaign.
So join us and smile, say hello and be kind to each other.
Highland FM 107.1
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