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  • Andrew Lewis

The purpose of kindness

What happens when we pay kind attention to things around us, to other people and to ourselves?

This is what happens: We reduce negativity, suspicion, fear and defensiveness. We open out, first to ourselves, more forgiving and less critical of ourselves, and this spreads outwards to others and the world we live in. It all starts to look and feel different. We wake up from the dull, numb world of autopilot, we become aware of so much unconsidered habitual reaction, so much unbalanced negativity and preoccupation with our own storyline or thought stream. We step aside from the 'story of me', loosen the ego, which often behaves like a spoilt child, and we 'show' up in the life that we really have, with all its beauty, all its mystery, all its twists and turns, joys and sorrows. We stand in a warm light where we recognise that we can live a grateful, happy life only if we live with kindness. People are not born kind or unkind. It is a practice, something we cultivate through purposeful choice. It is kindness that holds things together and lets in the light.

Don't start by looking out at the world around you. Start by looking inward and watch what happens.

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