Embracing a Lifestyle of Kindness
This is the story of how I began a lifestyle of kindness. I befriended a homeless family, talked to strangers in the airport, and learned to get out of my comfort zone.
A Book Teaching a Lifestyle of Kindness
I didn't develop a lifestyle of kindness on my own. One day while walking around my neighborhood in Manizales, Colombia, I listened to a podcast featuring Leon Logothetis. A former investment broker turned kindness guru, Leon traveled across continents living on the kindness and generosity of strangers. At the end of the podcast, I learned about his book, Go Be Kind.
Once I arrived home, I immediately ordered the book, which contained 28.5 kindness adventures, each designed to push readers out of their comfort zones and develop a lifestyle of kindness. I resolved to do each challenge, no matter how uncomfortable I became. The experiences were all the more daunting because I was living in a city where few people spoke English.
My Lifestyle of Kindness Challenges
One of my first kindness challenges involved giving compliments to random people throughout the day. After yoga class, I complimented an older woman on her skills (in Spanish, of course). Her face lit up with excitement as she started telling me about how she used to be unhealthy but changed her lifestyle once starting her yoga practice.
A week later, my challenge was to ask a child what kindness meant to him or her. To make matters more complicated, I was spending the whole day flying from Colombia to Brazil. As a result, I was wandering around asking Colombian families if I could talk to their children. After some suspicious gazes, everyone ended up consenting. I was incredibly uncomfortable at first, but my task became easier over time.
Through a series of kindness challenges, I ended up spending quite a bit of time talking to a homeless family who had recently escaped Venezuela. We talked about our histories, life in Venezuela, and each of our experiences in Colombia. I’d never really spoken to homeless people extensively before—I had been too nervous or uncomfortable. However, I promised myself I’d follow through with every challenge, so I did. I ended up passing by them most days, giving them a few pesos and stopping to chat.
From Resisting to Embracing a Lifestyle of Kindness
I felt nervous and uncomfortable before each challenge, frequently questioning my decision to do all 28.5. I didn’t have any interest in talking to strangers. However, each time I met someone new—someone I never would have spoken to but for the challenge—I felt immensely grateful for the opportunity to learn about a new person.
Through giving away my time, money, and attention to others, I felt myself becoming fulfilled as well. While many of us, including myself, have moments of fear and selfishness, true meaning comes from sharing with others and opening your heart to new possibilities.
As Leon says, go out there and spread some kindness.
Do you maintain a lifestyle of kindness? How does it benefit you to be kind to others? Share your thoughts in the comments.
For more on kindness check out:
Bjorn, M. (2020, February 12). Embracing a Lifestyle of Kindness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, June 6 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingablissfullife/2020/2/embracing-a-lifestyle-of-kindness