All too often it seems some of the world’s most powerful leaders handle most issues with their main focus being “what’s in it for me?” They are probably not aware (and perhaps do not care) that studies have shown that people who show kindness and caring for others can reap several benefits. Routinely carrying out acts of kindness can help you live a longer and healthier life. Being kind reduces stress, lowers your blood pressure, strengthens your immune system, and can give you a rush of endorphins.
This type of behavior could enhance a leader’s standing on the world stage. To be viewed as a person of integrity and regard for those around you encourages others to work with you and to value your opinion.
When battling breast cancer, I was treated with great kindness by the medical community. It takes an amazing person to deal with patients who are coping with the stress and uncertainty of a potentially fatal condition. During that time, it was evident that it would be good to plan my life better. I’m obsessive-compulsive, which makes me good at my job. There I AM organized. However, arranging my own "free" time is often hard. With five surviving children (not counting my husband), their growing families and our two dogs, it seems there are crazy things happening around home all the time.
Last New Year’s Eve (the “magic” fifth year cancer-free), the idea of making resolutions kind of “kick-started” my resolve and encouraged me to follow through on plans to get more organization into my life. We really needed to do a better job of getting information put together for our oldest son’s benefit. He is the personal representative on our wills. The wills themselves are very basic but he needs to have medical, financial, and other details in order to handle any contingency.
While looking through what little had been put together, I came across a list of songs and poems that might work well at our funerals. Jewel’s “Hands” was on my list of selections. During these unsettled times, that song seems to be especially comforting to me.
The daily news is full of stories about despicable events showcasing “Man’s Inhumanity to Man”. However, I am encouraged by the thought that the majority of everyday people are decent, caring, and continue to act with kindness and compassion. There are many verses that speak to us in Jewel’s song:
If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we’re all OK
And not to worry because worry is wasteful
And useless in times like these
I will not be made useless
I won’t be idled with despair
I will gather myself around my faith
For light does the darkness most fear
We will fight, not out of spite
For someone must stand up for what’s right
Cause where there’s a man who has no voice
There ours shall go singing
In the end only kindness matters;
In the end only kindness matters…
Thinking of songs with a theme centered around being kind also reminds me of the song, “Nothing More”. I first heard it when it was played the end of one of the NCIS shows. Entitled, “Homesick”, it was in the 11th episode of the NCIS season number 11. The song was written for an organization initially called, “Newton Kindness”.
The Newton Kindness organization was created in honor of Charlotte Helen Bacon, who was killed on December 14, 2012 along with many others at Sandy Hook Elementary School. A song by “The Alternate Routes” was inspired by the good works of the organization. Here are some of the lyrics:
To be humble, to be kind.
It is the giving of the peace in your mind.
To a stranger, To a friend
To give in such a way that has no end.
We are Love
We are One
We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
We are Peace
We are War
We are how we treat each other and Nothing More
We are how we treat each other…
More recently, the Newton Kindness organization has changed its name to the Charlotte Helen Bacon Foundation. The organization endeavors to treat animals, children and families with “tender care”.
If only all people and groups shared such concern for others, how much better this world would be!
Whether on a global or individual level, one could wish for more kindness in this world. It would be amazing to experience humane leadership which demonstrates integrity and respect for our neighbors who live on this planet with us. It is something that I hope and pray for often.