Christmas is a season when a lot of people start talking about the importance of kindness. But what really is kindness – and is kindness enough to change the world?
If you google “kindness” you will see the definition: “friendly, generous, considerate.” When I hear the word “kind”, I picture the smiling face of an honest person – let’s call him Bob – perhaps putting some change into a charity collection box, or picking up his neighbor’s kids from school. Someone who is giving, trustworthy and good-natured.
In other words, someone who goes out of their way to help others without wanting anything back in payment. But on a small scale.
If someone – let’s call him Patrick – sold a luxury property and moved into a small house, donating all the surplus money from the sale to a worthy charity – I wouldn’t use the word “kind”, I would say something like “outstandingly generous virtually to the point of sainthood.”
Bob is kind, but may not be anything like as generous as Patrick. And conversely Patrick may not be kind – at least not on a personal level. He may be stingy with Christmas presents and refuse to do even the simplest of favors for his closest friends and relatives. He may be unfriendly and far less pleasant to be around than Bob, but nevertheless he has demonstrated a degree of spirituality vastly outshining anything that Bob has ever dreamt of doing.