The Logic of Kindness

As always, my writing is provoked by a real life incident. A few days ago, a friend said to me that I attracted luck because I was a kind and tolerant person.

Kind… tolerant … me? Those are not the key words I associated myself with. I more so thought of myself as stubborn, too much of a fixer sometimes. I happen to be one of those women who can separate logic and emotion, and when need be, amalgamate them to create a balance; different situations call for different approaches.

The following day, I was driving in traffic and a boy approached me saying he was hungry. Behind him, across the road, was a man selling flowers. I had just got a new vase but I did not have any flora to complement it. I told the boy in Swahili, “Go to the flower vendor, select for me a good set of flowers.” He briskly, WILLINGLY, darted across the road to administer this unusual request , returning with beautiful pinkish-purplish daisies.

Exactly what I would have picked! I paid him for his service and we parted ways pretty content in our mutual act of kindness.

In trying to introspectively understand this concept of kindness, I figured, while I was busy trying to fix something, I was being kind. Hurray!

I then decided to look into what research had been done on kindness. Why did we feel good when we were kind, and why were people kind to us? Are we innately wired to prefer kindness?

Not long after, I fell quite ill. It was sudden and it was late. I panicked as I was home alone with my daughter. It took me some time to accept that I ought to call someone at this stage. I phoned my neighbour and asked for painkillers, hoping that might help me feel temporarily better.

In hearing my strained speech on the phone and seeing my helpless state when they came over, they insisted on taking me to the hospital no matter how late it was. They took care of my daughter; when I returned they nursed me at the expense of their sleep and other obligations.

My best friend promptly drove a good number of kilometres to continue the nursing process. My other close friend assisted me with errands I should have been doing. It all came together smoothly! What would I have done without such kind people around me, I thought.

I realized kindness is our moral and civic duty. We do not need to think to be kind to actually be kind. What makes us kind at large is our ability to see the problem and our role as a human being in alleviating it within our capacity to do so.

It is simply logical and practical to be kind! As research has shown, “kindness is its own reward.”

Reflecting back on our own lives as recipients of this, the reason we have both survived and lived to this day is because of the logic of kindness others show toward our being and struggles. It could not have worked any other way. That I know for certain, and more so by the day.

Have a Merry Kind Christmas!

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