A World Without Racism Listens
Kindness and Listening
In his article titled Kindness Begins with Listening, Rick Warren writes, “The better listener you become, the more sympathetic you will be.” This sentiment perfectly embodies how listening translates to kindness. When we make an intentional effort to listen to our loved ones, the community, and the world we are able to spread compassion and generosity. When we begin speaking and are no longer listening, although we may have the best intentions, this action cancels out our kindness. In an excerpt titled Listening is Kindness, the author Jennifer Palazzo writes about the four acts of kindness. The overall theme of the piece is that the greatest kindness we can do to ourselves and those around us is simply to listen. When we sit with others and remove our opinions and thoughts, we are able to show our loved ones the biggest kindness of all.
The first type of kindness on which Palazzo touches is kindness to oneself. When we sit and listen to ourselves, our intuition tells us everything we need to know. By listening to this inner conscience and acting on what it tells us, we are being kind to our bodies and souls. This practice may be easier than you think, and the benefits are endless.
The second act of kindness is kindness to others. Oftentimes, we take advantage of the luxury of listening to our loved ones. Think about how lucky we are when we are able to sit and actively listen to them. Through this act, we are showing kindness in listening.
The third act of kindness is being kind to strangers. When we are more conscious and present in our daily interactions with the strangers we encounter, we will begin to see an amazing positive impact. You can show kindness to strangers in simple ways such as making eye contact and genuinely asking the person how their day is, or by being more sincere in the thank you to the cashier or bank teller. When people feel that they are truly appreciated, especially by strangers, this kindness initiates a ripple effect that ultimately creates a better world for us all.
The fourth and final kindness discussed is kindness to our planet. One of the most important aspects of our lives is our home, the Earth. Without our planet we are nothing. In order to ensure that we can even have future generations, we must take care of our home so that it is still around and well-functioning when they grow up.
We can practice kindness to our planet in simple ways throughout our daily routine. This may look like saying no thank you to plastic silverware when you are taking your food home to eat, or using reusable bags at the grocery store. Although these conscious changes in our lives may seem like they’re not substantial, over time they add up and have an overall positive effect.