“Be kind.” It’s a message we’ve shared many times, but what does it truly mean? And how can we embody it ourselves?
If you ask Houston Kraft, kindness is a discipline that should be practiced every day. That’s why he’s sharing his wisdom to help us become better versions of ourselves!
Houston, a kindness advocate, is the author of “Deep Kindness: A Revolutionary Guide for the Way We Think, Talk, and Act in Kindness” and the cofounder of CharacterStrong, a training and curricula company through which he speaks to schools, organizations, and communities around the world.
His goal is to turn kindness into a lifestyle, and that starts with painting a picture of what it looks like.
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First, he said it’s important to know there’s a difference between being nice and being kind. This insight came to him from a student who was listening to him at a school assembly.
The child helped point out that being nice is a response to others being nice or likable. Kindness, on the other hand, takes a proactive approach. It’s reaching out to a friend in pain, working hard to earn someone’s trust, or going out of your way to brighten someone’s day. Not to mention, it isn’t always convenient, easy, or even comfortable. Sometimes, it’s also rejected.
“My call for us collectively as a culture is to have the courage to care even though the risks on the far side are scary,” Houston told CNN. “We need people who are willing to face that, not fearlessly but courageously, in order to heal a world desperate for more compassion.”
So how can we start practicing? By being kinder to ourselves and then expanding the practice to our loved ones with specific gestures meant to show them we care.
Houston recommends creating a “to-be list” to go along with your to-do list. All you have to do is jot down a few things you want to be today — for example: kind, appreciative, or helpful.
“Next to each one of those words, just give yourself a five-minute action that associates with each of them,” Houston explained. “If you have 30 minutes today, going through this practice might be something you can ingrain into your habits. We actually become the things we say in the value.”
Ready to embrace the kinder you? Then get started on that list! Remember that with everything you do comes an opportunity to be kind.
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