Kindness is Underrated

by James Hendicott
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We all value kindness, of course. Why wouldn’t we: it greases the wheels of humanity and sometimes lifts us, individually or collectively, from the sticky depths. If you still don’t value kindness after the 18 months or so we’ve just had, it would be fair to interpret that as a cause for some concern.

The thing is, kindness seems to be somewhat circumstantial. Sure, there are some people who are wonderfully kind all the time. For the rest of us, we are probably kind in certain ways and unkind in others. It’s somewhat circumstantial. I know people, for example, who are aggressively ignorant souls on the internet, but give countless time and resources to charity in their free time. It’s odd, but it seems to be who they are.

For me, kindness in the past 18 months has meant engaging more with the community. I’m not looking for a pat on the back here: it’s something I should have done a long, long time ago. But when you’re commuteless, as I temporarily became, and living somewhere new, there’s never going to be a better time to engage with those around you, be it in formal or informal capacities.

It’s not a lot to ask, after all, that we connect with and become part of what’s going on around us. Frankly. I’m embarrassed I hadn’t committed more time to it before, but the pace of life always got in the way. 

It doesn’t take a lot to feel like you’re contributing, and there’s no question it makes life feel better, from knowing nods around town to the feel-good factor that comes from having spent time doing something entirely selfless. Kindness, after all, can be free. And in the modern world, it’s too often in far too short supply.

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