“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~Victor Frankl
In recent weeks, we’ve reviewed the many benefits of kindness: health, relationships, life satisfaction, professional and business success, to name just a few. And we’ve talked about factors that can get in the way of our best kind intentions, including fear, time, apathy, obliviousness, and keeping score.
Let’s revisit the good stuff now, the skills of kindness—practices we can add to our daily lives to expand the kindness around us. Most of the skills to extending kindness and countering unkindness are pretty simple . . . but that doesn’t mean they’re always easy. They take practice. Kindness can’t be turned on and off like a faucet. It’s something we develop with practice—just as we improve in playing tennis or the saxophone.
A great way to think about the skills we’ll be exploring over the coming weeks is to see them as tools in our toolbox, or—using a more high-tech analogy—as apps we can download and call upon when needed.
For today, let’s look at a skill that sounds simple, but is tough in practice: learning to pause.
When we’re insulted or disrespected, we often respond in a knee-jerk fashion. We sling an insult right back, or we say something that we hope will put the offender in their place. It’s an automatic reaction, and it takes some effort not to succumb to it. But there are a few excellent reasons not to: Continue reading