“All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be.”

CS Lewis

Kindness doesn’t just happen. It’s a choice. 

Kind people make other people’s lives better.  Kind people make the world better. Think about it. Think about the people you most enjoy. The people who add the most to the world around you.  I bet most of them are “kind” people.  Please note that I didn’t say rich people. Perfect people. People whose lives are easy or without error.

So, if kind people make the world better—shouldn’t we work on becoming kinder?

Ahh… that’s the magic question.  But how on earth do we become kinder?

It’s not an easy question.  But in my experience, it’s much easier to be unkind.  Be moody.  Be indifferent. To let my emotions dictate my behavior at all times.  That’s easy.

Being kind requires a commitment to putting others first.  Showing grace before judgment.  And frankly—not burdening everyone I encounter with my moods and feelings.

I think there is a path to kindness as a way of life, but what I’m about to say goes against my instincts.

Fake it.

Yes. Pretend to be kind. Or at least, pretend I’m not an asshole.

I am not endorsing keeping all thoughts and feelings from our closest friends or partners. But generally speaking…be nice, even when we don’t feel like it.

If you begin to exercise daily—you become a fit person.  We don’t start as fit, energetic athletes–we begin to behave as one.  Soon enough, a transformation occurs.  The invisible becomes reality.

If you begin to read books on astronomy—you become someone who knows a lot about the stars.

Insert anything you want into this little equation.

If you want to be a kinder person—start acting kind.  Don’t give in to your emotions and moods. Or at least, don’t always give in.  Encourage people.  Show grace to others. Put others before yourself.

Soon enough…we may actually become the very people we are practicing to be.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Product + Content Marketing at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.