As I search the World Wide Web for an image that would depict at least my idea of kindness, I realized something. There is not one image that I could even fathom that would depict kindness or an act of kindness that was not cliché.
Then I started to think about what kindness actually is. I think I see it all the time. I see people smile and meet strangers with the greeting of a good day. That is kind. I see people hold open doors for others and receive a heartfelt thank you. That is kindness too, I guess. But do we do this out of habit or as an obligation taught to us by our parents then oblige reflexively. I am sure of one thing: when someone does any of these acts whether reflexive or from a habit of good manners, you do start a chain of goodwill. Was the act of kindness originated by parents that took the time to teach us the importance of this behavior? I think this so.
Kindness starts at the primary basis of behaving decently to one another. Our kindness stems from what we teach our children. As we started working on these websites, my daughter of 17 years at the time said to me, “Mom, you gotta get them when they’re young”. I looked at my inquisitive child and asked her “Why would you say that?” And her answer was “Because when you teach young people that it is good to act with goodwill and selflessness, they believe that is the way it is supposed to be”.
I pondered her point for a while. Then, I came back with the question, “what about me and others that are trying to make a change?” I really thought I had her with that question. Of course, she shot back to me with an answer immediately. She said, “Everyone has the potential to be kind and spread goodwill, the problem is that they just don’t know it as well as you do.”
So now my quest has changed from the quest to find kindness to the quest for kindness. The mission is to send, teach and spread kindness. Every day, I mindfully check my manners and greet and show others intentional regard for their well-being whether I know them or not, with eye-to-eye contact. I forgive and overlook minor flaws, trespasses, and shortcoming in the hopes that I will be afforded the same courtesy. Mostly I make sure not to tread on other’s right to an opinion. I teach by example and hope to send my ripples of love outward to make an everlasting change.
This is my quest for kindness; I start with myself and try to get others to do the same.