The art of kindness

I had a nightmare recently in which a group of Christians were expressing their “kindness” towards me. They walked into my flat without invitation, caused a flood, brought my inadequacies to my attention and then left leaving me to clear up their mess.

Their interpretation of kindness didn’t match my needs. They stripped me of my coping mechanisms and replaced them with “better” ones. This kind of false, if well-intentioned goodness, endows a sense of unworthiness.

Twitter “kindness porn” is prominent at the moment. 

People with “Be Kind” in their bio aren’t always the kindest people. One “blue tick” is telling people to be kind and increasing his follower numbers. Oddly enough he’s got a book out at the moment.

As the hackles are rising on your back I will make this bold statement: only people who are on the receiving end of a gesture get to say if it’s kind or not.

A random act of kindness is something that happens to you not something that you perform.

As often as I can I make donations to my local food bank and cafe for homeless people. I do this because I’ve spent time on the poverty line when there were no food banks and have spent a lot of time in my adult life in insecure accommodation. I give because I want to express my gratitude for the life I have now and perhaps ease the way for someone who needs a bit of a helping hand. If my actions are perceived as kind then I can’t help but be happy about that.

Kindness is important but it’s not the giver who decides on what is or what is not kindness, it’s the recipient.