Menanteau Serfontein – 7 January 2021
Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
Kindness is a choice which can be cultivated. It is a character issue and tends to flow from what is already going on in your inner self. If you have a victim mentality, then the extent of your kindness will depend largely on what is going on around you, i.e. the circumstances. The healthy and mature approach is to be kind irrespective of the circumstances, because it is part and parcel of who you are.
That does not mean that one should not be assertive or that one should be a pushover, or to accommodate things like poor service. If kindness is dependent on circumstance, our behaviour will be erratic and unpredictable which results in people who trust in and depend on us, becoming unsettled and confused, not knowing what to expect next.
Ideally, we should take responsibility for ourselves and make kindness (instead of rudeness) towards ourselves and others, the preferred way of interacting. When this happens, people will tend to feel safe with us and will tend to trust us, resulting in us being able to be a calming influence and playing the role of peacemakers rather than creating storms, turmoil and conflict.
It sometimes becomes necessary in certain instances, to be “cruel to be kind”, e.g. to honestly convey an uncomfortable fact to someone that will be to the benefit of the person concerned. It might for example assist the individual to view something in a different light or to start doing certain things differently. The manner in which this is done is essential and the ideal would be to convey the message in a kind and caring way without beating about the bush.
Kindness is often most effective when someone is taught how to fish, rather than giving the person a fish.
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