What story keeps you hostage from your own kindness?

That’s not how generosity works.

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If we’re expecting to be thanked for every act of kindness, then we’re going to be waiting for a very long time.

Because that’s not how generosity works.

The goal is to express our appreciation, not our expectation. No matter how badly we need and want to be singled out and congratulated on our benevolence.

Kindness is just one of those things that becomes its own reward. We do it because it creates connection and generates respect. We do it because it heals our heart every time we express it. We do it because people need recognition that we’re all in this together and doing the best we can.

But we also do it because it literally rewires our brain.

Weng’s widely publicized study on compassion training found that daily acts of kindness actually changed the biology of its subjects, activating brain regions associated with empathy and understanding. This led researchers to conclude that kindness is a muscle that people can intentionally develop.

Think about what keeps you hostage from your own kindness:

Afraid that people will suspect ulterior motives?

Scared that you won’t be recognized for your generosity?

Nervous that people will mistake your generosity for not being fair?

Wondering if you will be judged as creepy or weird?

Concerned that your kindness will be construed as weakness?

Look, there are as many excuses for not being kind as there are people to have them. But if we have any intention of ratcheting up this mess of a blue marble, then it’s time we let go of those stories. It’s time to practice putting in more than you take out.

To practice surprising people with your neverending flow of kindness. And to practice feeling zero obligation to be measured, equal and congratulated in your behavior.

Because kindness is about loving impulses, not calculated actions.

And the closed heart of the world could sure use it right about now.

What story keeps you hostage from your own kindness?

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