Spiritual Kindness

June 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Spiritual Space

The best suggestion I have ever heard about kindness is something Wayne Dyer said when I last heard him speak. He said quite simply, ‘Be kind, not right.’

Ever since that day many years ago, I have spent a lot of time thinking about that, and although I don’t always manage it there has been some improvement!

To be kind and not right says to me:

  • When an issue is not critical or does not go against my values, there is no need to prove myself right all the time
  • By making myself right, I must obviously make someone else wrong
  • Losing my ego is a better option
  • Taking the focus off myself means I am free to notice when others are distressed, ill, or tired, and show kindness accordingly
Shine by Aussiegall on Flickr

Shine by Aussiegall on Flickr

The traditional view of kindness is when we do or say something ‘kind’ to another. Helping an elderly person carry a heavy package is kind. Offering to look after a couple’s children so they can enjoy a night out is kind. Being patient with another person when teaching them something you know very well is kind.

The flip side of that is not a positive action but rather an omission; like the old adage, ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’. This requires an acceptance of other people with all their foibles and faults with no desire to point them out at every opportunity. If we can let go of judgment and constant criticism, this is wonderful thing. Most times it is kinder to leave others be, unless they are encroaching on core values.

We can also practice being kinder to ourselves; more acceptance and less rigidity.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself

from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Kindness cannot be a strategy – true kindness comes from the heart with ease and grace. This is the spiritual Way. I invite you this month to practice kindness in all its forms and to let go the outcomes. It is for your spiritual peace as much as it is for anyone else.

Love, peace and wisdom

Comments

2 Responses to “Spiritual Kindness”
  1. karen says:

    Annie Sweetie – “true kindness comes from the heart with ease and grace” – you always manage to distil the essence of the topic so well!

    You know, I’ve had – Be Kind, not Right – in my head ever since I read this. It’s really influencing how I deal with people (especially my kids!). Thank you…

  2. Annie says:

    Thank you Karen, I love it when these memes are taken up and spread around. If they make us pause, think, feel and do/say differently, it can only be a good thing :)