I am in the BU student group called I Embrace You (formerly known as Hug Don’t Hate), and every semester we try to do a larger event open to the BU community. For this semester, we brought in a speaker named Michael Chase to speak about taking the “kinder path.”
Let me just say, that MY WORLD IS ROCKED.
He gave us some background on his life, which was truly heartbreaking, and then he started speaking about kindness. It’s kinda funny. Kindness is such a simple concept and yet there is so much to it. One of the things he touched upon was the difference between being nice and being kind. I always thought of them as synonymous, but he made me realize that the connotations are totally different. “Kind” is on a completely different level than “nice” because kindness always causes that warm feeling of doing something for others and expecting NOTHING in return. Which leads to another eye-opening aspect of kindness that Michael spoke about: a kind heart.
Michael explained that there are 8 ways to a kinder heart; some of them being charity, compassion, courage, authenticity, and enthusiasm. Each one he listed is crucial because even with just one missing, the action does not have the same effect. Like doing something nice for someone else can often lack charity because you expect something in return or it lacks authenticity because the action wasn’t motivated from within. For example, it’s like when you have to be nice to someone for one reason or another but it’s not genuine and therefore, not an enjoyable experience. He shed light on stuff we all know, but never really think about to this extent.
And no, he did not just explain kindness the whole night. Kindness is only half of it. Michael’s major theory is that kindness leads to happiness. Kindness pulls you out of your head and allows your actions to come from your heart. I’m sure we’ve all shared that experience when you help someone in need or just hold the door, and even though it is just followed by a simple “Thanks,” that good deed creates such a positive energy. And not only does that action make you feel better for you but also the person you helped and apparently it can also enhance the mood of people that witness that kind moment!! How awesome is that????
Also, Michael mentioned that it is not just about being kind to others, but being kind to yourself and the world around you. You can be kind to yourself by treating your body right and loving yourself the way you are. And I am sure we are all familiar with being kind to the world around us by reducing, reusing, and recycling! All I can say is that I am completely inspired. Kindness is so simple yet can create so many positive experiences. Maybe this isn’t for everyone, but if I will live a happier life just by being kind, then count me in!
So when finals or the weather get you down…. don’t worry, be kind and thus… be happy =)