1. What does Kindness look like to you?
2. Ask 3 people what Kindness means to them. In thinking about their answers, what stood out to you?
3. Here’s what we’ve heard:
Sargun H: Kindness is a reflection of what lives in our heart.
Brett A: Kindness isn't just the act of being nice to those who show sorrow, sadness, or vulnerability on the outside, but also showing compassion for those who don't outwardly show these signs, and may be hurting anyways.
- Jesse J: Kindness is the ability to show up with the warmest, half-full resource I have in any moment.
- Jenny A: Kindness is choosing to show love when you have a choice between choosing to love someone or choosing to be indifferent - it may take on different forms to different people, but ultimately, it’s showing you care.
- Tracy G: Kindness is leaving everyone, everything, and every place better than you found it.
- James L: Kindness is treating others as a human being first and foremost.
- Marissa D: Going out of your way to make somebody feel cared of and loved.
- Rebecca L: Doing good and seeing the good in others through small intentional acts without expecting anything in return.
- Leanne D: Kindness is treating someone with love no matter the situation, environment, or history.
- Moira A: Kindness is the ability to be sad and still care for those in a worse position than you.
- Tim T: Follow my wife's example.
- Ron I: Kindness is foregoing some portion your own comfort, so that others may find comfort.
- Lesa A: To be kind is to be tender, gentle, understanding, sympathetic, and sweet.
4. Which do you like best?
5. Who taught you your definition of Kindness?
6. Here's our definition:
Kindness is a deliberate choice to act with generosity and consideration to bring positivity and encouragement to people.
6. Our favorite quote on Kindness:
“If a person seems wicked, do not cast him away. Awaken him with your words, elevate him with your deeds, repay his injury with your kindness. Do not cast him away; cast away his wickedness.” -Lao Tzu
7. What is your favorite quote?
8. Nice vs. Kind
Nice is reactive, Kindness is proactive.
There is a distinction that is critical for the real practice of Kindness in our life. Oftentimes we confuse and conflate Nice and Kind. The difference between the two is clarifying and motivating.
Here’s the problem: everyone thinks they are nice. And, subconsciously, this gives us permission to settle. Nice is unproductive. It doesn’t move the needle forward. It doesn’t shift the status quo.
Why? Nice is easy - it is reactive at its best and self-serving at its worst. If someone is nice to me, I will probably be nice back to them. If I agree with you, I’ll be nice to you. If you drop something, I might pick it up (especially if I know I might get something in return like a thank you, your approval, or your number).
You get the point. Nice is easy because it is “I”-oriented. Do I have time? Do I like you? Do I feel like it? Do I have anything to lose?
Kindness is different - Kindness is proactive. Someone doesn’t have to drop something in order for us to lift them up or encourage them. Something bad shouldn’t have to happen in order for us to practice making people feel good! Where Nice is “I”-oriented, Kindness is heart-oriented. It says, “we all need attention and appreciation. We are all deserving of generosity and hope.” It moves beyond feelings and conveniences. It is a deliberate choice to bring encouragement, support, or appreciation to yourself or others.
When we align ourselves with the deep purpose of Kindness, it motivates action even when we don’t “feel like it.” We extend ourselves beyond convenience and comfort (which happens to be the space wherein we grow).
Nice steps back while Kindness steps up. Nice happens when there is time, Kindness happens because we make time. Nice expects something in return, while Kindness is free from expectation.
To put it simply: Nice people don’t change the world, but Kind people can. So we better get to work!