The Kindness Ripple.
The Kindness Ripple.
I was recently driving in the crazy morning traffic, it was a miserable grey rainy morning in Belfast. Like everyone else in the city I was stuck trying to move in the hustle and bustle, bumper to bumper, I could see around me everyone in their morning slump heading to boring jobs, at an ungodly hour of a Monday morning. I came to an odd realisation as I let a small red sports car enter the queue in front of me, he waved a thank you, and the long line of head lights began to move again at a sluggish pace. A few more empty junctions down the road and we come alongside more cars waiting to push their way into the queue, the little red car in front stops to let in some vehicles and again the queue continued along just as slow as before.
The realisation for me was that in the morning traffic rarely do people politely let others merge in front, its usually every man for himself during rush hour. However I felt as though that one small act of kindness from me lead to the man in front passing on that act to another car causing a slow ripple effect, just like when you toss a stone into the still water of lake, the ripples start to move and spread in larger and larger circles. I wondered just how far it went? Did the car he let in feel good and tell the coffee barista to have a nice day because he was feeling good, and did she get a little perk at the pleasant customer during the busy morning rush and pass it on? Not an entirely scientific experiment or anything but just a thought that we should be more aware of our treatment of others during our day, one small act of kindness could ripple further than you think.
In the same way an act of anger or rudeness could ripple through the universe. A boss is mean to an employee, who in turn takes it out on his wife, who passes it on to their child who picks on someone at school from anger. I'm no scientist nor do I claim to be but I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. While just a thought it does seem very plausible. So going forward we can try to live our life more consciously, be aware of how behaviour effects those around you and just how far a small act of generosity or kindness can go.
Personally, I have found this is a great way to start, thanks to my best friend Natasha for this little ritual, we text it to each other each morning. If you have a friend close enough who would appreciate this you can try that, however if you prefer to do it alone that’s great too. Begin your morning by starting your kindness ripple with yourself, grab your journal or say out loud 3 things you love about yourself. These three things can be regarding your outfit, your looks, your personality or your dreams. This is not being big headed or self-indulgent, it is being kind to yourself because just like everyone around you, you are worthy of love and kindness too. Set yourself up for a positive start to the day. As they say on airlines put your oxygen mask on first before helping other with theirs, you can only be your best for others if you take time to be your best for yourself first. Now that you have been kind to yourself and I hope you truly believe in the kind words you journaled or said aloud, you can begin to spread the kindness ripple by being a little more conscious about how you go through the day. Take time to have a little understanding for why people behave how they do, someone may seem rude or irritating but there is almost always some hidden reason or struggle behind the behaviour. It does not take much extra effort to be kind, even in simple situations of just saying thank you to a friend or partner for something they do every day, it may seem just part of your routines such as making dinner, making the bed or bringing you a coffee. You can also try being a little more patient with someone who you would usually dismiss or get frustrated with, give them your time and kindness. Another small act could be to tell a service provider to have a great day, I know from my own experience of years in the service industry just how much a pleasant customer can turn around your day.
Like everything in life introducing a new practice will take time, you will find yourself still being angry or frustrated with people, even just pissed off at the day but try and keep it up the more you practice kindness and positivity the more it becomes a part of your everyday routine. I have found the more I practice kindness and positivity the more I remember that everyone around me is just a human being like me, trying to figure out their own struggles and journey, and that little gift of kindness from a stranger can shine just enough light into someone’s life to give them hope. You never know just how far your ripple will spread or if the ripple will come back to you when you need it most. I also truly find the more I live my life practicing positivity and kindness, the more I can just enjoy each day for what it is, I become more filled with gratitude for just how great life can be. So give it a go and practice your kindness ripple. I believe in you.
Love Maddison x