Kindness is one of the core values on which The Hero’s Handbook is founded. Along wth bravery, it is mentioned as one of two qualities necessary in heroics. Kindness is a concept appearing everywhere from Pinterest boards to coffee mugs. But what is it exactly and how, in a world seemingly in short supply, do we cultivate it?
Simply put, kindness is the ability to care without caring. I know, easy yet confusing at the same time. Think of it this way, kindness is the ability to CARE about someone as a fellow human being, without CARING about any other qualities or characteristics of that person, i.e. age, sex, race, religion, etc. Additionally, kindness cares without expectation or compensation. In this way, kindness is similar to unconditional love, which is the ability to love someone regardless of any recipricated feelings or rewards. This type of true love wants only happiness and asks only the opportunity to supply it. So, according to transitive properties in mathematics (just trust me), If kindness is to care without caring and love is to care without caring then kindness is love! See what we did there? Not so confusing after all.
I chose the term kindness over love as a founding value of The Hero’s Handbook because kindness is light. It is more casual and easily translated to everyday occurrence. Love is, well, love. It gets all mushy, letting romance and passion get in the way. Kindness keeps clear of complexity, making it perfect as an everyday simple act (opening the door for someone) as well as a momentous endeavor (charitably building someone a house). And so being, kindness is more easily cultivated. Therein lies the point! In order to be more kind, in pursuit our heroic potential, we must practice random acts of kindness. Practice, after all, makes perfect and in this case, the practice is also fun.
I’ll speak more on kindness and random acts of kindness in upcoming posts. Subscribe to The Hero’s Handbook for updates.