” Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see. “Mark Twain
The horror and revulsion after the shooting in New Zealand last Friday has left many people questioning kindness this weekend. We know horrors happen everyday. From poverty in our communities; to crimes which seem to go unnoticed, but not to the victims.
Yet, there is so much kindness in our communities that if we focused on that, would we spread kindness quicker?
We spent a wonderful time with friends this weekend, catching up, sharing laughter and food. Kindness was shared in hospitality, and the thoughtful gifts which were shared between friends. Each person listened to others as we updated them on our lives, and we learnt a little bit more about each other.
That’s no different from the way in which many people spend time – being with friends and family and listening and learning.
How often do you listen well?
How often do we listen to those we don’t know though? How often do we meet new people with no other purpose than to learn about them and what they’re up to? For no other reason than we’re interested?
Would our listening help us understand those in our communities more? Would those who have no-one to listen to them in their lives, start to feel heard?
I’m not professing to have any answers. All I seem to have is questions at the moment! Yet the questions I’m asking myself are helping me to explore things in a bit more depth. The questions others are asking me, are also allowing me to dig deeper and understand the world I live in a bit more.
Why is it important to understand? To listen? I believe if we don’t listen to ourselves, or to others we go off down a path which isn’t quite right for us. I’ve done it before, not followed my intuition. Yes, I learnt a lot on those journeys, but wouldn’t it be more beneficial, less time consuming if we followed our intuition and listened to ourselves more?
When you listen to yourself you’ll uncover some new ideas. Some ideas you may have had years ago and put away until the time was right and promptly forgotten them! That’s what I’ve uncovered these past few weeks of reflection in my own business and life.
When you share your story with others, and they ask you questions as they’re interested to know more, it helps you to shape your ideas. Friends, strangers, coaches and business partners can all help you to fine tune the ideas which have popped into your head, without you needing to spend a lot of time or energy on developing a new business plan. Simply sharing with others helps you hear others opinions and they’ll help you explore if the idea is a good one, or the challenges you may face from how they see it through there eyes.
Being kind doesn’t cost anything
Being kind doesn’t cost anything. It usually doesn’t take any extra time either. Yet, I hear stories of people saying that they found it unusual when they were shown kindness.
How about we switch that around? That being kind is normal, and what we expect from everyone in our lives and our communities.
As the UK enters another tricky week of discussions about Brexit, what if politicians listened to their constituents and shared kindness to one another to listen to the views of others. Actually listened. What would that do for the conversations we had in our families, in our social networks and in the media? Whatever the results of parliamentary votes, if we all treated each other with kindness would we feel like we were making progress in our country?
As you can see, I’m exploring so many ideas at the moment, but they come back to listening and kindness. These are at the heart of all my work, my life and my passions, so I have to explore them each and every day. I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on kindness. Also what you’re exploring at the moment. Are you asking big questions, or being challenged by others or outside forces to look at things in a new way?
If you need help listening to yourself and your ideas, please feel free to book a free 20 minute explore call. I love listening to you, and hearing where you’re up to and what you’re looking to explore next.