Why Being Kind Matters In a World That Cannot Stop Suspecting

Why Being Kind Matters In a World That Cannot Stop Suspecting

It was a little before sunset that the first of our cycling expedition party reached Jispa. The road behind us was deserted, and there was no sign of our support car as far as I could see. I could not raise them on the walkie, which meant they were at least 5 km away.

I stationed myself on the roadside near a pea field to wave the lagging riders into camp. It was a long wait since there was a gap between the group I had arrived with and the rest.

Some of the cyclists who’d finished their ride for the day were standing across the road from me in the shade. They were stretching their weary bodies and chatting among themselves. Once their cool-down was complete, the cyclists disappeared into the dining tent.

A couple was busy in their pea field some distance away from where I stood. They were picking the pods for the market. Six sacks of the good stuff were neatly stacked on one side.

I continued to watch the road towards Sissu with a sharp eye for signs of any riders. The man from the pea field got up, crossed over, and walked in my direction.

He came up to me as if to make conversation.

“What are you waiting for?” he asked.

“For our cyclists and our support car”, I said.

He looked in the direction we had arrived and, turning to me, pushed a fistful of pea pods in my hands.

“Eat these as you wait”, he said, “It seems like a long one, and I bet you are hungry.”, he added.

Before I could thank him, he was off.


What it means to be kind.

Think about the last time someone showered you with a little kindness. Was it a compliment from a stranger? An appreciation from someone who loved something you wrote online, perhaps? Or a free serving of dessert from a server who noticed you drop yours to the floor.

Chances are that tiny act brightened your day. The fact that you occupied someone’s mind even for a moment is delightful.

The best thing about these random acts of kindness is that they are carried out without obligation. Once done, both of you can walk away.

It is a beautiful thing to be a part of. Kindness matters.

We underestimate how much others appreciate us.

We give ourselves and our thoughts too much importance. Our worry is that our kind remarks may be taken out of context. Or kind deeds may be undervalued. We are so busy guessing how our acts will be perceived that we hold back on doing nice things.

We underestimate how much people value our random acts of kindness. If we can see past our self-deprecating thoughts, we would do more, not less, of these heartwarming acts.

Sometimes, social awkwardness plays a role in how you act.

What would someone think if I just walked up to them and told them how fabulous their dress is? They would probably think I am weird or that I want something from them. It is risky; there will always be jerks who cannot take a compliment.

These negative biases can hold us back.

But if your intention is to brighten someone’s day, you shouldn’t worry what they think about you.

Why we don’t do nice things for others.

Helping someone makes us feel good. If nothing else, then this should be motivation enough to act. And yet, we don’t do things that make us feel better.

The answers lie in how we read intent.

We might have been at the receiving end of a kind gesture, only to realise it was given with some expectations. So the next time someone is good to us, we think hard about the intent.

It can also work in reverse.

When we are considerate to someone, we attach a value scale to the act. Not by expectations but a value to how high our action ranks on the kindness scale.

As if a scale could ever be attached to this selfless act.

At other times we worry about why someone was kind to us. It is sad that something as simple as letting someone go ahead of you in a queue is not enough by itself.

The amazing thing about doing random good things for strangers is that you are not being judged by those who know you.

You are being thanked by those who don’t.

How hard is that to understand?

Our doubts ensure that we remember awkward encounters more than we recall successful, short interactions. That is enough to dissuade us from being nice.

At such times, it is essential to remember the power of the gesture over the delivery.

Forget that you stammered through the compliment or shared what little you had. It is always worth being nice and going beyond the fear of rejection.

The gesture itself is powerful.

Being vulnerable goes a long way.

No one bites a helping hand when they aren’t expecting it.

Lean towards optimism when you put yourself out there. It may not be what people expect, and it may not even be what you expect.

Do the good deed, and take joy in those tiny interactions. A smile, a tear, a hug and a feeling of warmth.

That is the gloriousness of being kind — the act starts and ends in minutes but its impacts will last a lifetime.

Hi, I am Nalanda. I write about Adventure Travel, Personal Effectiveness and stories from the rich tapestry of LIFE!

If you liked this article, you’ll love my Newsletter — Get, Set, Adventure. It’ll drop twice a month.

2 Replies to “Why Being Kind Matters In a World That Cannot Stop Suspecting”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.