Antidote to unkindness

June 21, 2016

be-kind-todayI suspect many of us are ready for an antidote to the unkindness we’ve seen in recent days: the terrible things being said by politicians, by Facebook posters, by commenters, by people.  People blaming, calling names, insulting others.  So. Let’s try something. Be kind today.

From time to time I’ve run into this brilliant idea offered by the late inspirational author and speaker Og Mandino. I cut out a clipping with it many years ago and I don’t think it’s an accident that I found it sitting on the floor of my office last week. I have no idea how it got there.

So why not give this a try?

Starting today, treat everyone you meet–and that’s EVERYONE– as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Give them all the care, kindness and understanding you can, without any thought of reward.

Do this every day.

It’s life-changing.

What do you say?

41 comments on “Antidote to unkindness
  1. Donna says:

    A dear friend said treat everyone as though it was the worst day of their life and you will be right 50% of the time. We it don’t know what other people are going through. We don’t know their history at all. Kindness is a gift we can freely and easily give people. It always brings light. xxoo

  2. My sister once swore at a woman who let a door go in her face in a shop. My first thought was, what if she just had bad news and was in her own world where doors and other people didn’t register? What if she just lost someone and was on auto-pilot? What if you just made her day a little bit worse with your unkindness? What if you were the last straw? I go though life not wanting to be the last straw. There is a bridge near my home where people jump to their deaths with alarming regularity and every single time, I wonder what or who the last straw was for that person. Being kind is so much easier than being hostile and it’s the smallest gestures that can bring a person back from misery.

  3. This is a daily goal of mine. Everywhere I go I try – sometimes without success – to be kind and patient with everyone. This is a result of getting older. I realize that every.single.person has some kind of struggle.

    Except for grocery checkers who want to talk about the food I’m buying. I cannot be kind to them 😉

  4. Diane says:

    My Mom was kind to all. Every day of her life. I want to be my Mom.

  5. Reminds me of one of my favorite sayings EVER: “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” We never know what others are dealing with right now…

  6. Candy says:

    Wonder idea. If everyone could do this

  7. Thank you for this. I’ve never seen such hate and nastiness ever before and it has to stop. We have to counteract it as best we can.

  8. Tamara says:

    I love this idea. My mom always told us to be kind to everybody we met because you never know whether that person you’re less than kind to might be your next teacher/employer/client/friend 🙂

  9. T.O. Weller says:

    This reminds me of the day my son’s father passed away. A bunch of us were away that weekend, up north enjoying the colors of fall with a drink in our hand, complaining about our ex-spouses. 30 minutes later my cell phone rang and I had to tell my 18-year old son his father had died.

    We never know. The thing is, for good or for bad, we don’t dwell on it too much. Can you imagine looking around every corner in every moment wondering “what next?”. It’s like a survival mechanism that we don’t … but it also means we can take so much for granted.

    (However … as much as I try … I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to show kindness to the cocky 20-somethings on a tech support chat who treat me like I don’t know what I’m talking about.) 🙂

  10. Lindi Mogale says:

    I am trying to teach my children the value of instinctive kindness, as i feel it should be the default resposnce to any situation

  11. Hi Carol! I so agree that this can be/is a wonderful way to live. I’m doing my best with the whole gun control thing to be kind but also at the same time to be persistent. I think like Gandhi that being kind does not mean that we lay down like a floor mat but instead do our best to work toward the betterment of all while doing it in a peaceful and considerate way. Again, I am but a work in progress on both. Thank you for the reminder! ~Kathy

  12. Meg Root says:

    I’m with you! I miss a softer, gentler approach to life. I think your suggestion is a lovely practice—especially with the difficult people in our lives.

  13. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    This is a wonderful message for all of us to remember. I agree with Sharon — as I get older I have gotten more compassionate. I like the old standby: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  14. Cat says:

    Unfortunately, this is great reminder. It’s unfortunate because we all fall out of mindfulness towards others. Thank you for making us all think just a bit!

  15. Barbara says:

    I’m working on it. Really, I am. Peace be with you!

  16. Sara says:

    I think this is a great way to live life! If more people did this, the world would be a better place!

  17. Laurie Stone says:

    Treating everyone as if they don’t have long in this world definitely makes you see the world differently. Funny how a small shift in perspective can mean everything. Great post.

  18. Nancy Hill says:

    Yep. Every time someone walks through a door away from you, it may be the last time you see them. Wish them well. Hug them. Tell them you cannot wait until you see them again. There is a hashtag I noticed today: #radicalkindness

  19. Kaley says:

    This is such a great reminder! It’s so easy to get caught up in your own world the you often forget that others have just as much going on as you do!

  20. Sophia says:

    What an inspirational quote. It reminds you to treat everyone good because today may be their last day on earth.

  21. This is excellent advice. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt but some days it just doesn’t work.

  22. JAMIE says:

    I think this isa great motto to go by . Not just for a day, but every day. I strongly believe in treating others how I wish to be treated even when they might not show the same kindness to me turn the other cheek right! 🙂

  23. Wow. What a brilliant suggestion. I am going to give it a go. Thank you, Carol.

  24. sue says:

    I’m in Carol! We should start a kindness movement I’m sure there are many who feel the same way. Have a beautiful day.

  25. Elizabeth O. says:

    It’s true that a littke kindness goes a long way. If we can only be kind to one another it will change the world on a level that we’ve necer reached before. I agree with that idea! It’s nice to be able to do at least one act of kindness everyday.

  26. Roxy says:

    In light of the recent tragedies in Orlando, I think the entire world needs to see this. If we were all just a little more kind and a lot less judgmental, I swear the world would be a better place.

  27. Angie Scheie says:

    Perfect way to start my day! I love that exercise (although slightly morbid)of imagining it’s someone’s last day. How much deeper we would all love!!

  28. Beautiful! Reminds me of the quote: Be kind, for everyone you see is fighting some kind of battle.

  29. Jessica says:

    Sign me up! I try to be kind to everyone I come across, but sometimes it can be so difficult (especially if faced with personal challenges), but no more excuses!!

  30. Cecilia says:

    I am always nice to everyone, but strangers have changed in the last decade or so. Just not as sociable when out in public.Too busy being preoccupied with their phones. My advice is for people to set their phones aside.

  31. Good advice. I will take you up on this. Today and everyday.

  32. Courtneylynne says:

    I’m someone who is kind to everyone. You never know what battles people are fighting.

  33. Kusum says:

    Its a thought provoking idea and what a place the world would be if everyone did this, including myself!
    xx, Kusum |

  34. Even though I am so confused spiritually I do believe strongly in karma and putting good out into the world. Stretching that to include ALL people is little more difficult.

  35. I think this is a very good idea. Perish the thought, but who knows? You may be right.

  36. Anna Palmer says:

    This is the perfect thing for me to try today. And every day. I will start with today.

  37. Laurie Stone says:

    I love this, except the thought of practicing it on Donald Trump. But you’d probably say, its the hard cases that teach us the most! Okay, deep breath. I’ll try and think kind thoughts about this onerous man. He obviously had a tough childhood with little love. At least that’s how it strikes me. I’ll concentrate on that.

  38. Silly Mummy says:

    A nice message. I think it’s probably hard to realistically achieve all the time, but one of those things that it is good to aim for, as even achieving it some of the time will make the world a better place.

  39. Jennifer says:

    You do not know what the other person is going through. Period. Treat everyone with kindness. Period.

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