“Gracious: Acting kind to another, not because of who they are,
but because of who you are.”
Life continually provides us with opportunities to act, respond and react. We may be kind of heart and enjoy doing for others yet there are times when our acts of kindness are ignored or rejected. The pain from their response to our kind act can go deep if we allow it. We may find ourselves thinking that person does not deserve the kindness that we offer and then we feel guilty for being so unkind. It is a difficult puzzle to unravel.
We may want to act kindly and yet, the person we are with is so “unkind” that we are afraid of being hurt and again rejected. There are times that we may act in a kind manner to stimulate a specific response from a person that would be good for them. We may feel frustration and anger when they do not respond in the manner we desired and anticipated. This is an interesting situation for we have gone from an act of kindness with expectations of goodness and well-being, to a feeling of pain, anger and rejection.
Do we stop being kind because no one appreciates us? Do we continue to be our kind selves and feel rejection, pain and anger? Perhaps we should consider fishing versus “chumming.” Imagine you are on a boat in the ocean and you would like to entice the fish to come closer. You may throw out some food and this will draw the fish to you. Then, you bait your hook, throw it in the water and catch some fish. Engaging in a kind act with a specific expectation is like fishing. You are offering something to “hook” someone into doing what you want.
What would happen if you just gave a gift of kindness without any expectation? Sure you may have some hope, some wish, some inkling of a desire for their well-being, yet your action is without a demand. When we act kindly with no expectation of a response, a positive response is welcomed and a negative response is recognized. We no longer feel frustrated, angry or disappointed. We have simply given a gift from our heart.
Copyright © 2010 Dr. MarcAndré Bock. All Rights Reserved.