Kindness begins at home

In a world where individuals are increasingly self-focussed; where self-interest is supplanting care and compassion; the milk of human kindness is becoming alarmingly sour.

We're moving from an era where the perceived threat once was killing an issue, situation or person with kindness to an era where it's kindness itself that has become the victim.

Neglect is now turning something sweet and palatable into something rancid and undesirable.

Kindness is a mishmash of many emotions combining the elements of things like love, concern, compassion, courtesy and grace.

But while it borrows from many places it's always condensed down to an expression of regard for our fellow human being. It's about care and showing that we care.

It's about meeting someone at their point of need in their time of need.

Kindness can be a grand gesture or something imperceptible to all but the recipient.

Universally, however kindness is appreciated, and the most common thing about kindness is that it's something we're always looking out for.

We want people to be gentle and understanding and we appreciate it when they take the time to acknowledge our feelings.

The problem is, however, that we become so caught up in looking for it and so slighted when we don't find it that we can forget all about expressing it.

Why is it that the most contented people are the ones who come across as the kindest?

It's because they have learned to accept their situation whatever it may be and, most importantly of all, they have learned how to be kind to themselves. They've taken the time to get to know and like themselves.

Unless we accept ourselves with all our failings and frailties; unless we come to terms with where it is that we are at this given moment then we will continue to lose the capacity to be kind to others.

And that's a sad prospect.

WELLNESS TIP

Think happy thoughts.

First thing in the morning think about three good things in your life.

Too difficult? Think of two good things.

Accept the fact that today is yours for a reason.

That reason may not be immediately evident but it's there somewhere and worth the effort to find it.

There's promise in every day.

We owe it to our mental well-being to find that promise and do something about it.

Making our today better than our yesterday will mean our life will be better.

Gary Bentley is a counsellor with Rural Aid