The virtue of Humanity


Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

kindness Fan club

This is not going to be a big surprise to my loyal blog readers (thanks mom 😉), but I am a HUGE FAN of kindness. But I mean like Fan Club President kind of fan. Also, of Keanu Reeves, but mainly kindness. If only people were kind so many problems would be solved.

killing hate with kindness

One of my pet hates, and one of the main reasons I am not on a lot of social media sites are these “I speak my mind” memes and gifs. You just know that person does not mean they go around telling people kind things about themselves. They are proud of the fact that they call people out on whatever it is this woke nation thinks they need to yell about. Before you get your knickers in a knot, I am not saying people should be bigots or cruel. I am categorically stating the opposite. I am also just saying that hypocrisy is not kind. Opposing “haters” serves no purpose if you do so by stooping to their level of unkindness and nastiness. You must be kind in all acts, otherwise, your kindness is just an act.

more about my quote

It is ironic that my quote is by a Roman Philosopher who was implicated in a plot to kill the emperor, Nero. He was therefore forced to kill himself by slitting his major arteries.  History has proven him innocent, but still, a man who advocated for kindness met such an unkind end. That is often the price of kindness to the individual. To society, however, kindness is contagious.  If you are always kind, you will most often not receive kindness in return, but people who witness your behaviour will be inspired to do the same and therein lies your intrinsic reward.

An example of the power of kindess

I have a vegan friend who always brings vegan treats when she visits or invites us over for delicious vegan meals. She has also invited me on many vegan-friendly shopping trips. Through her kindness, not her criticism, I have implemented many of her habits into my family’s daily lives. We have cut back on our animal product consumption significantly. Hardcore vegans out there will say cutting back is not enough. I do not argue the validity of the statement. Yet my friend achieves more lasting transformation through her gentleness than all the shock campaigns put together. We have been friends for years. I have changed the way I clean my house. My beauty regime has completely changed. Also I am more aware of what or how I cook.

So what is kindness?

Well, for starters, kindness is not letting people use you as a doormat. Boundaries are not unkind if they are implemented kindly. Say no politely, not apologetically. Tell abusers assertively that their harsh words are not appreciated, without stooping to their level.  You can politely sever ties with unkind people without being unkind yourself. Forgiveness is a separate conversation that we will get into later.

Research definitions

Research defines kindness as the conviction that other people are worthy of your attention. There is no expectation of gain or reciprocity, and it goes beyond principle-based respect of humanity. In good citizenship, I said, do not be an A-hole (which is a nice place to start in any case). Kindness takes that notion one step further as actively thinking about ways you can be uplifting to someone. Compliment someone on their new profile picture, take an interest in an uninteresting person.

During Corona

During all this social distancing, think less about how quickly you can get through the queues and rather look to see who is in the queue behind you. Perhaps a pregnant woman, or someone elderly, let them go ahead of you. Go shopping on behalf of someone who can’t. All that panic buying people were doing was the very definition of being unkind. Patience, compromise, diplomacy, helpfulness, thoughtfulness, letting go of trivial things, all of that is being kind. Be considerate even when you are stressed or in a rush and see how it changes the world around you. You will be surprised.

Kindness starts at home

One way to implement kindness in your home during isolation is to encourage the kids to clean each other’s rooms or let them suggest activities their siblings might enjoy. If they try to sneak their own favourite pastimes in there, gently guide them into thinking more deeply. Lead by example, “hey guys why don’t we let daddy pick the movie tonight” and silently pray that daddy knows better than to pick some gory horror movie. It will not kill you to sit through one plotless-talentless testosterone-driven-dialogueless-mind-numbingly clichéd action movie. Sure, it is painful, but look at the joy it brings to the one you love and focus on that.

Winnie the Pooh and Friends

My go-to friends in the hundred-acre woods are consistently kind to one another.  I think my favourite example is when Pooh and Piglet decide that because it is so cold, Eeyore needs a house.  Thus, they build him a house of sticks in a wind-sheltered part of the forest. Granted that pile of sticks was in actual fact Eeyore’s house. There was also a brief moment of panic when he could not find his house, but it all worked out in the end. Eeyore had a warmer home to live in. What pile of metaphorical sticks can you re-arrange for your housemates or friends?

Go forth and be aware of opportunities for kindness. Awareness is like avoiding Lego blocks in the dark; keep your eyes peeled.

For more ideas, try this week’s activity for the virtue of humanity.


8 replies on “Kindness”

Wonderful read Lizette !
I’m a great campaigner for kindness, it isn’t hard to be kind, whether it be a compliment, or to let someone in the q, go ahead of you. How you treat people should be a reflection of how they are with you and if they aren’t, then move on and be kind to someone else xxx

You are a true campaigner for kindness Dee- that is why your photography is so generous of spirit.

Hoѡdy! This рօst couldn’t be written much better!
Looking through tһis post reminds me of my previous rօommate!
He always kеpt preаchіng about this. I moѕt certɑinly will forward
this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a very good read.
Thank you for sharing!

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate any and all feedback.
I would be so grateful if you did forward it.
Let us see whether he and I have the same thoughts on the matter. LOL.
Please keep well.

In thinking of you Miss I came across this poem…those you loved and who love you so..through such grief in their loss, to remember smile love and go on?

Remember our Love: Julie Epp

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