The Importance of Kindness

During times of increased stress, a little kindness goes a long way. It’s during these times that we often see people talking about doing “random acts of kindness” as a way to show strangers you care.

Random acts of kindness are certainly a great idea. Buying a cup of coffee for a stranger … leaving a tip greater than the total tab for a server … giving up your seat on the bus for another … these are all kind gestures that brighten people’s day and make their world a little better.

However, when it comes to your long-term relationships, such as your life partner, immediate family, friends, co-workers, and even neighbors, you need to focus on regular acts of kindness—not random ones you occasionally may do. Dr. Theodore Isaac Rubin, the former president of the American Institute of Psychoanalysis, said, “Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.”

Kindness really is the key to great relationships. Before you do or say something to another, always ask yourself—especially to your partner—will what I am about to say or do be interpreted as being unkind? If it is, don’t do it.

I have been asking myself this question about what I say or how I treat my significant other since we first met. I simply treat my wife as I did BEFORE we were married. Obviously, I treated her with kindness. It’s been working for over six decades.

Tip: Being kind to others not only makes the other person feel good; it also makes you feel good. And remember, when people feel good, they do good. So show some kindness to today—to others and to yourself!