Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of my kindness role models. Her life was lived by ‘daring greatly’. The royal family was forever changed by the way she chose to live her life within the role of princess. A favorite role model of Diana’s was Mother Teresa. It was that inspiration that puts the most meaning into the above quote. Both of them seemed to have mastered the art of making kindness a way of life. If you read anything about their lives you realize that not always was their kindness returned or appreciated. They seemed to have developed an ability to shake off these negatives and not let it influence their commitment to act with compassion and let go of expectation. Not an easy thing to do. Lessons learned ~ move on.
In my own life, I think sometimes kindness was a mixture of doing kind things in hopes of reaping some of the rewards that comes with the acts along with a desire to be there for others at a time of need. “One hand washes the other.” ….. “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” …….. “What goes round comes round.” ….. “One good turn deserves another.” This, in turn, had me focusing a bit more on what I might be getting out of the encounter instead of ‘random acts of kindness’ and letting go.
Then I realized I didn’t like what was going on inside me when this happened. It was taking away the joy and goodwill that I felt when I did something for someone. I’ve found that through making a decision to act out of kindness and then letting go of whether it was reciprocated or not I’ve gained a sense of freedom. The freedom to dare greatly and live greatly without being hindered by the tendency to judge others.
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
~ Mother Teresa ~
“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” ~Samuel Johnson
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