ABCs of Positivity: K Is for Keys & Kindness
As with many of the themes we’ve touched on thus far in our progression through the ABCs of Positivity (as well as those we have yet to discuss), some people have a more natural bent toward kindness. For others, it’s an effort to be kind. In my experience, kindness flows from the belief that the Universe – and by extension, our world within it – is a good place, a safe place, a place of abundance. It’s understandably difficult to feel kindness when you perceive the world as hostile, angry, and/or dangerous.
Our feelings and perceptions tend to mimic our experiences – but we sometimes forget that our feelings actually play a huge role in what we experience. You may have heard the story about the two brothers, one a pessimist and the other an optimist. Dad sees that too much of either could become a problem for his sons, so he sets out to “cure” them. He provides one with every toy imaginable; to the other, he gives a roomful of horse manure. The boy who receives all the toys complains that he’s seen them all, they’re cheaply made, and none of them interest him. The boy who receives the manure grins from ear to ear, responding, “With all that manure, there has to be a pony in there somewhere!”
Can we scientifically link optimism to kindness? Maybe.1 Regardless of the science, the correlation seems straight-forward.
We really do have a choice in how we respond to every situation – but quite often we must overcome years of conscious and unconscious programming if we want to shift from a more negative perspective to a more positive one.
Conversely, practicing kindness – even when it’s not your go-to position or native baseline – will lead to a more optimistic view of the world. The kinder you are, the more receptive people will be to you, leading you to a shift in the lack perspective that’s been telling you it’s a dangerous, angry, harsh world out there. Kindness is a key that opens all kinds of figurative doors.
A key can be a literal device that opens an actual door; the word also has a number of alternate meanings:
- a button you tap on your computer, device, or phone
- the solution to a puzzle
- a list of words that explains a group of symbols or abbreviations, as in a pronunciation or decryption key
- a list of the explanations of the colors or symbols on a map
- a lever pressed to make a tone on a musical instrument like a piano
- one among a system of tones in music
- the free-throw area on a basketball court
- a small, low-lying coastal island
How many of those alternate definitions for the word key are also helping things, devices or concepts that aid us in one way or another?
The depth and breadth of the concept of keys is one of the reasons I include it in the ABCs of Positivity. Keys help us open doors – literal and figurative, solve puzzles, decrypt codes, read maps, make music, use our computers, and more. I am reminded of the title of Stevie Wonder’s 18th studio album, Songs in the Key of Life, as all of these kinds of keys assist us as we move through life. Kindness can and should be a key we use every day.
There are a few simple things you can do to express and attract more kindness.2
- Smile more often.
- Say please and thank you, and mean it.
- Listen, without assuming.
- Speak truthfully.
- Stay in neutral instead of forming judgments.
- Give without expectation.
- Receive gracefully.
- Take a moment to genuinely care about the person next to you.
Kindness is a key over which you have a great deal of control. You can decide how much kindness you want in your life; how kind a person you want to be; what kinds of people and experiences you want to attract. One of the most remarkable things about kindness is that it seems to be contagious. The kinder you are, the kinder others will be in response. Let’s start a wave of kindness that ripples across the planet, those of us who believe in Fairy Positive. We can be the antidote to the harshness. We have that kind of power.