Learning to Be Kind

After 45 years of research, Aldous Huxley had this profound wisdom to share on his deathbed:

It is embarrassing to tell you this, but it seems to come down mostly to just learning to be kind.

Aldous Huxley

Kindness is a skill we develop over time. It’s difficult to be kind to yourself all the time. We’re often our worst critics. It’s easy to criticize ourselves about mistakes we’ve made or people we may have disappointed.

It’s also difficult to be kind to others when we can’t find the kindness within ourselves. That’s why it’s so important that we nurture kindness within ourselves first. And a big part of that is finding the space to forgive ourselves too.

None of us are perfect. We’ve all made mistakes and we’ve all been disappointed or even hurt by others. But if we can find a way to bring that hurt some kindness and compassion, we can show up as the person we want to become.

Psychologist, Rick Hanson, describes the brain as, “velcro for negative experiences, but teflon for positive ones.” There’s also good research that we need at least a 3:1 ratio of positive thoughts to neutralize negative thoughts.

I’d like to spend more time creating more positive and kind thoughts about myself. If our goal is to better not only ourselves but to serve others, it might be the most important thing we can do each day.