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  • Fe Robinson

The power of kindness

‘To behold all beings with the eye of compassion, and to speak kindly to them, is the meaning of tenderness…Whenever one speaks kindly to another his face brightens and his heart is warmed; if a kind word be spoken in his absence the impression will be a deep one: tenderness can have a revolutionary impact upon the mind of man.’

 - p.100, ‘Zen Is Eternal Life’, Reverend Master Jiyu-Kennet

Tenderness is a much under-rated state of being.  Along with fierceness and playfulness it is a way of being that is often lost when people have faced adversity or been left traumatized by things that happened to them.  We can lose our access to our inner soft spot, and arm ourselves against feeling loving, tender feelings.  When we do, we seriously impact our ability to connect, and to relate, both with ourselves and with others.

I love the power of what Jiyu-Kennett’s words evoke for me, the image of a face lighting up in the presence of kindness is a familiar one to me, I know the feeling I get when I feel tenderness in others.

Back in my corporate days we used to talk about Every Day Acts of Kindness in the context of building and maintaining relationships, they are like a powerful glue that bond people.  Research has shown repeatedly that kindness is good for the kind person mentally and emotionally, just as it is heart-warming for the recipient.

Life can be harsh, there is so much that can impact people and knock well-being.  Finding small, simple ways to be kind to all those we interact with is a powerful antidote.

What can you do to be kind today?

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