4 Surprising reminders that challenge the belief in dishing out kindness to everyone

Make no mistake, you don’t have the energy, time or means to be kind to “everyone.”
It’s a big world out there, last time I checked there were a few billion people.
Society teaches us to use feelgood kindness-buzzwords without substance.
Generic kindness-memes get us all fired up and enthusiastic without delivering the tools required for implementation.
Somehow there’s the perpetuation of this mystic and esoteric vision that we need to go on missions of mercy and kindness to exotic faraway places and be transformed into saints of sorts.
Kindness begins at home.
Sorry… You needn’t book a travel ticket just yet.
Feed your kids, be civil to your wife and make time for them.
That’s the most basic kindness you can put on the table.

Kind people can be undercover bullies.
We do get individuals who force kindness onto others irrespective of appropriate context or not.
They can be ruthless in their attempts to feel good at all cost.
Let’s not beat about the bush.
Fueling a desire to give can become a narcissistic act.
Those who launch huge charity events in the name of kindness can surely do a lot of good.
But the attention and publicity it reflects onto them can feel and look oh so good!
Ironically enough I’ve experienced seriously unkind abuse of staff members and crew at the very events designed to promote kindness!

Not everyone can always process YOUR brand of kindness.
We don’t always succeed in defining the parameters for our acts of kindness.
Before you dish out your kindness ensure it is required.
You can only assess the requirements if you get to know people.
It’s very simple before you satisfy the need to give, ask if there’s a need.
When you plan an act of kindness consider getting some permission of sorts before you storm in.
This ties in closely with being a kindness bully.
If you’ve just fought with a friend don’t always go the “kindness route” to try and make amends.
It might work or might backfire to such an extent that everything good you had planned will go to ruin.
There are scenarios where the simple absence of aggression towards someone is kinder than any attempts at being kind.
But do consider that people process kindness in different ways.
For some, it might be amazing to receive assistance, whereas for others the definition of kindness could be the absence of any involvement in their affairs for that matter.

Kind people aren’t always nice.
We’ve been taught by society that the friendly, bubbly, most helpful people are the kindest.
That’s nonsense.
Context is key.
You will no doubt give a coach permission to train you hard if you wish to become the best in your chosen field.
You will also expect that coach to understand your strengths and weaknesses and take care not to injure you, and not leave you disillusioned and battered after failure.
That’s kindness.
In short, he’s there for you, and he cares enough to see you through tough times.
Despite being paid he could go the extra mile because he sincerely believes in your ability to grow and excel.
But he sure “ain’t gonna be nice,” because that would defeat the very purpose of the exercise.
A nice buddy can still stab you in the back at the earliest convenience.
Whereas a kind buddy might not always be nice, but he’s going to cover your back when it counts the most.

Why could being kind become difficult?
We focus too much on acquiring habits for this, habits for that.
Rules and hacks for everything.
I struggle to remember “everything I need to do and need to be!”

Just live.
Live alongside others.
Smile, be human.
“Do unto others…” You know that one, don’t you!

When your daily “living” and “being human” takes you past someone who requires an act of kindness ask whether you can help.
And then help!