Just as a seed is the cause of a great tree, our actions today create our future. By making our actions positive now, we are creating the cause for a happier future.
The fifth of the 16 Guidelines For Life — kindness — is an exquisite wisdom that knows the appropriate thing to say or do to generate happiness for others.
It is all the little things that people take for granted, says Josh Furman of Grimsby: “For example, my grandma is a gentle, kind soul and puts love into simple things in life that some people don’t have time for, like canning, her garden, making tea for us.”
Ashton West of Dundas says, “Doing social work, I have to be really kind with those who have received aggression and fear. I gave a girl a hug and told her she was a beautiful person and shouldn’t be harming herself. That simple act of kindness just tore her up because she had not received any kind of love from anyone for so long.”
Kelsang Tsering, 74, emigrated here from Nepal three years ago. “Being kind to others, having compassion for others is inspired in me by the Dalai Lama, so I try to practise it by being generous. My son is very kind and brought me here. He is helping people to find jobs and gives them direction.”
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” writes U.S. poet Maya Angelou.
Try this: Take some extra time today to notice just one person. What are the little things that uplift or irritate them? What can you offer – a coffee, a conversation or just a smile? Respond to them in a way that is easy for them to receive. What difference did it make to your day?
Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw, former director of The Centre for Compassion and Wisdom in Burlington, is coauthor of 16 Guidelines For Life, available at website centreforcompassionandwisdom.com.