This article is inspired from the chapter “The Best You can” from the book “The Book of Kindness” by Om Swami.

The chapter is the best thing I have read about kindness in my life. It basically quotes an article from but the context that it brings into picture is profound. I have read it twice and it has inspired me equally both the times. I have ended up questioning my thought process on kindness both the times I finished reading it. I feel the chapter in itself is sufficient for any reader to re look into what their approach has been towards the act of kindness, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to further emphasize my thoughts after reading the chapter.

I feel that we as a society really need to look into the kind acts of charity, donation, social help etc. very closely. I appreciate any small bit of kind act that people do. For that matter there is no small or big act since a kind act is nothing but that, a kind act. At that point of time whatever quenches the thirst of requirement of the receiver is good enough to be a kind act.

But it should not stop just at that. We need to look into how we have approached the kind act. Now that we have passed the first stage of resistance of “should I help” we need to look into the second stage “how am I helping”

Its very easy for us to give away things that are least important to us. Very often I have noticed the output of one’s kindness acts are nothing but left-over food, unused cloths, old toys, sometimes torn currency, etc. I am not deterring people from doing so as something is eventually better than nothing but ask yourself is this the “best I can” do? Would I accept something old or unused stuff for myself? When in my life I have always tried to get the best that is possible for my pocket, why should I not use the same thought process for others? Because eventually by doing the kind acts I am trying to bridge the gap between others and myself, I am trying to elevate my being and expand my consciousness to a state of “Vasudhaiva kutumbakam” (“the world is one family”) where for me every living being on the face of this earth is part of my family. The only goal for me should be to do the best I can for myself and my family.

So, next time before doing a kind act ask yourself

a)   Is this the best I can do?

b)   Would I accept the same thing from someone else?

c)    Would I give it to one of my close family if they asked for it?

If your answer is yes then please go ahead.

Raise your bar of Kindness. Be at your best, Always!

Rajesh Kodukula