I have combined the last two topics for the Kindness Challenge 2017, created by Niki of The Richness of a Simple Life. Week 6 was about Kindness Without Expectation and week 7 about Grateful for Kindness.
“Let joy be the return of investment of the kindness you extend.” Niki Meadows
“Being grateful for the kindness you experience awakens your consciousness to the everyday kindness you’d otherwise overlook.” Niki Meadows
Are we human beings really capable of being kind without expecting anything in return? I thought about this a lot over the years and I believe it is impossible for us. A smile, a ‘thank you’ in return to your kindness, I think is something you always expect. Or joy, as a return of your investment, like Niki mentioned. And you know what? To me there is nothing wrong with that.
We shouldn’t taking each other for granted, so why should we take being kind to each other for granted? Acknowledgment is to me one of the important keys to maintain healthy and happy relationships, any kind of relationship. By being kind to someone, means you acknowledge that persons needs. Those needs could be a hug, money, a chair, food, a kind word, etc.
However, whatever it is you expect in return should be a realistic expectation.
Recently having to make the tough decision again to have a furry friend euthanized, I believe that is the ultimate act of kindness. However, I did (and do) have an expectation afterwards. I expect this Beautiful Soul to rest in peace, no longer troubled by pain and anxiety. Is that realistic? Nobody knows…
Should we be grateful for kindness? Excuse my language, but HELL YES !!! Again, for me it is connected to acknowledgement. Sharing your gratitude to the person who is being kind to you, is, in my opinion, something we don’t do enough anymore. Treating each other with respect comes to my mind; isn’t that being kind in a non-judgmental way?
Treat someone else, the way you would like to be treated.
I believe that goes for both expectations and gratitude, when related to Kindness. We should dare to be honest about our expectations and don’t be afraid to expect some form of gratitude. At the same time our expectations should be realistic; there are enough reasons to consider, why someone won’t respond like you expect him/her too. Having a bad day, being ill, lack of resources. Maybe, the other person doesn’t even want your Kindness.
Honesty, acknowledgement, compassion, non-judgement, love are important. No doubt about that. But maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t expect Kindness to be the answer to everything…