It’s Hard to Be Kind

Hi there,

Welcome to another edition of Simpler Sundays, a newsletter aimed at giving you a dose of relaxed reading at the end of the week. This is the 26th edition of Simpler Sundays. If you’d like any of your friends or family to subscribe to this newsletter, you can share this link. That said, let’s begin this week’s newsletter.

This week, we are talking about ‘Kindness’.

Why is it hard to be kind?

Before talking about today’s topic, let me share an incident that recently happened with me.

So, I went to an ATM to withdraw some cash. After waiting for some time in the queue, my turn came. But just as I was about to insert my card, an old man approached and asked me to help him withdraw some cash from the ATM.

He said, “Can you please help me withdraw 5000 rupees from the ATM? I’ve forgotten my eyeglasses at home. I can’t see clearly what’s written on the screen.”

As an impulse, I agreed to help him. But while I was withdrawing cash for him, I felt irritated. I had waited for so long in the queue and now I had to wait a little more because of this man. All I wanted to do was quickly get it done and get back home.

For a brief moment, I even resented the old man for asking me for help. “Why couldn’t he have asked someone else?”, I thought.

Now, that’s not ideal behavior. It was wrong of me to think like that. After all, sparing five minutes to help someone isn’t a big deal. What makes it even more embarrassing for me is the fact that I’ve often written posts about being kind. But what’s the point of me preaching kindness if I can’t even practice it myself?

After withdrawing cash, when I came out of the ATM, this realization hit me. I reflected on my behavior and in turn, learned a few lessons that will stay with me forever. I hope these lessons can stay with you as well.

This is what I learned –

  • It’s so easy to talk about kindness, however, it’s hard to actually be kind.
  • We people love to hear tales of kindness. We feel good about someone’s kind actions. We love to read such posts on social media that preach kindness. Yet, that’s the extent of it. Our actions online do not necessarily translate into our actions in real life.
  • Opportunities to be kind don’t come with a nametag. They come dressed as mundane moments (like the old man I met at the ATM).

So, the next time you encounter such an opportunity, be grateful for it. At least, this is what I’m going to do.

Meanwhile, here are a few small acts of kindness that we should be more than happy to involve ourselves in.

  • Helping someone at the bank fill a form or withdraw cash. (Don’t be a fool like me.)
  • Sharing someone’s load if they are carrying heavy bags.
  • In public transport, giving our seat to someone who might need it more than us.
  • Returning someone’s wallet in case we see it being dropped.
  • Sharing details about job opportunities with people who are currently looking for a job.
  • Being polite with people who make our lives easier like cab drivers, waiters, garbage pickers, domestic helpers, rickshaw pullers, or vegetable sellers, etc.
  • Holding the lift for someone when you see them running for it.

As you can see, these are not extraordinary deeds. These are just small acts of kindness. But there’s a quote that goes like,

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

I hope you and I can be a little kinder than we were yesterday because kindness is a gift that everyone can afford to give.

Can you think of any such small acts of kindness? Let me know by replying to this email.

That’s all for this week. Next time, I’ll take up another question and try to share my perspective on it.

See you next time. Stay safe and take care.

With love,
Shikhil Vyas


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