Kindness can mean different thing to different people. Some will define it as being friendly, considerate, doing for others, and being generous among other things. Some definitions say it is treating people like you want to be treated yourself. It may involve choosing someone else’s wants over your own. It may be doing something for others and expecting nothing in return. No matter how you define it, we think it is lacking in today’s society.
We write quite a bit about giving back, paying it forward, and being generous. Many of the users of this site are going through a difficult financial challenge. Maybe it was caused by them, such as they quit a job, or they are abusing substances or refuse to work.
Maybe the financial issue was caused by something out of their control, such as an illness, death of partner, divorce, domestic violence, or something else. No matter the cause of someone’s financial or other hardship, try to show kindness when dealing with someone going through a difficult financial challenge. Or even if someone appears to be doing well, be kind to them as well…be kind to everyone!
Part of kindness may also fall into the category of being generous. This will involve donating time by say volunteering. A family or person going through a financial hardship may turn to a food pantry for short term help or some other local charity. Being generous with them may help them. Kindness is volunteering or giving time and not expecting anything in return.
Being generous may also involve financial donations. Maybe it is donating some money to a non-profit such as the United Way or any of the other countless groups out there. Or it can be contributing to an oversees group that helps entrepreneurs, such as Kiva.
Kindness can come in many other fashions as well. Many people do not have the ability to give back financially or to give their time. Whether you can or can’t makes no difference…as being kind also involves how you act around someone. It is doing the small things in life. Or when someone does something for you, it is saying “thank you” when someone helps you, or saying “please” when asking for something. It is doing the small things in life as well, such as holding a door for a person (even a stranger), going out to get someone a favorite food, or giving a smile.
Being kind also benefits the person performing the act as well. It can feel good to hold a door for someone, or to donate time or money. While kindness does not imply you get anything back (though a small smile or thank you is always great!), the act itself can feel good. It is a better feeling than getting some new, unneeded material possession.
As many users of this site are struggling financially (whether short or long term) it is a good reminder to try to be kind to the vulnerable (and really everyone) out there.