The best advice I ever read was in a story where a father advised his son:”When in doubt, do the loving thing.” Obviously, when you are in a new situation, or facing a new challenge, or someone that is difficult to be with and you don’t know what to do, reach into your heart for the loving thing.The loving thing is to be kind, and you do this by putting yourself in the other person’s place. This can take a lot of imagination! If someone you know had a brother or sister that was killed in an accident, you may have no idea what that could feel like, so you don’t say anything. You are afraid of saying the wrong thing. Yet sometimes saying, “I don’t really know what to say, but I know you are sad,” is enough. It is certainly a good beginning!
You can practice kindness by feeling what others might feel when something happens by imagining it has happened to you. If you hear in the news about someone in some far-away country whose house has just collapsed because of an earthquake, look around your own house and imagine how you would feel if your roof caved in, and your room was destroyed, your refrigerator, TV, phone and lights no longer worked, and there was nowhere to sleep. Worse yet, that this would not be fixed any time soon. How would you feel? Lost? Unhappy? Angry?
It may be hard to know what that is. Some might say that no one has e er loved them, or that every one around them is mean, nasty and hateful, You cannot say that you have never been loved. If you truly had never been loved, you would not be alive. So, if you are alive, start thinking about the little moments, the tiny bits of kindness you received. Was it someone who tried to understand you? Was it someone who smiled at you for no reason, just to say hello? Was it someone who asked how you were feeling? Go back and remember! And when you remember, know that you have discovered a rare treasure: how to be loving and kind.