Kindness is a very powerful tool that every person possesses. Part of being human is trying to emulate Hashem, and that very name symbolizes rachmanus, or Hashem’s quality of mercy and compassion. As human beings, we have the capacity for compassion and kindness. Genuine kindness is nonjudgmental and inclusive. Compassion and kindness also allow us to grow and learn; who can truly grow when feeling judged and persecuted? It can also help us be more balanced and open, even when things are difficult, and if we use it to help others, they too will be more balanced and open with us, even with challenging things.
Oftentimes we might think, when we feel bullied or attacked, that we need to stand up for ourselves and fight back. This usually leads to a cycle of more aggression. Others should never push us around, but how we respond when these situations arise will usually determine the outcome.
Think of someone who is, or was, particularly kind to you. What did (or does) that kindness feel like? You can send those same warm feelings to others, even to someone who is far away or no longer alive. You can send friendly thoughts and wishes to others to be happy and healthy wherever they are, at any time, whenever you want. You can even send these same feelings to yourself.
Being unkind every once in a while, similar to getting distracted when trying to be mindful, is part of life. But bringing awareness when you are unkind, teaches you a lot about yourself, gives you the freedom to choose to make amends and gives you the ability bring yourself back to kindness. It brings you closer to a better world through your own actions!