The Value of Kindness
by Marian Volkman
Kindness, one of the most highly prized of human virtues, rewards both the receiver and the giver. We can brighten someone’s day by our kind words and actions. Doing so gives us (most of us), pleasure, often at very little cost to ourselves. If kindness is so great, why do we not see more of it?
Of course, if we look for it, we can see kindness every day. On the other hand, looking for examples of daily unkindness, we will surely find them too. Did you know that all of the world’s great religions have some form of the “golden rule”, the one that advises us to treat other people the way we would wish to be treated? It seems that humanity has been aware of the value of kindness for centuries. How then do we find ourselves in a world full of strife?
We might surmise that our cultures have turned away from the values of tolerance, forbearance, compassion and civility, but maybe the answer is much simpler than that.
Yes, if it’s so great then, why do we not see more kindness in daily life? Why do we not practice it more assiduously? Lack of time? Lack of energy? Just not feeling like it (i.e., being lazy)? What is it that vacuums up our attention and energy, our will to perceive those around us and to take positive action? What can we do about it? How do we gain the time, the free attention, the will and intention to practice kindness every day?
The simplest answer to what blocks us is emotional charge, that which we experience as painful emotion, heaviness and resistance. It doesn’t take a lot of that before we feel wrapped up in our own concerns, upsets, and difficulties, with little time or energy to spend on other people.
We can fight this off to the best our ability, “rise to the occasion” and try to be the best person we can be. That is pretty much what we are taught and told to do as we grow up. That’s fine as far as it goes, but there is a much, much simpler and more workable way. We can systematically dismantle the sources of our emotional charge using the many techniques of Applied Metapsychology. We can feel the heaviness lifting off us, session by session. We can gain new insights as we reduce the charge from upsets, trauma, confusions, disappointments – all the sources of our distress.
When we are freed of these encumbrances, being kind is so much easier! You might say, it comes naturally.
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