Some kindness is a courtesy, such as holding the door for the next person to enter or exit.
Some kindness is situational, like when someone asks you what you think of a look, or how they did presenting, and you offer something positive in response.
And, some kindness is from the heart…genuine, almost guttural, and without hesitation. It is that drive to make a difference that compels you when nobody is watching, when there is no credit to be earned or bestowed and it is the type of kindness that starts within, from an inkling or interest, that grows into an action, approach and/or part of one’s being.
Knowing that all of these varied aspects of kindness exist, also know that kindness, in its truest form, is from the heart, it’s give and not take.
This type of pure kindness is offered solely to enhance, or improve, a situation or relationship, regardless of how you may, or may not, feel about or even know the person, or people, involved.
Heart-driven kindness is a form of emotional intelligence.
So, with that in mind, kindness is not to be confused with a lack of harshness, or a positioning of oneself as purer, better or above anyone else. That form of intentional positioning, or judging, is strategic and even manipulative.
When you are kind, you don’t see the “high road” and you are not about being the “bigger person,” as that would imply there is someone else on the “low road” and that they are the “smaller person.”
Should you find your form of kindness has been filled with courtesies and/or from situations in the past, fear not, as kindness from the heart can be cultivated, grown and lasting.
Start seeing, really seeing, others. Start hearing, really hearing, what is going on with people. That seeing and hearing leads to connecting. Connection is a foundation to heart-warming kindness. It’s not about asking what they need or filling in when asked directly. The kindhearted person shares what will be done and then does it. Often there is no post, fanfare or acknowledgment. Each, and every, time though, there can be joy, inner energy and personal smiles thinking of how a positive, purposeful act of kindness might impact someone else constructively. There is a return that is not reciprocal, or owed, as that return is not from another person it is from within.
When you are kind, and the kind of person who acts from the heart, you see people, each person with courtesy in situations and in the ways that make a difference, even when those who are impacted don’t even know you were a part of it, only that part of what you did, in fact, made a difference.
Debbie Lundberg is the founder and CEO of the Florida-based national firm, Presenting Powerfully. She combined her General Motors leadership with her Dale Carnegie Training facilitation experience to embark on her business journey in 2006. She is an 11-time published author, certified virtual presenter, certified life coach, certified leadership coach and certified image consultant. Lundberg is a performance coach who co-hosts The Business Of Life Master Class podcast. Her 2020 book, Remote Work Rockstar, has become the guidebook for working, and leading, virtually. Lundberg can be seen in her TED Talk “Who Cares?” She serves as a MacDill Air Force Base 927th Air Refueling Wing Honorary Commander board of directors’ member, South Tampa Chamber of Commerce board of directors’ member, Centre Club board of governors’ member, Leadership Tampa alumnus, the Special Needs Family Hour board member and a Tampa General Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council member. She also is currently in year three, of a three-year commitment, as chair of the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red. Team Lundberg, which includes Michael and their four-legged daughters, two rescue labs, Lexi and Daisy, resides in South Tampa, where the family settled in 2004.