Is it harder or easier to be kind?

Is it harder or easier to be kind?
Photo by Robert Baker.

A friend of mine is a counsellor who has a lovely instagram account where she posts regular tips and encouragement for mental health (it's @gottasecond, and you should check it out!)

A little while ago, she posted about kindness. She said, "it's actually very easy to be kind." (Sorry, I didn't save the post and I can't find it now, so no direct link.)

I wrote that down because I wanted to ponder it more.

On one hand, it can feel very hard to be kind. The negative points can feel so much more salient. So present. So real. So easy to focus on. It feels harder to pull your mind away from them and pay attention to the positive elements. To switch from condemnation to compassion.

Kindness can feel like so much labour. Selfishness often seems easier because, well, it's selfish.

But she is right, that it is also easy. Whether it's kindness to yourself or others, the hardest part is shifting your brain away from the terrible things. Once you start looking at the good and change your perspective to one of kindness, it's all there. Easy pickings.

One way to start to make the switch is to ask yourself, "What would an incredibly kind person say about this situation?"


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