Part of our spiritual development is to grow a kind spirit. To do this, we need to understand others, shares Sant Rajinder Singh
Throughout the year, there are many occasions when we give and receive gifts. These could be on birthdays, anniversaries or various holiday seasons that are associated with gift-giving. When we look at the pile of wrapped gifts in our house, we discover most of them are material objects. We may have received clothing, jewellery, toys, games, gadgets or gift cards to buy more things. Yet, every one of these presents are subject to decay with time. Nothing made of matter lasts and neither will these gifts that we cherish. Is there any gift we can receive that is more valuable and will last forever?
It is the gift of kindness. Kindness attracts the heart and fills the heart with love for another. If we cultivated kindness in our hearts, we would see people flock to us. This would bring a transformation in them.
Think about people in your life who were kind to you. We may have felt a special attraction or affection for them. The first people who are kind to us in our lives are our parents. We develop a lifelong loving bond with the first people who take care of us when we are young and helpless.
As we grow up, certain people who are kind to us end up becoming our friends. When we meet the person whom we are to marry, we find a special loving kindness in them toward us borne out of deep love.
First impressions are often lasting. If people find that their first impression of someone is aloof, rude, uncaring and aggressive, they may reject whatever that person represents in their life. On the other hand, if they meet someone who is loving, kind and caring, they will be drawn to what that person represents. People are attracted by the kindness one exhibits.
There are many opportunities for us to show loving kindness, which has the power to transform others. One is kindness in deed. It may be a large act of kindness such as serving the sick, feeding the hungry or providing a home for the homeless. It may be a small act but it is remembered for a lifetime. You may open the door for someone whose hands are full. You may buy groceries for someone or give someone a ride somewhere when their car breaks down. It may even just be a smile that makes someone feel loved and cared for. We do not realise what a loving look and smile means for someone’s day or even life.
Kindness through Words
There are opportunities to show loving kindness through our words. A kind word and a word of encouragement, acknowledgement or praise goes a long way in making someone feel close to us. Telling people that we love them endears them to us for life. A few loving, kind words can make people feel regard and respect for us.
Kindness in our Thoughts
Loving kindness is important even in our thoughts. We think our thoughts are private but others can read them as they emit a vibration. Thoughts show on our face. They show through our eyes and are expressed in the way we stand and walk. People can tell whether we care for them or not through our body language and nonverbal communication.
Kindness in our Deeds
Part of our spiritual development is to grow a kind spirit. To do this, we need to put ourselves into the shoes of others. It means feeling the joys and pains of others. This requires us asking ourselves if the words we speak are the words we want others to say to us. It means that the deeds we do to others are those we want others to do to us. This means acting in a manner in which God would want us to act like.
By cultivating loving kindness, people will feel happy to be around us. We would make them feel safe. They would feel we are loving and helpful. We would be the kind of people that others would want to be with. Then, they would ask how we became so kind. They would wonder about the life we are leading. If we are leading a good life with positive values, this would be the greatest influence towards showing the benefits of a positive life and would transform them.
Therefore, let us develop loving kindness. If we do a service project, let us also develop loving kindness, for that will be the impression on which people judge the value of a life of service.
Saints attract souls by reflecting God’s loving kindness. They are the abode of loving kindness. When they are loving, caring and affectionate to us, our soul is drawn on the journey back to God. Through loving kindness we can reflect God’s love and affect the lives of all who meet us. We can develop loving kindness by following the spiritual life.
One way to cultivate kindness is through meditation. Meditating, doing introspection of our thoughts, words and deeds, and performing selfless service can grow kindness within us.
In meditation, we are becoming one with God, the source of all kindness and love. When we go within through meditation, we embark on the inner journey back to God. That is a journey of love and kindness. We are enveloped ina protective embrace of love. In that state, there is no place for anything but kindness.
Meditation uplifts us to realms where we see ourselves as soul and know that we are drops of the Creator. We become all-conscious. It is at that stage that we become more loving and caring human beings.
The gift of transformation we get from meditation is one that is not kept to ourselves. It is like a divine fragrance that spreads into the atmosphere. When we are open to receive this gift for ourselves, it would not be long before we transform the world.
The writer is a spiritual leader