This blog isn’t an inspiration you need to be kind nor about all the big things that demand our attention. It is about those routine behaviours where kindness can leave you feeling stupid and self interests seem justified.
It would be fair to say, I have had a rather confusing equation with kindness. Being surrounded by ever so helpful folks all my life and seeing them suffer for their goodness had left me with a little less passions to be all so good and kind.
However, blame it on their genes or their upbringing, as much as I hated my share being stolen, I equally despised stealing anybody else’s fair share through manipulations and dishonesty. One thing that continued to leave me angry if not helpless, people trying to take advantage of people who were helpful and compassionate.
But, as I grew older, I begin to realise that while their actions aren’t ours to control; what we think about is slightly more manageable than we think. Being aware and smart doesn’t necessarily need to be grounded in negativity. While it may be absurd and stupid, a tiny bit of ignorance isn’t all so bad if it keeps you sane.
As I grew older, I luckily found people who would go on to re-inspire me to be a better person than the one who would only know how to fend for one’s own self. One thing I can’t credit to anything else but fate has been my immense fortunes at coming across and getting to keep some of the most good hearted ordinary people you can meet.
Showing me wonders of patience and active listening, God continued to keep me surrounded with men and women (both inside and outside my home) who wouldn’t encourage my cribbing about the state of affairs but inspired me to take care.
When probably most other best friends were busy encouraging that first trip and first alcoholic sip; mine would illustrate differences between “good for nothing” sympathies and all the difference that one little act of empathetic compassion can make.
But, even more importantly, I guess being kind has quintessentially been my way of reciprocating goodness that I continue to receive but may or may not have the chance to directly reciprocate.
Conversely, on the other hand, you can’t always expect others to reciprocate and understand either. Yet, one thing that you do get to control and manage are your individual contributions to the whole. It’s easier to lose hope and call it a wicked world — which it can be on many days — but we are all gifted with the power and independence to at least decide what we send out to the universe.
On days, like most of us, I too am disheartened to see my few kind deeds going in vain; and even worse, reciprocated with selfish motives or despise. But, on those days, I have also learnt that following my once favourite “Tit for Tat” policy has done them less harm in comparison to how intoxicated it has left my brain.
There have been occasions, you wondered and complemented, “How can someone be so sweet!” In the moment, I am most likely to smile and be flattered until it begins to become a backache.
The point where people feel it within their rights to invade your privacy, burden your schedules with their share of obligations. It is then that those two sweet words of gratitude and even those red coloured heart emojis just feel like a box of candies giving you a diabetes.
But, on the many occasions that complement is well placed and comes from a genuine place; I have only wished to communicate, kindness isn’t my inherent virtue but a choice I have learnt to make to take my shots at making the world, a little better place.
Rather, fetching for myself is a thing that comes more naturally to me. But, what the years have time and again clarified for me were the fine lines between help and unnecessary crutches. As one of my best friends indirectly taught me that being nice isn’t about them but more about who you are and what you want to be.
Among the many fond memories I returned with, it was probably the most beautiful lesson from my little stint at South Korea. There was no way I could have done anything in return for all those people who had generously helped me with an open heart without expecting anything in return during my exchange. It has been a lesson that I had learnt then but have continued to remember, forget and recall ever since.