Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Kind Thoughts

In The Art of Being Kind, Stefan Einhorn says that we should try and be kind daily and as we deal with life's ethical dilemmas. As an oncologist, Einhorn practices kindness as he helps his cancer patients. Although there are few people like Mother Teresa, the author assumes that most people want to be good and kind, and presents a view of kindness from many angles. He says that kind people are not spineless but strong, not stupid but intelligent, and deserve honor for the help they freely give to others. Kind people may get "a bad rap" due to instances when kind people are taken advantage of by others--losing their money or other things of value, to the unscrupulous-- but kindness isn't a fault. It's the exact opposite, and it's time to stop thinking of it as the sign of weakness. We gain from being good, and kindness is rewarded for the most part, in various ways. Here are some of the personal benefits Einhorn lists in The Art of Being Kind:

  1. Getting appreciation in return
  2. Avoiding conflict
  3. Feeling that you are a good person
  4. Becoming popular
  5. Cooperating well with other people
  6. Avoiding having a guilty conscience
  7. Getting praise
  8. Feeling needed
  9. Avoiding punishment
  10. Gaining friends
Ten good reasons to be kind to others today, and there are countless more!

'Foolish selfish people are always thinking of themselves, and the result is negative. Wise selfish people think of others, help others as much as they can, and the result is that they too receive benefits.'
~The Dalai Lama, quoted in The Art of Being Kind

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