Word of the Month: Kindness

Acts of kindness open and expand our hearts. Such acts often involve giving: we may give someone a compliment, we may help a person who’s in a difficult situation, we may make a donation to a charity. Kindness also involves the quality of our interactions. Everyone on this planet, no matter what their apparent advantages are, has struggles and pain and loss at times; we can be aware of this and try to infuse most of our interactions with kindness (in the form of warmth and politeness and respect).

In the book reviewed in this issue, The Endless Practice, author Mark Nepo writes, “meeting the world with kindness will rejuvenate our soul.” Even though kindness may be perceived as superficial sometimes, it can touch us and others deeply.

It’s helpful to remember that we can be kind to ourselves as well as to others. Some of us can get so caught up in doing nice things for other people, especially as the winter holidays approach, that we neglect ourselves. Everyone in our lives is in need of kindness, including ourselves.

See more features from the November 2014 issue