Kindness – A Key to Simpler and Happier Life

Have you ever heard of a pill that can cure all illnesses? Not even in this advanced age of artificial intelligence, where we discover life on Mars and trade in bitcoins, are they available in stores. So, here I am, talking to you about one simple virtue that can undo practically any harm?

From the age of naivety until wisdom, it has been repeated ad nauseam. We, on the other hand, lack, neglect, and pretermit it with ease. In life, we all want to be loved, happy, successful, and remembered. We rarely consider what it is that has kept Prophet Muhammed (SAW), the most influential person in the world, alive until now.

The unlettered Prophet who conquered the World and set an example for the rest to follow. It was his kindness that melted the hearts of pagans and earned him the title of ‘Rehmatul-lil-Alameen’, mercy for the entire humanity. Quran affirms it as:

“O Messenger of Allah! It is a great mercy of God that you are gentle and kind towards them; for had you been harsh and hard hearted, they would all have broken away.” (Quran 3:159)

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Luminaries such as Mother Teresa, Charles Dickens, Lao-Tzu, Helen Keller, William Wordsworth, and many others have left an indelible mark on history. Their faith in goodness is the reason for this. Who hasn’t heard of Franz Kafka, a well-known German-speaking novelist? His regular walk in the park with a little child is a simple, beautiful, and touching narrative of generosity.

Kafka is moved by a young girl who has misplaced her doll and helps her in retrieving it. When they couldn’t find the doll again the other day, Kafka penned a message to the little girl from the doll. “Please do not mourn me. I have gone on a trip to see the World. I will write you of my adventures.” This was the first of a series of letters. The letters were written with the intention of comforting the young girl.

Finally, one day, Kafka presented a new doll to the little girl which looked different from the original, attached with a note: “My travels have changed me…”. This narrative demonstrates that sincere compassion endures and that it brings satisfaction.

“The best portion of a goodman’s life is his little nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love”. -William Wordsworth

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From resolving mental health difficulties to organizing a chaotic existence, all it takes is a little kindness. But do we really understand what kindness is?

What is kindness?

Kindness is a complete package of being friendly, generous and considerate all at one time. It is in the presence of all these emotions that we truly manifest kindness and get the pleasure. Just the kind of jubilation we feel when we sow a seed, water it daily and see the reward in form of a sapling.

Treating people with kindness creates a society that is selfless and compassionate. Society lives in harmony and co-exist peacefully. Dealing people with respect despite differences in religion, culture or social standing is a display of high moral value. That is how Prophet Muhammad SAWS carried himself gracefully amongst the pagans. He emphasized treating people, animals, birds, orphans, oppressed and women with kindness. Prophet Muhammed (SAW) said:

“Kindness is a mark of faith and whosoever is not kind has no faith.” -Muslim

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Heals stress and anxiety: In life, we are frequently confronted with difficulties and misfortunes. Every setback or loss has an effect on our life. Life moves on, and we all do as well. In moments of despair, it is the attitude that counts the most. Treating someone with anything less than kindness will not help. Kindness is the key to mending broken hearts.

When you’re stressed or anxious, your heart rate and breathing rate increases and your body releases chemicals and hormones like adrenaline. A simple act of kindness can help to change the situation. The feel-good hormones dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin are released. Their output rises, their immune system strengthens, and their blood pressure falls. Stress and worry are eventually relieved. The wonderful part is that compassion is simple to implement and available to everyone.

What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other? -George Eliot

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Strengthen the social network: Being kind to people opens door to new friendships and social connections. The kindness then extended to people might change their personal profiles and elevate their status in society. Prophet Muhammed SAWS showed mercy towards the prisoners of war. The Prophet SAWS said:

“They are your brothers! Offer them what you eat and drink!” (Recorded in Muslim, Ayman, 36-38)

Acts of kindness include complimenting a stranger, showing concern for neighbours, and caring for aged parents. Kindness produces love, and love is what makes life worthwhile. We are all battling our own battles, and when we are touched lovingly, we become more confident and strong people. As the famous quote goes:

‘Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.’ -Lao- Tzu

Kindness comes back to you: When we choose kindness, we decide to look outwardly. We push back our problems and get indulged in mending others life. In doing so, we get happiness, satisfaction and our self-esteem increases. We become empathetic and these qualities help us to lead a happy life. Ever wonder, how do we get the goodness?? The secret behind it is simple, according to the law of nature, whatever we give to this world comes back to us manifolds.

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It is a general observation; we reciprocate whatever comes our way. Likewise, when we are dealt with kindness, we return the favour out of good will. Kindness spurs the innate goodness we all possess. A person acting kindly in a group of people might inspire others to be kind and uplift their spirits. Bringing lunch for a group of people at workplace might catches on so someone else does it each month. Hence creating a favourable atmosphere at workplace amongst a bunch of spirited people.

Smile has a ripple effect: Prophet Muhammad SAWS was always cheerful and bright faced. According to historians he always kept smiling in the face of his companions to the extent that Abdullah Ibn Hazm said:

‘I have never seen anyone who smiles more than the Prophet does.’ At-Tirmidhi

How wonderful the sight must have been. Yes, that’s what a genuine smile straight from the heart does. It warms you up even if you have got up the wrong side of bed. It is a universally recognized expression of happiness, transcending language barriers. Such a powerful act of kindness that it turns the world into a better place.

Smile is contagious, you smile automatically seeing a smiling face and that’s how the chain goes. A smile relieves stress instantly, uplifts the mood and welcomes the kind gesture. It could change the whole course of the day. Therefore, the more we smile the more happiness we spread around.

‘A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.’ -William Arthur Ward

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All said and done, before sprinkling kindness around, we should be kind with ourselves first. It is an essential form of self-care and a vital foundation for sustained kindness to others. Often, we observe people strongly indulging in taking care of everyone around them but care less to attend their own concerns. Well, this behaviour would tire us soon. Have not you noticed; the aircraft safety rules stress the importance of putting on your oxygen mask before helping others?

We should spend some time of the day with ourselves. Self-awareness helps building a strong character. Helps us to know our negatives and positives both. We put conscious efforts to get rid of the negatives and highlight our positives in order to groom our personalities. To create a happier and simpler world for all to live, we need to practice kindness with everyone we meet.

This write-up has been contributed by Sanober Zulfiqar Mughal. For more such Opinions, click here!

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