–adjective, -er, -est.
1. of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person: a kind and loving person.
2. having, showing, or proceeding from benevolence: kind words.
3. indulgent, considerate, or helpful; humane (often followed by to ): to be kind to animals.
Ephesians 4:32 (New International Version)
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Micah 6:8 (New International Version)
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
"And what will explain to you what the steep path is? It is the freeing of a (slave) from bondage; or the giving of food in a day of famine to an orphan relative, or to a needy in distress. Then will he be of those who believe, enjoin fortitude and encourage kindness and compassion." Chapter 90, Verses 12-1
The seventh restraint, Compassion (daya) - conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings. (Hinduism)
Practice compassion, conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings. See god everywhere. Be kind to people, animals, plants and the Earth itself. Forgive those who apologize and show true remorse. Foster sympathy for others’ needs and suffering. Honor and assist those who are weak, impoverished, aged or in pain. Oppose family abuse and other cruelties.
From the Charge of the Goddess
Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you.
And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou know this mystery: that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
Wikipedia (because I'm getting sick of cutting & pasting stuff)
Every morning in my yoga dvd (props here to Suzanne Deason & GAIAM for producing this most awesome tool for the cream-puffs of the world of which I am one!) Suzanne Deason asks her participants over the digital air waves to "make one simple promise to yourself. Today I will promise to. . .".
From the first day of doing this Yoga practice, I have (in my head) said "Today, I will be kind to myself.".
I was surprised at first how hard it was. Surely, if we are able to be kind to ANYONE it should be ourselves! WRONG. Oh so wrong.
In my poking around today, I discovered that there aren't too many religions that DON'T have kindness/compassion as a holy mandate. So why do we as a modern society have such a hard time being kind? I think its because we forget to be kind to ourselves. I know I did. I've spent a long time - years in fact - hurting myself. I was angry and in pain (both physical and emotional/mental) and was lashing out. Unfortunately, I'm the easiest target I can hit. This is sadly true of everyone on the planet. We hurt ourselves first and worst for the most part. To compound this horror, every action we take that hurts another also hurts our self.
Stop for one moment, please and think about this. First you are hurt. This makes you angry and you hurt yourself, compounding your own pain. THEN you hurt someone else, hoping to pass the energetic buck, and wind up hurting both of you. Because of this cycle, people, cities and nations have fallen. We destroy ourselves and our world because of it.
Lack of kindness is pandemic, and the sad thing is that we can stop it cold. Yet we don't. Why? I believe its because we are a) not really taught what kindness IS, and b) not taught to be kind to our self.
Self-kindness is not overindulgence. Quite the opposite. Its saying "I'm not going to eat that cookie/say that word/believe that hurtful person's criticism/lay in bed instead of exercising/ect.". Self-kindness is striving for one's best, but being forgiving and loving to one's self when we don't actualize it the manner we thought we would. Sometimes its saying up late and exercising when you're exhausted, and other times its going to bed w/o exercising after a long, chaos ridden day when you need rest more than anything else.
Its hard, but what I'm learning since I started down this path of being kind to myself is simply that the more I am TRULY kind to myself, the more kindness I have to give others.
Imagine for one moment how that could affect the world we live in? If everyone started first being kind to him or her self, that kindness would grow. Soon it wouldn't be able to help but spill over on to others!
What wars could we stop?
What famines could we prevent?
What diseases could we cure or eliminate all together?
The possibilities are endless.
So, today I will not ask you to perform random acts of kindness. Please for the sake of yourself and the world, be kind to yourself? No matter what form that genuine kindness takes, please do it?
We could change the very world.