What to do if a person is not kind

I tend to believe in the inherent goodness of whomever I meet. I believe that each one of us has a desire to bring joy and happiness to others; even if that is to the detriment of others. I also think that most people I have know are kind. They are friendly and try to help wherever they can. Some might act unkindly from time to time but I do not think that means they are not kind in other circumstances.

Unfortunately one encounters people sometimes who seem inherently unkind. They are not friendly. They do not have kind words for others. They are not interested in helping others, they are only interested in advancing their own interests. These are the people who will be nice and obedient to those in positions of higher power but will barely tolerate their peers or those they think lower than themselves.

I think we should grow within us love and appreciation for every human and conscious being. How can we do that if there are those who do not repay our kind acts? Will the way they are affect us negatively on our own paths to greater kindness and love? I feel hurt on an emotional level if someone does something unkind towards me. My natural response is to dislike them and to harbour bad thoughts about them. I think that is not the right response.

I believe what we want to be and what we could be is far more important than what we are or what we have been. No human being exists independently. How we are is not shaped by some magic formula which is intrinsic to us and fully under our control. Instead, we are shaped by our environment, the context in which we exist. If someone is unkind, they might be so now, since they do not care about the feelings of others. It seems like they are exactly what they want to be. However, that is only an illusion. They want to be what they want to be because of various factors which are completely out of their control.

I believe that for every unkind person there is a path to become better, a context in which they will be kind people. Our role is not to hate them or be offended by them but to see how we can be their guide in becoming more caring and kind. Most likely we will not succeed – but sometimes we might. The easiest way to help is to assure we do not become unkind ourselves. Instead we should aim to be wise, enlightened, balanced and kind to set an example which will hopefully inspire those around us. It is a challenge but also an opportunity to become stronger and more wise.

At no point should we fall for the trap of thinking that we are better than those which are not kind. We need not forget humility. Our own flaws are beyond measure. We can try to act as good as we can, but we should never do so in a self-righteous way. Maybe there are other factors which makes us not like a person and we project unkindness onto them without justification. Maybe we ourselves act unkind on more occasions than we would like to acknowledge; thinking of this, we most certainly are. We can only hope than that there is maybe someone else who might help us to overcome our own shortcomings as well.

Featured Image: WikiMedia

 

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