Whatever behavior we praise we encourage to flourish in others – especially when they are around us. Whatever we criticize or “simply” snub goes deeper into their consciousness however. Hint: Speak to their positive intent, especially when it appears they may have none. That may be the best way to bring out their better side so they are more likely to see and support yours. Sure, that’s not easy, yet it is easier than the alternative.

Emotions are energy-giving or sapping. In every interaction we either react or choose how we will act. We choose where to put our attention and intention.
Hint: Don’t let somebody else determine your behavior. “Keep what is worth keeping and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away,” wrote English novelist, Dinah Mulock Craik.

Hint: Here’s to making more opportunities to play, laugh, celebrate, and “say it better” in cultivating kindness as life’s genuine “keeper.” Life contains few absolutes, and one of those few is that kindness usually cultivates connection, something we yearn for in a time-pressed, ear-to-the- cell-phone, relationship-diminished culture. After all, the heart can be our strongest muscle if we exercise it regularly. Yet being kind is not a guarantee of safety from hurt — nothing offers that failsafe comfort.

“Kindness and intelligence don’t always deliver us from the pitfalls and traps: there are always failures of love, of will, of imagination. There is no way to take the danger out of human relationships,” wrote Barbara Grizzuti Harrison in an article for McCall‘s magazine way back in 1975. Years ago from my college classmate, Alasi Perdanan, I heard a Persian proverb, “With a sweet tongue of kindness, you can drag an elephant by a hair.”

Boost Your Capacity To Be Kind by Absorbing These Insights
“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate,” wrote Albert Schweitzer. “He who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love,” wrote the Greek religious leader Saint Basil.

Kindness is often unspoken. “An eye can threaten like a loaded and leveled gun, or it can insult like hissing or kicking; or, in its altered mood, by beams of kindness, it can make the heart dance for joy,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. At another time, Emerson wrote, “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” “You may be sorry that you spoke, sorry you stayed or went, sorry you won or lost, sorry so much was spent. But as you go through life, you’ll find — you’re never sorry you were kind,” said Herbert Prochnow.

“Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness and small obligations win and preserve the heart,” said English chemist Humphrey Davy. “We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop that makes it run over. So in a series of kindness there is, at last, one which makes the heart run over,” once wrote the Scottish lawyer and biographer, James Boswell.

“We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck . . . But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness,” wrote renowned columnist Ellen Goodman.

From an artist’s perspective, ballet dance Mikhail Baryshnikov once said, “The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure.”

“When kindness has left people, even for a few moments, we become afraid of them, as if their reason has left them,” warned Willa Cather. “Write injuries in sand, kindnesses in marble.” ~ French proverb

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.” ~ Kahlil Gibran.

“Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.” ~ Dr. Samuel Johnson.

Author's Bio: 

Kare Anderson is an Emmy-winning former NBC and Wall Street Journal journalist, now connective behavior and quotability speaker, author of Mutuality Matters, Anderson serves on the advisory boards of The Business Innovation Factory, TEDxMarin and World Affairs Council Marin. Discover more at her blog, Moving From Me To We.