Be The Kindness You Wish To See

Original Date: Jan 24, 2017

At a recent teacher training weekend, we discussed how to act in a world that often feels unsupportive, controversial, and in general negative. Because of my training in and dedication to the Yoga Sutras, I believe this outlook on the world to be a matter of perspective and mindset. But for many folks, it is a very real and visceral experience of fear. What came up in the discussion that day was a suggestion from one of the trainees on how she deals with situations or people that can feel harsh and harmful. If someone is decidedly unkind, she puts in extra effort to do something nice, either for that person or for someone else. She takes time and effort to be “extra nice” to counter balance that act of hate or violence.

What a beautiful response. We should all take some time to ponder this concept and look for opportunities to exercise our ability to be the kindness we wish to see. It is important to remember that The Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita tell us to not think on the fruits of our actions, and to not seek praise or recognition for our acts. Our actions are not done for our own benefit, but for the benefit of all sentient beings. If you want to grow the kindness, you must plant the seeds.

Maybe it is as simple as holding the door for a stranger, paying for a toll or a cup of coffee. Reach out to someone in need, make a meal for a friend for no reason. Call someone to say you love them. What act can you do now, today?