IS KINDNESS OVERRATED? – guest blog post by Lexa Harpell
by Anita Kovacevic on 24/04/2015
Today’s guest blog post on kindness comes from an Australian author with a big heart. Here’s what Lexa Harpell has to say about it. Read more about Lexa below her post.
Maybe we should first look at what Kindness means:
‘An act of Kindness is a spontaneous gesture of goodwill towards someone or something – our fellow humans, the animal kingdom, and the kingdom of nature.’
‘Kindness is a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others. It is known as a virtue, and recognized as a value in many cultures and religions.’ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kindness
Hmmmm is it overrated?
Personally, I believe it is quite underrated. There is immense power in just one small act of kindness – it can change a person’s life – a belief – a decision – history. The beauty and mystery of kindness is that we may never know who or how – just a knowing that it will – for the goodness of all our essential being.
Firstly, an act of Kindness can never be challenged!
They can mend broken relationships, change toxic workplaces, fill our hearts and souls with brilliant light where darkness once lived.
Great leaders throughout history practiced and included kindness as part of their values:
Dali Lama – Mother Theresa – Mahatma Ghandi – Nelson Mandela to name a few.
Philosophers – poets – writers – sages:
Lao Tzu wrote: ‘Kindness in words creates Confidence – Kindness in thinking creates Profoundness – Kindness in giving creates Love.’ ‘Great acts are made up of small deeds.’
Aesop wrote: ‘No act of kindness, no matter how small, is every wasted.’ and ‘Great acts are made up of small deeds.’ His fables each had a moral – using the qualities and natural tendencies of animals to focus on wisdom.
Our media is filled with much violence, destruction on a daily basis. Then…. they feature one small act of kindness within this news and it ripples throughout the world – faster than you can blink your eyes. This speed shows us that the people in the world want – desire – need this one basic fundamental element in their lives.
There are many heartfelt stories like this through time.
Being Australian, and knowing the devastation our bushfires can bring, this simple image spread across the globe as fast as our bushfires blazed in 2009. An exhausted firefighter who had been fighting our fires for days on end gave Kindness to a koala with badly burnt feet.
It touched and opened people’s hearts from afar. People from many countries began making little booties for the feet of all the badly burnt koalas saved. We were soon inundated with thousands of pairs of booties.
This is the stuff we humans live off, we yearn to make a difference in life, it is part of our inherent nature.
Show a little Kindness – it can change your world – or your perceptions of it.
About the author (with her kind permission, from her Amazon page):
Lexa recently moved back to where she was born and raised, the beachside suburb of Bondi in Sydney, Australia. I bought back many childhood memories and her decision to publish her Ode to her Mother.
The inspiration for the book came as Lexa searched without success for a perfect birthday present. Her Mum was heading into her 90th year, and her dementia was accelerating.
A book of recollections and fragmented memories from childhood, written simply as a child would write in the hope mum would understand. The little acts of love from mother to daughter over the years, and reflected on how those acts had shaped her as an adult.
She found the process a healing and powerful one. “My intention was to give a heartfelt gift to my mum; it also turned out to be the greatest gift I gave to myself.’