Did you know that a baby’s first instinct is kindness? Michael Tomasello and other scientists at the Max Planck Institute, in Germany, have found that infants spontaneously engage in helpful behavior and will even overcome obstacles to do so. It appears to be the alleviation of other’s suffering that motivates them — whether or not they engage in the helping behavior themselves.
Kindness is our natural and, some might say, divine, spark. Spiritual activists from many religious traditions have stated similar sentiments to that of Paul the Apostle, “…be kind one to another, tenderhearted” …and … “walk in love,” each affirming our essential spiritual nature which expresses the divine Love.
November 13 is World Kindness Day, “a day to look beyond ourselves,” the global organisation contends. The movement affirms that if we’re to progress in human relations and endeavours, if we are to achieve the goal of peaceful coexistence, we must focus on what we have in common.
What we do have in common is our innate compassion and kindness, which, when reclaimed, will undeniably help to heal our world.
Greater kindness at home, in the workplace, on the road and on social media can have significant healing effect. However, it’s not always easy to be kind to those who seem to be getting in the way of our fondest hopes and desires, as my experience shows.
I’d found the perfect new home after weeks of searching and it ticked all the boxes. The thing was, it would cost every dollar we had and more, and my joy in finding it was causing my husband to experience terrible stress, as he strongly believed that we’d be forever chasing our tails in financial hardship.
Tension was escalating between us, as circumstances dictated that a decision be made that very weekend!
Diverging for a moment, it’s interesting to note that 80% of visits to the doctor are believed to be stress-related. One of today’s spiritual thinkers, Deepak Chopra, gives this explanation. “… what is “stress” if not fear, anxiety and worry dressed up in more socially acceptable clothing?” He suggests that “being “stressed out” is just the code word for being really, really scared.”
I found it helpful to see stress and pressure for what they really were – fear – and not simply obstruction or stubbornness. And, for me, the realisation that my stance was adding to my husband’s fear was a wake-up call to gently step back from the argument.
So, what happened about our new home?
I found that I needed to set aside my personal agenda, mentally let go of that house, and just be open to a love-based solution that would benefit us both. I then waited expectantly, for I’d experienced time and again solutions that unfold from such actions.
Checking my emails over breakfast, I was surprised and excited that a new home had come on the market that day in the right area, which suited our budget perfectly.
The agent was able to meet us there within the hour. It may not have matched my preconceived ideal but it had a great feel. We were both moved – as if we had one mind – to decide there and then to purchase it.
I was in awe again of the power of patience and kindness.
In fact, spiritual healer and thought-leader, Mary Baker Eddy, sums up the whole matter this way. “When we realize that there is one Mind, the divine law of loving our neighbor as ourselves is unfolded; whereas a belief in many ruling minds hinders man’s normal drift towards the one Mind, one God, and leads human thought into opposite channels where selfishness reigns.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures)
I can vouch that happiness and success increase in a kinder-hearted society, and there is strong evidence to suggest that our health benefits, too.
Read this article in the press on the Lismore Northern Star.
Hear a short audio version on ChristianScience.com