By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily
I don’t have an answer for the world’s problems. It’d be deluded to think that any one person does. I do have an idea of what we can do better, and it’s a simple and sensible solution. Although I think we should be more peaceful and try to love everyone, that’s not what I’m recommending today.
I’d love to see a compassionate revolution spring up overnight, but we don’t seem to be ready for that yet. What we can do right now is treat each other better. This small change would allow us to collectively focus on a larger societal transformation.
I’m not suggesting anything extreme. Just more kindness and less hate. In this ideal world, we’d be quicker to forgive than hold a grudge. Instead of being selfish, we’d want to help others. Instead of putting each other down over what divides us, we’d unite over what we have in common.
My intention is not to change anyone, but to suggest things we can do to make this world better for us and everyone we share it with. My hope is that this reaches the people who want change but are unsure how to go about it. I also want to reaffirm that change is always possible, but like anything, it requires effort.
I’m not losing sleep over whether anyone takes this advice. But I do want to help people be open to this change that in my opinion could improve the world substantially. We’re all aware of the imbalance in society and the clear need to change something. Mine is just one of many voices suggesting what we could do better while keeping in mind that I know nothing in the big picture.
I often wonder why people avoid kindness. Looking back, I wonder why I’ve avoided it in the past. Why do we build up resistance to kindness in favor of anger and cold-heartedness? My best answer is that it threatens the ego. To be kind is to put someone else’s needs or wants before your own. This denies the ego its self-centered satisfaction.
For this reason alone, many people go out of their way not to be kind. There’s a pervasive idea in our society that we must be tough and disconnected from any part of ourselves perceived to be weak. Unfortunately, in our world, kindness is weakness. Why be kind when you can gain more from putting yourself above others? Why risk appearing polite and thus exploitable?
This mindset has helped us survive throughout our rough history, and in many ways, it still applies today. Personally, my philosophy is that kindness should come with just enough of a hard edge that people don’t take your niceness for granted. The last person you want to be is the one everybody takes advantage of because you’re too polite to stop them.
The aim is to create a world where we no longer have to worry about this. We can be kind and be ourselves without the threat of anyone making us into anything less. In this ideal world, kindness is inherent. Selflessness is normal, and we replace the apparent need to put each other down with the inclination to help each other thrive.
This is the world I want to see, and no matter how many times you’ve heard it before, it starts with small positive changes we can each make. As sappy as this will sound, nothing will change if there’s no change in the hearts of every individual. Our job is not to force anyone to be nicer, but to encourage kindness and remember to practice it ourselves.
If we want to evolve into the next phase of our technological and spiritual evolution without destroying ourselves, kindness and empathy must come first.
Featured image credit: Pixabay
About the author:
I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, the environment, activism, music, and other awesome stuff. I run Karma Yoga Daily, a news blog dedicated to sharing daily wisdom.
This personal blog I run is pretty great, too.
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