Everyday we experience moments of choice. In every situation, our response is a choice. To respond with kindness does not mean giving your power away, or compromising yourself. Quite the contrary, kindness is simply a manor in which we choose to communicate, whether we are saying no thank you, or thank you, being kind simply takes no effort.
I really had a chance to see this in practice, in the intense environment of a public health birth unit. It was a day, like many others, where the ward was full to the brim with laboring mothers. Every nurse, midwife and gynae was rushed off their feet. Many of them were neutral in their demeanor, some of them were rude and abusive, and a few were gentle and kind, doing their job as gracefully as possible. The beautiful gift was seeing how the staff that were working with kindness, were the ones getting the most done, conserving their energy and so clearly the most fulfilled in their jobs.
Sure there are times when we do not receive great remuneration for our actions. Sure there are times we are under the most horrific pressure, and sure there are times when we are so exhausted, we don’t even know how we are still standing. But in these times we still have a choice, we can either use up our energy on being mean to others, bullying them and dumping our frustrations on them. Or we can smile compassionately to the person in fear. We can hand a tissue to the one crying her eyes out, or we can share our water with the one who is exhausted.
The smallest, simplest, moments of kindness, can have deep, sometimes life changing impacts on another human being.
It’s our choice. Life is a choice.
And most often we are graced with the beautiful gift of appreciation within the eyes of another. These are the moments that fill our hearts. These are the moments that double our energy. These are the moments that teach us what life is really about.