Kindness and empathy help us relate to other people and have more positive relationships with friends, family, and even perfect strangers we encounter in our daily lives. Besides just improving personal relationships, showing kindness can actually make you healthier.
Your kids will learn from your example. When you are kind to friends and acquaintances, your kids will be more likely to be kind as well. People often treat their children with kindness, but can be short with a crazy driver, strangers, or others outside the family. This can cause “us and them” thinking that devalues others as “less” than ourselves. Try being more tolerant. Show a good example. Your kids will see by your example that kindness is the way to go, and it breeds tolerance and understanding.
Being kind gives love to those around us, and then people want to be around us even more. One of the most common responses to kindness is gratitude. People appreciate what we’ve done for them and how kind we’ve been. Our kindness is very attractive, so they want to be around us and actually seek us out. This creates kindness in both ourselves and others. The Buddha lists this as one of the eleven impacts of loving kindness, but he put it even more strongly, saying: “Loving kindness will make people love you.”
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