I love the quote “Have courage and be kind.” from Disney’s Cinderella (2015). In this adaptation of the long-beloved Cinderella story, this is the advice her mother gives her before passing on. A broken-hearted Cinderella tries her best to follow her mother’s counsel, but it becomes increasingly difficult as her father marries again and her step mother and step sisters move in. Soon after, he leaves on a voyage that proves deadly and Cinderella is left to the cruel hands of her “family.”
Throughout her ordeal, Cinderella reminds herself to have courage and be kind. There even comes a point where she forgives those who tried so hard to hurt and humiliate her. I watched the movie in the theater with my middle daughter. When Cinderella says “I forgive you,” a voice cried out in the darkened theater: “Are you kidding me?” We chuckled at the outburst, but I have often thought about it.
Forgiveness is Something You Do For Yourself
Forgiving someone does not mean you excuse their actions.Forgiveness is a way of letting go of whatever pain or sorrow you’ve been holding on to. Choosing not to forgive is choosing to keep your pain close to you heart. You can not heal without forgiveness. When Cinderella forgave her step mother, she wasn’t saying “all those terrible things you did weren’t that bad.” She’s saying, “I will no longer carry with me the sadness and pain caused by your actions.”
Does is take courage to forgive? Absolutely! It also takes time. Unlike Cinderella, most of us have to keep practicing forgiveness over and over. It doesn’t come in an instant.
Is kindness related to forgiveness? I think so. You’re being kind to yourself when you forgive another. It’s much nicer to let your negative feelings go that to hoard them, review them and let them keep hurting you. You are also offering the offender a kindness. Ultimately, they will have to forgive themselves though.
Why Kindness Matters
It makes you happier.
Being kind can improve your physical health. It lowers your blood pressure and supports your immune system.
Practicing Kindness can lower rates of depression
It can release natural brain hormones that increase our sense of well-being
Kindness slows aging. Smiles are much better for our faces in the long run.
It strengthens your relationships, both personal and professional. It creates loyalty.
Kindness is contagious.
Kindness creates hope…something we all need more of.
It can change the way you look at yourself…for the better.
Being kind makes the world a better place
Being kind does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. It also doesn’t mean becoming a doormat for others to walk on. AS with most things, it helps to practice the skill to get better at it. And the best place to practice is with yourself and your loved ones.
Be Kind To Yourself
Why is it that we are often harder on ourselves than other people? We deserve kindness as much as the next person. So practice being kind to yourself. Here’s a quick list:
- Eat healthy foods.
- Take care of you body and spirit.
- Get enough sleep.
- Do fun things. Make time for what interests you. Laugh and smile.
- Meditate, pray, or do both.
- Give yourself a break.
- Let yourself cry.
- Forgive yourself.
Be Kind To Others
Some people are easier to be kind to than others. But everyone could use a little kindness. I love the quote: Be king to unkind people. They’re the ones who need it the most. It’s so true! Have you ever dealt with a cranky person and when you smile at them they just don’t know how to react? Smiling is a good start at kindness. Here are some other ideas:
- Say hello to your neighbors
- Volunteer in your community
- Be a polite driver
- Give genuine compliments
- Support worthy charities and causes
- Practice kindness to animals
- Hold doors open
- Say please and thank you
- Try to find something good in every person you meet
- Be fair and honest
- Remember that we are all part of the same human family. We all share this one planet. Act accordingly.
This isn’t my first post about kindness and it won’t be my last. Being kind is something I work hard on. Sometimes I am more successful than others. It’s the same for everyone. If you want some more of my thoughts on kindness, check out this post. I also wrote about self-care and self compassion (being kind to yourself) in a post from March. One of my very first posts listed 25 random acts of kindness. And this post has some great quotes on kindness that can be shared.
I hope this has inspired you to be kinder to yourself and to the world around you. The benefits are amazing.
Thanks for reading and please share.