And that’s where we get kindness wrong. We think being kind entitles us to being a jerk. Because we think kindness is turning your other cheek when slapped, and who wants to do that! Hence: if you aren’t a complete moron occasionally, the world will thrash you into cheeky redness. Kindness comes with a breaking point and for some of us, that point is entirely determined by the environment around us. That’s the reason you often hear generalizations around how people from a particular place are arrogant/kind.
But, as much as your environment influences you, you are kind not because you want to make the other person feel good or change an entire population. You are kind because, when you are, it makes you feel that everything around is somehow much better than it already is. There will be people that will feel the world constantly sucks – and in your path toward kindness, you will meet these people. Sometimes, you will become that person. When that happens, you don’t throw your hands up in the air and go, “screw the world. Everyone sucks. Where’s the cheese popcorn?”
Because here’s the most important demarcation to draw about kindness we need to understand as we treadmill away. If you are being kind expecting others to be kind to you, what you are being is a people pleaser.
There’s a quote about how there being no way to happiness, but happiness being the way. I don’t know if kindness is the way. But, the next time you wonder what’s the point of being kind, maybe the happiness analogy can help. There is no point in being kind; kindness is the point. Just ask the Lion.