As humans of the world, we are people who thrive on interactions in all aspects of society. One of the most admirable traits, and arguably what makes living worthwhile, is our ability to display kindness. There are many acts of kindness, but to put it simply, kindness revolves around helping others to make life a little better for selfless reasons. On this day, World Kindness Day, we would like to take you through the journey of the everyday language that has evolved to allow us to express kindness, and the acts and feelings associated with it.
It is true that each of us displays a different level of kindness and looks at it in different ways. While some of us have a great disposition to help other people, others are more reluctant to do so.
For those of us who are always ready to help others and engage in acts of kindness we say these people are kindness itself. This means that they are the embodiment of the trait, people with a golden heart who you can always rely on to be kind and helpful with everybody. If all of us tried to be a little bit more like them, the world would undoubtedly become a better place.
There are also people who find it hard to rely on the kindness of strangers. This means that they don’t want to rely on the generosity and goodwill of those around them, especially those they don’t know personally. They typically try to do everything by themselves or at most only rely on the help of a small number of people they know well. Sometimes though relying on other people is the best way to move forward and who knows, maybe you will make a great friend along the way. What World Kindness Day is all about, is to encourage us to do somebody a kindness.
This means that you do a favour or something nice for someone without expecting anything in return. What can be better than building our relationship and society on a foundation of care and kindness. After all, something done out of the kindness of one’s heart can not only change a life but also spread the magic of kindness in our world and show us that it is the best way. To do something out of the kindness of your heart means to do something because of one’s altruistic generosity or goodwill, without personal or ulterior motivations. When we say that any act of kindness, we do will make the world a better place, we are saying that kindness begets kindness. There is a theory which states that if you treat someone kindly, they will likely reciprocate in a similar fashion, and we believe wholeheartedly in this theory and we have been proven right about it time and time again.
Sometimes though, just like with anything in life too much of something can have the opposite effect of what we intended. There is something which we call too much kindness. And in the English language we say to kill someone with kindness. It means to harm, inconvenience, or bother one by treating them with excessive favour or kindness. The phrase originated as the expression “kill with kindness as fond apes do their young,” referring to the notion that such animals sometimes crushed their offspring by hugging them too hard. While we have already covered a lot of ways we can express kindness, English is a versatile language and if you search you can find so much more.
We can even express kindness without mentioning the word kindness at all. For example, we say she is so sweet, which means that she is kind and good hearted. Being a good-hearted person means that most likely you can’t hurt a fly. If you can’t hurt a fly, it means that you would never do evil to anybody. And when we are really impressed by how good and kind someone is we say he is like an angel which means he is the kindest person you can find.
As we see, one of the best traits we have as humans has made its way and has influenced our language. The many words and way we have to express this trait is also an indicator of the human nature and the high importance we put to being kind and good with one-another. So let us use our English to express and share kindness, so together we can communicate to make this world a better place!