On Kindness

Kindness is an attribute of human nature, to state the obvious. But, often times, given the competitive nature of society and the ruthlessness it begets, this aspect of human nature gets occluded. , However, in the recesses of every human soul lies the spark of kindness, except perhaps in psychopaths. Kindness flows and accrues from empathy. While both are features of humans, but usually what happens is that the whirligig of life, we become oblivious to empathy and thereby kindness. It so happens that usually people relate to and empathize with other people only when they face similar conditions in life- personal misfortune, loss of life or health, and so on. It is then people appreciate the problems of others and then empathize with them. But, the real challenge lies in actually empathizing with each other, or the less fortunate , without actually facing problems. The question is how it can be done? The answer lies in cultivating the habit of empathy and kindness thereof. This can perhaps be developing an ethical framework and world view where we are in constant touch with better aspects of human nature. Or, in other words, when we recognize that the Almighty has put sparks of kindness in our hearts and souls and that we focus and emphasize on these. If and when we develop the habit of kindness and empathy, then obviously and naturally, the benefits will percolate to society and a given society will become a compassionate and a kind one that takes due care of the less unfortunate. We must also recognize that life , in general , is full of uncertainty and misfortune can strike anyone at any given moment in time. The corollary that flows from this is that the lesser privileged and the less fortunate are in their respective conditions not because they suffer from some incurable flaw but because of conditions like poor economic ones and so on. So if natural empathy fails to generate kindness in us, then we must remember that anything can happen to anyone at any given point in time- like illness, bad health, accidents , fatalities and so on. This will lead to balance and equipoise in society. It will also make people feel in touch with nobler aspects of their selves with the result that they will also feel better about themselves in the process redeeming themselves.

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