Training a Mindset of Love: Love is Kind

Love is kind. That makes sense. I believe most people think of themselves as kind. Are we? Or, is it more apt to say most of us aren’t unkind? Doing some soul searching, I have come to the conclusion that for a good chunk of my life it wasn’t so much that I was kind as it was that I wasn’t generally unkind. Of course I do kind things, but I don’t see all the kind things or think of all the kind things I could do for people. When I do see the opportunity, I too often have reasons in my mind to not do them. My wife on the other hand often sees and does kind things for people. She is kinder than I am. I am now training myself to be kinder.

According to Carolyn Hall, PhD, “Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Affection, gentleness, warmth, concern, and care are words that are associated with kindness. While kindness has a connotation of meaning someone is naive or weak, that is not the case. Being kind often requires courage and strength. Kindness is an interpersonal skill.” [Emphasis added.] If kindness is a skill it can be learned and developed. That is what you are doing. Of all the love characteristics being kind might be the most fun to develop and train.

Love is Kind: Training Kindness

Training kindness like training any virtue involves first thinking about it, bringing it to the forefront of your consciousness.

Training kindness like training any virtue involves first thinking about it, bringing it to the forefront of your consciousness. During the day, you need to remind yourself to find an opportunity to do something kind for someone and then do the kind act. For example, walking my dog in the morning and seeing a neighbors garbage barrel knocked over and some garbage strewn around by an animal, I could either walk by or pick it up for them. For me to decide to pick it up, I first have to have that truly register in my consciousness. Often we miss simple opportunities like that simply because it doesn’t register. You don’t really see the garbage. It is in the background. Now, I may decide that the garbage is something I don’t want to handle without gloves, which I don’t have or I may decide that it isn’t a big deal, mostly paper products and it would be kind to pick it up. If I first didn’t start thinking about the idea that love is kind and I want to be more loving, then the opportunity to do that kind act probably wouldn’t have registered and I would not even have to make a decision to do a kind act or not do a kind act. Not doing that kind act doesn’t make me unkind; it simply means in that moment I didn’t do something kind. I did show a love mindset in that moment. Love is kind, but I didn't see that opportunity to be kind.

Another example, maybe I am at the grocery store and I see an older person by themselves with a large 50 pound bag of dog food on their cart. If I am thinking about being kind and have put the idea into my consciousness, then I probably see that opportunity for being kind. Once I see it, then I can ask if I can help put that bag in the car. Generally speaking, kind acts begin with the recognition of the opportunity to be kind and then the will to do it.

How many times have you driven by a car stopped on the side of the road without stopping to see if they need help. I have done it many, many times. I remember coming back from visiting friends in New Hampshire with my wife and at the time three young children. Our twins probably were around 1 or so and our oldest was just under 3. On the way, we got a flat tire. We were on a back road and before I was able to finish changing the tire not one but two cars actually stopped to ask if we needed help. Now, this was also before cell phones were common place so people may have been more willing to stop, but those were two kind acts that I have not done on numerous occasions. I am not arguing I should stop every time I see someone pulled over on the side of the road. I am simply arguing that the question should I stop may not pop into my head if kindness isn’t imbedded as a character trait.

Building the recognition part of your kindness mindset begins with the habits you should develop. It happens in your morning and evening rituals. In those rituals when you recognize daily that love is kind and you want to be kind, you will begin to recognize the opportunities. Love and kindness become ingrained. It happens in your reflective practice. It happens in your quiet time. Then the action part is where that habit is formed. The action part in large part comes from having a big enough why. When you do the action often enough, it becomes part of your nature. You don’t have to think about it; you see it and do it. You have developed the kindness habit. You are building the love mindset. Love is kind; you are kind.

Love is Kind: Feel Good About Yourself Be Kind

We all know kindness when we see it or when we experience it. It feels good. It feels good on both ends. Being kind feels good, and having something kind done to you feels good. I remember being with my wife before we were married. We were at the register of a Woolworths department store at a local mall when she looked down and found a hundred-dollar bill. We told the person at the register who simply said your lucky day. 

As we were walking away we were trying to decide what we were going to spend it on. We both at the same time decided we should bring it to the mall’s security, which we did. They took our information and sealed it up in an envelope. When we got to my condo there was a message on the answering machine from the man who had lost the bill. He was a retiree who had just cashed a check and the hundred dollars was a lot of cash for him. He was so pleased and thankful that there were still decent people in the world. The feeling we got from that message was far better than any feeling we would have gotten from going out to dinner or buying something special. Our kind act not only “restored his faith in his fellow man,” it made our day much better as well.

Once again we can learn from religious teachings. In the book of Hebrews Chapter 13, we read,  “1Continue in brotherly love. 2Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” If you were to adopt that belief you may be more likely to see opportunities to be kind to your fellow man. After all, mankind is our business. Go spread some love today, be kind. Love is kind. You are kind.

Love is Kind: Kindness Begets More Kindness

In an experiment conducted by James H. Fowler and Nicholas A. Christakis and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences March 8, 2010, the researchers found out that kindness begets more kindness. They state, “The results suggest that each additional contribution a subject makes to the public good in the first period is tripled over the course of the experiment by other subjects who are directly or indirectly influenced to contribute more as a consequence. These results show experimentally that cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks.”

Do you remember the Liberty Mutual pay it forward commercials? In the current state of our culture it behooves us all to spread a little love. Be kind. Love is kind.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

- The Golden Rule

Love is Kind: The Golden Rule

In the book of Matthew chapter 7 verse 12 we read, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” If Christian teachings are true and God’s laws are intended for our benefit then such a command should benefit not only the person you are being kind to, but that kind act should also benefit you. Does it? It does. Numerous studies have shown that being kind to others is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Love is kind. Love yourself by being kind.

Alexis de Tocqueville has been falsely credited with writing in his seminal work Democracy in America, “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her fertile fields and boundless forests, and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her public school system and her institutions of learning, and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution, and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” While who penned these words remains a mystery, the truth of them, not for America alone, but for any nation rings true. Instead of good let me rephrase it as kind.

Building a mindset of love then requires training yourself to be kind for love is kind. We should not discount the idea that if anyone wants to be considered great they probably first need to be considered kind. Go out and spread some love to do. Be kind for love is kind.

Have A Great Story About Kindness?

Do you have a great story about the impact of kindness? Share it! The more models we have the more we all benefit. And you benefit by paying forward through your sharing!

[ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]


Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

  •  submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)

Please consider joining our private Facebook group: Mastering Your Growth Mindset

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how ... Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it? Click on the HTML link code below. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

var l = window.location.href, d = document; document.write ('<form action = "#"> <div style = "text-align: center"> <textarea cols = "50" rows = "2" onclick = " ();"> <a href = "'+ l +'"> '+ d.title +' </a> </textarea> </div> </form> ');

Privacy Policy