In a society in which we’re constantly bombarded with stories of crime, poverty, and war, kindness appears to be a dying personality trait. That simply isn’t true. Acts of kindness seldom make the evening news, but that doesn’t make them any less prevalent, or the people who perform them any less outstanding. Though they rarely get the credit they deserve, caring people deserve to be celebrated for many reasons.
1. They give us hope.
When we hear a story of a family over-tipping their waitress or donating their Christmas presents to a homeless shelter, our first reaction is usually “Faith in humanity: restored.” As I said, we’re so inundated with negative stories on the news and on our Facebook feeds that hearing of such positivity and kindness helps remind us that not everyone out there is awful. These people are the ones who keep the rest of us going, even on our toughest days.
2. They lift others up.
Kind people lift others up in two ways. For one, they help people who have fallen on hard times, or have found themselves in bad situations. They also lift up those around them who are inspired by their efforts. Their actions reach much farther than the instant in which they are performed.
3. They are selfless.
Kind people rarely think of themselves. They are rewarded not by tangible objects, but by seeing joy in other people’s lives. In a world in which so many of us tend to focus on money or some other usable prize, kindhearted people are content knowing that their actions have made a profound impact on the life of someone in need.
4. They don’t look for praise.
Not only do kind people not look for prizes, but they also rarely take credit for their actions. While those they have affected constantly dote out compliments and thank-yous, they usually respond with “It’s no big deal.” They’re simply kind by nature, and doing the right thing has always been innate to their behavior.
5. They provide for their loved ones.
Kind people will bend over backward for their family and friends. They might have to go out of their way and put some extra effort into a task, but they do it, knowing it will benefit their loved ones. They are the fathers who work late nights, or the mothers who are there to pick up their children every day from school. They all have other things they could be doing, but they put their own lives on the back burner so their families can thrive.
6. They are productive.
Kind people are never sedentary. They keep going, no matter how tired they may be. We’ve talked about how kind people put others before themselves, and this includes when it’s inconvenient for them. Simply put, kind people feel a duty to their fellow man, and stop at nothing until they complete a task.
7. They aren’t takers.
Along with being productive, kind people are rarely consumers. They give and give, and usually don’t take anything back. These are the people who help humanity progress; rather than taking what others have created and using it up, they are always creating opportunities for themselves and others.
8. They don’t judge others.
Kind people see everyone as equals, regardless of their circumstances. People who hold biases miss out on so many possible connections when they shut others out. Kind people don’t do this; they accept everyone who comes into their lives, in search of a common thread that may lead to a long-lasting friendship.
9. They’re role models.
Kind people are the ones we all look up to. There are definitely times that even the kindest of people feel down, but they’ll never let you know it. They sometimes seem like superheros, since they’re always “on” no matter how tough their current circumstances may be. They inspire us to be the person we know we can be if we put our all into every aspect of our lives.
10. Their acts are contagious.
Being kind sets off a chain reaction. A young boy helps a man pick up his papers that flew all over the sidewalk; the man stops and fixes a woman’s flat tire for her; the woman later sees a homeless man begging for change and brings him a sub sandwich and cup of coffee; the homeless man brings it to his family for their first fulfilling meal in a week. One tiny act of kindness can cause a ripple effect that could be felt throughout the world. All it takes is one person to set the ball in motion.