Early in September 2019, I flew to Manchester to start a new housesit; my flight was at 6:00am and I was up by 2:00am, which is not my favorite time! I always take the window seat when I can, as it’s the only way I can try to sleep.

This time there was a lively and bubbly woman sitting next to me in the middle seat, who I heard talking to the man on the other side (let’s call her Wanda). She told him she had to fly a lot for her job and there had been a couple of times where there had been engine failures and she had been very frightened, so she had developed a fear of flying.

She was especially nervous at take-offs and landings. She laughingly confided she would order a “medicinal gin and tonic” to calm her nerves. I didn’t join in the conversation very much as I was exhausted and just trying to rest for the 2-hour flight.

But I eventually couldn’t resist the “Brexit talk” and got my second wind. As we began a long descent into the airport, I could see Wanda was getting very nervous, clenching her hands and developing a sheen of sweat across her brow. She closed her eyes, and I could feel her panic rising. I gently advised her to take deep breaths and focus on her breathing, which she said helped. I then opened my hand in invitation, should she wish to hang on to me. 

She gratefully grabbed it and I held her hand the entire way down. As the plane began to turn and the noise and shaking increased, keeping my voice light and calm, I suggested she imagine she was on a ship and that we were rocking to the motion of the ocean. I kept encouraging her and letting her know she was not alone and that everything would be fine.

Once we landed, she thanked me profusely for my kindness and told me that the boat image I suggested came just at the right time.  We exchanged WhatsApp numbers, made hiking plans and I made a new friend!

One Way to Change the World

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. – The Dalai Lama

Such powerful few words! Where would our world be if there was more kindness? What if we began to teach our children that being kind was more important than “winning” and that the world was NOT composed of “winners and losers” but of different types of people, all trying to survive as best they can. What if we instill in them the importance of helping others, instead of “being the best” and being overly concerned with money and material wealth?

I invite you to watch this video at the Special Olympics in 2009. One of the children stumbled, fell to the ground and was left behind. The others stopped one by one, and returned to their fallen comrade, helped him up, after which they all ran together to the finish line, cheering each other and laughing in joy.

What an amazing story of kindness in action! Those kids sure knew the reality of our human condition and they also knew what really is most important in this life.

Why Kindness Matters

Kindness is a quality I always look for in people, whether it be friends, colleagues, clients, business associates or romantic interests. In our world of polarity, many see kindness as a weakness; for these people it is a “dog eat dog” world and looking out for number one is their top priority.

Personally, I believe that kindness can change the world. As we begin to focus on a more inclusive and collaborative paradigm for humanity, we will all enjoy the ripple effect of more kindness being made manifest in our daily existence.

Helping and supporting each other in times of trouble is the biggest gift we can give another human being. Random acts of kindness soften us and remind us of our frailty and that we are indeed all the same.

Sharing of our strength, knowledge, abilities, wisdom, or money, with others in need is indeed a privilege and inspires us to do more. Many spiritual masters have spoken of the happiness of giving, otherwise known as kindness. I had never thought of kindness as a spiritual practice, but come to think of it, it really is that!

Some people have had the unfortunate experience of being kind to others and then having the dubious reward of being robbed, backstabbed, or taken advantage of.

While these situations do happen, it is crucial not to sink into cynicism and the belief that nobody really appreciates what you have to give. To avoid self-victimization and martyrdom, boundaries, discernment and self-care are always necessary.

Like gratitude, kindness has a way of sending out positive vibrations into the world, which return to us in unexpected ways. This begins a cycle of goodwill and universal love, which then connects us to the skein of life.

How YOU Can Make a Big Difference

Since 1997, I have been a child sponsor with an international organization that helps children in the developing world. I sponsor girls because they are at a disadvantage in our patriarchal society, and I feel that’s where my money is needed most.

I get letters from my girls and pictures, as well as quarterly reports about how my money is spent. The cost at the time of writing is CD$45/month per child, which provides water, education, shelter, and a better life to these young girls. So far, these children have come from Honduras, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Ecuador.

When I receive their small letters, with tiny drawings, where they tell me their dreams and their favorite subjects in school, it fills my heart with joy to know that I have made a difference for these young people, whom I will never meet. It’s a small contribution, but to them, it’s priceless.

Perhaps if we all adopt a similar view of how we are all in it together, we might begin to change the world for the better.

I think we might all be on board with that!

“Imagine what kind of world our children could construct if we taught them that kindness was more important than ‘getting ahead’.”

– Ileana Rontea, Loving Messages from Source