Hello my fellow human Beings:
Two simple words…
Do you know the effect of these two simple words?
How does it make you feel when you receive them?
How does it make you feel with you offer them?
Just pause, be still, reflect and observe.
Now imagine how others would feel to receive these words from you.
Communicating these two simple words is a small expression of kindness and appreciation for the acts of others, for the presence of others, for the gifts of others.
Not only does it have an effect on the receiver, but it affects the giver too. Conveying our THANK YOUs, whether it is to people:
- the coworker who did a good job;
- the stranger who offered their seat to you on a crowded streetcar, subway or bus; or
- the bus driver who got you to your next destination safely;
to animals or insects:
- your dog for warmly greeting you when you arrived home;
- the bird singing sweetly on your windowsill; or
- the earthworm for enriching the soil through its digestion;
or to other objects:
- the sun for shining down and warming the earth,
- the rain for watering the plants, or
- your toilet and sanitation system for removing your waste cleanly with a flush
all affect how we view the world and live our lives.
You may think, “Why should I say thank you to the bus driver for doing his job, or the earthworm for being an earthworm, or my toilet for working as it was made to work?” But saying thank you to all the people, animals, insects and objects in our lives helps us develop our kindness muscle. It helps us to be grateful for, value, and respect all the gifts and beings in our lives. …. It changes our perspective and our outlook on life and it changes how we interact and connect with the world ….and, in turn, it changes how the world interacts and connects with us.
Sharon Salzberg, one of the premier teachers of loving-kindness meditation in the Western world and author of several books on this subject, wrote in her book, The Force of Kindness: Change Your Life with Love and Compassion:
“When we are devoted to the development of kindness, we are no longer forcing ourselves into a mold we think we have to occupy; rather, it becomes a movement of the heart so deep and subtle that it is like a movement of the sea close to the ocean floor, all but hidden, yet affecting absolutely everything that happens above. That’s the force of kindness.” [Emphasis added.]
So as we practice our random acts of daily kindness, expressing our appreciation for all the gifts in our lives and offering a helping hand to those in need (even if it is done anonymously so our egos are not inflated), we start the effects of a great sea wave produced by submarine earth movements – a tsunami.
With our little THANK YOU, our little act of kindness to a fellow being, we spread a feeling of warmth, of caring, of compassion that is contagious. The receiver (especially if our kind act is anonymous) feels the warm embrace of our loving-kindness act and his or her day is altered in some way. Hopefully, it helps to remind them of our connectedness, and ignite them to pay it forward, offering a random act of kindness of their own. In turn, the receiver of their act of kindness will be infected by their compassion in action moving them to bestow an act of kindness on another … and on and on it goes, until the whole world is affected by kindness.
(Even if you start your THANK YOUs with objects, insects and animals, the kindness effect is still being stirred up in you and as you walk about connected to that feeling of compassion within you, your behaviours, actions and words will affect others. Who knows what effect that smile on your face, not honking at someone who cuts you off in traffic, or the gentler way you convey that complaint or reprimand, will have on someone you encounter?)
The THANK YOU shift you start creates the kindness tsunami felt around the world.
So to each reader of this post,
- thank you for reading,
- thank you for being you, that wonderful, unique you that only you can be, and
- thank you for being a part of the kindness tsunami felt around the world.
May you all be happy, may you all be peaceful, may you all be free and live abundantly!