Admiration. What do you admire? The kind word. The unspoken glance. The correction you didn’t want to hear but someone was brave enough to say. It seems the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, are often the things that go unnoticed. Instead of paying attention to the loud voices, the bad news, or the angry words how much more generous would a man be if he opened his thoughts to the good? Would the world change? Would there be a butterfly effect? Would peace ensue? Would a kind word a day keep the doctor away?
©Jack Schiffer/Dreamstime Stock Photo
Watching Our Thoughts
Thoughts in our minds flow in and out of our heads so rapidly we often don’t even notice the ones that are the gold. Junk often bubbles up to the surface first. Like, how we forgot to take out the trash or being upset that the cat peed on the carpet again. Maybe you were late for that appointment and now you’re badgering yourself about it. In an environment flooded with negativity we stand fixed on the pitfalls. We often forget to look up to see the glass half full.
Having a Different Point of View
Perhaps the world is a kinder place than we imagine. Maybe even though those things happened this morning, you’re doing the best you can. Can you believe that you are really loved? I bet you are doing good. Maybe, just maybe, that smile at that man on the bus was the only good thing that happened to him today.
But, there are distractions that can get in the way of those encouraging ideas. A client calls. Perhaps he’s upset and so now you’re mad with yourself. Before you start that downward spiral, take a minute to pause. Possibly, his troubles are his own.
Finding Kindness and Generosity
Have you opened your eyes to really see? Have you pitched your ears to really hear? Listen. Listen. What do you perceive? What’s beyond the noise? Past the racket. Calm. Calm. Peace. Breathe. In the silence there is beauty. In the silence there is trust. In the silence the kindness and generosity of men becomes quite clear.
Inspired by John Steinbeck’s quote: “It has always seemed strange to me…The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”
― John Steinbeck, Cannery Row