I wrote last week that carrying out acts of kindness gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling but we often feel the need to tell someone or be acknowledged in some way, but what if we didn’t? What if we kept it secret? What if we didn’t see the effect we had (e.g. leaving change by the parking machine), what effect would that have? On us and on them?
The Kindness Elves left a note for my daughter this week, asking her to do something kind for someone but not tell anyone. I conceded she could tell the Kindness Elves since she was adamant they would want to know! I didn’t ask about it when she came home from preschool as the challenge was for her (and it was meant to be a secret).
Sometimes we don’t see the effects of our actions and words…because people don’t always show their emotions. This of course works both ways…sometimes we hurt others without realising and sometimes we change someone’s day. So if we act with kindness, openly and secretly then it builds a habit of kindness. I may have shared this story before but it’s worth another share:
One evening an old Cherokee Indian told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’
The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.”
The Evil Wolf or the Good Wolf is fed daily by the choices we make. What you think about, dwell and act upon will in a sense appear in your life and influence your behaviour. We all have a choice, feed the Good Wolf and it will show up in our character, habits and behaviour positively. So the more we act with kindness, the more it will show up across our lives. We become more authentic. We already know that it spreads like ripples on a pond!
If you take me up on this challenge then you might feel like a fake, you might not feel that you are a ‘nice enough’ or a ‘good enough’ person – but you will come to realise that we all have off days, we all think unkind/anxious/negative bad thoughts (that’s the Evil Wolf) but that needn’t stop us feeding the Good Wolf.
Being kind needn’t be for us to show how generous we are to onlookers or to demonstrate how generous we are to the receiver. When we enact kindness it should have the other person in mind. The gift is not about us, the gift is about them but the will to be kind lies within ourselves, that is how we feed our Good Wolf.
Which wolf will you feed today?