Constant Kindness

By Akangjungla

Kindness has always been taught as a value and not necessarily an art. The Mayo Clinic Health System says kindness is good for the body and for the mind. In its publication titled ‘The art of kindness’ Mayo Clinic claims kindness is more than behaviour. The art of kindness involves harbouring a spirit of helpfulness, being generous and considerate, and doing so without expecting anything in return. The Mental Health Foundation, during a research in 2020, found that 63% of UK adults agree that when other people are kind it has a positive impact on their mental health, and the same proportions agree that being kind to others has a positive impact on their mental health.

Perhaps being kind is what the world needs today. Faced with global challenges, such as sever war conflicts, poverty, climate change, and health etc, optimism for solutions is slim. Being kind or practicing kindness is not going to offer the solution for the challenges, yet the intentions to share compassion and care have the potential to achieve positive impact on people. It is inspiring to note that World Kindness Movement, the creator of World Kindness Day has been placing kindness on the agenda for the past 25 years. Their mission is to inspire individuals towards greater kindness and to connect nations to create a kinder world. The Movement encourages individuals of other nations to establish kindness movements within their countries and collaborate on global initiatives through membership. 

Finding kindness and resilience were two human characteristics which prevailed above the loss and misfortune during the covid-19 pandemic and its imposed lockdown. There was continuous stream of overwhelming information on government restrictions and guidelines, data on infection, casualty, discrimination etc. There was also no lack of misinformation, rumour and disinformation, needing constant reminder to read, watch and share information only from trusted sources.

Even so kindness, one of the most powerful and affirmative aspects of human nature shined through. Many local newspapers run stories of random act of kindness amidst the challenging times. The outbreak of kindness towards unknown children and families grew into a stronger movement of compassion, love and empathy. The pandemic has phase out leaving the world with the significance to treat everyone with kindness and that everyone can aim to spread kindness.

Kindness is choosing others. It is the ‘quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.’ But kindness also means so much more. Kindness means to love. Recently more and more people, especially the younger generations have made their presence in social media obligatory. Navigating social media becomes a challenge when it involves online harassment such as trolling, racism, body-shaming and other mean or cruel behaviour. It will not be wrong to state that the percentage of young people with social media disorders or depression like symptom is growing in the Naga society. While young people are getting tangled in a spiral of increased screen time, depressing posts, sleep deprivation, fantasy of anonymity, kindness can start on social media by way of restraining from negative comments or looking down on others. One person’s act with intention by leaving a compliment, reflecting and posting something encouraging, stopping the cycle of sharing unenthusiastic post etc would definitely make the future of being online so much kinder.

The power of kindness has the power to create a safe space for humanity even in the face of a pandemic or mental health crisis. These are just two obvious examples of the many issues the world is dealing with today. It is the people’s ability to either connect with empathy and love or disengage with hatred and hostility. In any given situation of life, the choice is either to respond and embrace with kindness or decide to do nothing because being kind starts with intention. There is so much in the world that is beyond the human control, but kindness is a choice which can influence and triumph over the despairs with hope and motivation for humankind. 

Being kind is going the extra mile in demonstrating the spirit of love and generosity that goes beyond publicising the intentions, and everybody can use a little bit of kindness in their life. As Andrew Iskander quotes “Because that’s what kindness is. It’s not doing something for someone else because they can’t, but because you can.”

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