Tuesday, December 2

Kindness and Acceptance

I started writing about kindness, and I realized I wasn’t writing about one thing. In the aspect that I was thinking about kindness, I was noticing how often kindness is connected to acceptance. No, the two don’t have to go together, but neither do ice cream and caramel sauce, but the marriage of the two is great.

If somebody forced me to find a name for my religion, I would have to answer “My religion is kindness, and I’m a hardcore believer.” The sacrament I partake in in that worship is acceptance of others.

There is so much to be said for accepting people as-is. In doing that you don’t need to involve yourself in what they believe, what they think, how they react, or what they do. THAT is liberating!

When you are kind, and allow people to completely be themselves, accepting they are not like you, you are doing yourself favors. You are making YOUR life easier. 

 Why don’t we all already know this? Why isn’t this already a core belief in human kind? Why isn’t human kind—kind to everyone and everything? I have numerous hypotheses, but truly I don’t know. What I do know is that we need to learn more and realize the benefit of kindness.

Yes, benefit, because I’ve learned this thing about kindness and acceptance… they are building blocks to self-esteem. Many already know this on an unconscious level, because when they treat people bad, they feel bad about themselves. And when they are kind, everything feels comfortable, happy and good.

But what many people don’t do, is practice kindness all the time to experience it being a builder of self esteem and self respect. I think people are continually alternating between being kind and not being kind, that they are continually undoing the benefit of kindness. One cancels out the other. People don’t build up a reserve of this awesome feeling from being kind all the time, and if they would… if they would create this mountain of kindness they would see they are creating this giant reason to like themselves. It is cause and effect. And accepting others is like practicing how to accept yourself. 

If you are kind all the time, you are someone you can respect. Respecting yourself means you like yourself. Liking yourself makes you comfortable in your own skin, and you have that magical thing called self esteem.

No, kindness and acceptance aren't the only things that contribute to self esteem, but it’s a big enough deal to write about, and it’s a big enough benefit to suggest everyone reading this acknowledges how kindness makes them feel. Not just when they give it, but when they receive it. It’s easy enough to prove to yourself. Pay attention to your feelings when being kind, being unkind, and when you are treated kindly or unkindly. Separately notice the same things about accepting, and not accepting people as they are.

Your world can change from average to amazing. I suggest you give yourself the chance to experience it. Especially if you feel like there is room for more happiness in your life.

I bet there is.

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