I have combined the last two topics for the Kindness Challenge 2017, created by Niki of The Richness of a Simple Life. Week 6 was about Kindness Without Expectation and week 7 about Grateful for Kindness.
“Let joy be the return of investment of the kindness you extend.” Niki Meadows
“Being grateful for the kindness you experience awakens your consciousness to the everyday kindness you’d otherwise overlook.” Niki Meadows
The original posts with the challenges and useful exercises you can find here and here.
Are we human beings really capable of being kind without expecting anything in return? I thought about this a lot over the years and I believe it is impossible for us. A smile, a ‘thank you’ in return to your kindness, I think is something you always expect. Or joy, as a return of your investment, like Niki mentioned. And you know what? To me there is nothing wrong with that.
We shouldn’t taking each other for granted, so why should we take being kind to each other for granted? Acknowledgment is to me one of the important keys to maintain healthy and happy relationships, any kind of relationship. By being kind to someone, means you acknowledge that persons needs. Those needs could be a hug, money, a chair, food, a kind word, etc.
However, whatever it is you expect in return should be a realistic expectation.
Recently having to make the tough decision again to have a furry friend euthanized, I believe that is the ultimate act of kindness. However, I did (and do) have an expectation afterwards. I expect this Beautiful Soul to rest in peace, no longer troubled by pain and anxiety. Is that realistic? Nobody knows…
Should we be grateful for kindness? Excuse my language, but HELL YES !!! Again, for me it is connected to acknowledgement. Sharing your gratitude to the person who is being kind to you, is, in my opinion, something we don’t do enough anymore. Treating each other with respect comes to my mind; isn’t that being kind in a non-judgmental way?
Treat someone else, the way you would like to be treated.
I believe that goes for both expectations and gratitude, when related to Kindness. We should dare to be honest about our expectations and don’t be afraid to expect some form of gratitude. At the same time our expectations should be realistic; there are enough reasons to consider, why someone won’t respond like you expect him/her too. Having a bad day, being ill, lack of resources. Maybe, the other person doesn’t even want your Kindness.
Honesty, acknowledgement, compassion, non-judgement, love are important. No doubt about that. But maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t expect Kindness to be the answer to everything…
Missed my input for week 1, 2 , 3, 4 and 5 ?
You can read it HERE , HERE , HERE , HERE and HERE
You have more than one blog, Patty?
This is a lovely article, but I disagree fundamentally with you on one point. I think that honesty, acknowledgement, compassion, non-judgement and love are not just important, but are essential for any kind of a sane society.
Also – I’m quite keen on kindness too. 😀
Kindness – Robert.
My main website Dreampack.org (WordPress.org) and MimosaPudica (WordPress.com) I use as an extra way to reach my neighbors.
No doubt about that 🙂 And yes, I am quite keen on kindness too, but – per example- I think it will be wasted at that dude in North Korea 😉
I’m just glad that you’re here, Patty. 🙂
Thank you Robert. I am glad for our connection. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. XxX
Interesting. I think in my own experience it is possible to do something and the only gain I have expected is achievement, joy and understanding. I suppose you are right that it’s impossible for humans to act with altruism. I think what is important about expectations is possibly try and not pre empt any. And finally, if we do expect something in return for a kind act -I think I would benefit from something that nurtures my soul and helps grow as a person as opposed to monetary/materialistic gains. It’s about training the mind to understand what truly advances us as humans. I want to have a lovely home and look good etc.. but it’s about putting that in perspective. I think there is more to gain from connecting with people than there is to gain from aquiring (can’t spell) loads of things.
Thanks for hopping over Daisy.
Should we try to not pre empt, or should we just acknowledge we always expect something? I think by just accepting that fact, that we do, will make life a bit easier 😉
However, I fully agree with you: there is more to gain from connections. Again, if we stay real, non-judgmental, and dare to be vulnerable…I think the most beautiful connections can be/happen.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend! Big hug, XxX
I think what I mean is expect little and hopefully be surprised when we receive more z
I agree 🙂
Another thoughtful post in your series Patty. While I’m not sure I see it quite the same way you do, I often think about that balance point in the center of a lemniscate, the figure 8 infinity symbol. I think we need to be balanced in what we give and what we allow ourselves to receive. I don’t see it as tit-for-tat reciprocity, but rather an overall energy balance. I need to be filled somewhere, somehow in order to have the resources, whether physical or emotional to give. It doesn’t need to be from the person I’m giving to, but I can’t expect to run forever on a deficit because in the end there is nothing to give.
I’m not sure I’ve expressed myself very clearly, but bottom line, I believe all the things you mentioned, honesty, acknowledgement, compassion, non-judgement, love, and kindness are essential components in life. And may we all be blessed to have them in abundance!
P.S. I’m sorry about your furry friend. Letting them go is such tender work even when every part of us knows its for the best. But in the end the grief always seems a small price for the joy we’ve received.
Hi Deborah 🙂
This really touched me, since 8 is my personal number. I’ve wrote this post before I’ve read your input (and those of others) and I just have to agree with you. It indeed shouldn’t be a tit-for-tat reciprocity, all I am saying it is a natural way for us humans to do that. Like you wrote in your post; it doesn’t mean we should ‘stick’ to that way of going about expectations.
Thank you for the wise lesson, again.
Thank you for your kind words about our Jourdy. Much appreciated.
Big hug, XxX