The Religion of Kindness

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy of kindness.” Dalai Lama

Have you ever noticed how surprised we are by other’s kindness? Even though many of us would like to think of ourselves as kind, we are often awestruck when someone reaches out to us, shares a kind word or offers their friendship. In fact, we spend most of our time “on guard” and put our faith in disappointment and fear. But, the smallest gesture from another person fills us with hope and happiness – so much so we tend to share the news of that kindness with others. But, why should we be surprised? Imagine if from the time we were little, the only thing we were taught to have faith in is kindness. How would our days be different? Well, for one, we would likely be filled with more compassion and even be willing to take more risks in extending ourselves to other people. We wouldn’t be so worried about having “no good deed go unpunished” and instead freely reach out to others. Living from a place of kindness also means that we might not be so reactive toward others. Rather than be bothered or afraid, when we adopt a philosophy of kindness as our central principle, we feel lighter and happier. If we decide to live from a philosophy where we expect to give and receive kindness everyday, it is easy to imagine how differently we might feel on a daily basis. Indeed, our worries, anger or fear might just melt into understanding and compassion, leaving us better able to handle our lives from a more aware space.

Weekly Path to Peace: Adopt the religion of kindness.

  • Do you find yourself surprised by others’ kindness? Notice how often you sit in awe of another person’s “niceness”. Listen for your own surprise as a clue to where you need to bring more faith in the kindness of yourself, others and the world. Write down or take note of how many times you are surprised by others goodness.
  • Make a decision to adopt the religion of kindness. As an experiment, simply decide to approach every situation from the philosophy of kindness for a day. Notice how differently you feel at the end of the day after adopting this philosophy. And even if you have difficulty staying in that mind frame, each time we practice approaching life from this vantage we are developing the “kindness muscle that can develop into a lifelong habit.