With the kindness challenge put on by Niki over at “The Richness of a simple life” coming to an end, I have looked back at my posts from the last seven weeks to review the journey this challenge sent me on.
I have to thank Niki for the opportunity to explore kindness from all these different angles and allow me to walk around with open eyes to the kind acts that take place around us every day and that we do unto ourselves. With so many things grabbing our attention every single moment of every day, our brains have to become selective in the things we see. If we let them all in, our brains would have to close down due to overload. But when something becomes important in our lives, for example when we decide to buy a new car, we suddenly see the type of car that interests us everywhere in the streets.
Looking at my posts and the ones from the other bloggers, who have taken on this challenge, we were given the chance to center in on kindness and allow us to suddenly see it emerge everywhere in all its varying forms and sizes.
If we let ourselves live in a story, where kindness does not take center stage, then the acts of kindness that might be going on around us might simply be drowned out by other “more important” areas of your life. Since every one of us is the writer of our own story, it will be on us to include this practice into our plot.
I was reminded of that by an interaction I had with a stranger yesterday. It took place at a technology store as I was checking out an item that I would be potentially traveling with. After being approached by a fresh out of highschool sales clerk about my buying choices, I got into a conversation about foreigners. Not knowing that he was speaking to a foreigner, he started communicating his views of the strangeness of having to interact with people, who are not able to speak the same language as him. It turned out that he had not yet had the chance to travel very far from home in his life. After being understanding of his experiences as a sales clerk and disclosing that English is indeed not my first language either, he suddenly was intrigued and spend the next 20 minutes asking me all kinds of questions of “foreign countries”. In the end, he disclaimed that he had not had the chance in his life to have his questions answered by someone “like me”. It didn’t take much for me to talk to him. I mean, most of us foreigners love talking about our home countries or continents. But more importantly, it provided him with a new story around the people he will be interacting with in the future.
He will now be able to look at them and have a different story of understanding.
And I think this is what this challenge has done for me as well. Kindness has always been something I had a loving relationship with. The conversations I have been allowed to have in the last seven weeks, have certainly given me new insights that add to what I already knew to be true.
I also look at people, who might be “unkind” in a different way. It is not that these people have no incling of kindness in their bones. It is just that they have not written the importance of it into their stories. It is never too late to re-write a story and include this new/old “character”.