One way we work to maintain a lifestyle of intentional kindness is by cultivating a mindset of compassion. When we learn to daily see things through the eyes of those who suffer, then we will almost automatically develop the practice of kindness at all times. We will instinctively reach out to alleviate suffering and pain. The Dalai Lama tells us “Compassion is of little value if it remains an idea. It must become our attitude toward others, reflected in all our thoughts and actions.” This means constantly thinking of others and how we can best help them. This means actively searching for opportunities to serve others. Are you looking for opportunities to serve others every day?
By serving others with kindness and joy we overcome the spiritually destructive force known as self-centeredness, which will destroy the self-focused person, their relationships, and ultimately society. We have too many whose motto could well be: “I got mine” and who seem unconcerned about anyone else. These people will reap their own reward.
Self-centeredness makes us blind to the needs and concerns of others, thereby destroying our relationships with them. The solution to self-centeredness? Kindness, because kindness destroys self-centeredness. By it’s very nature, kindness forces us to think of others. How wonderful this is! Ironically, it is only by serving others that we find both true happiness and ourselves.
Think of how society would be if people were selfish and only looking out for themselves? Very few of us would become a teacher, police officer, soldier, or a social worker. People can make far more money in other vocations. Yet people take these very important jobs because they are good people and care about protecting or helping others.