Kindness Begets Confidence

kindness

 

Previously I have written about how we treat others is truly a reflection on how we feel about ourselves titled ‘Self Reflection in Others”

This post was about how we feel about ourselves is manifest in the way we respond and interact to those around us.  When we accept this self realization we can become kinder and more gentle, yet more powerful and confident.

The other side of this spectrum also holds true.  When we are treated poorly by others, we often react to the stimuli, whether this reaction is silent or outspoken for the world to hear, we all react.

The difficult part of this comes within ourselves.  Do we choose to see and listen to the abuse from others, allowing them to ruin our day?  Do we shy away from someone due to potential conflict?  Do we deny ourselves experiences based upon someone else’s behavior?

Many times we choose to allow others power over us in the way that they treat us.   We teach others how we want to be treated based upon what we will accept from them.  When we hold our ground, kindly, firmly,  yet peacefully we have more power in that moment than the other person could ever have.

Power comes from confidence and knowing who we are.   Part of this knowing is understanding this dynamic of how we treat others is a reflection upon how we feel about ourselves.

So true is how others treat us is how they feel about themselves.  Those that are angry or mean spirited individuals in reality have terrible self esteem and do not like themselves.  Whether it be the waitress that was rude, the tire tech that called you a jerk, the guy that flipped you off on the highway.  These individuals who go through life bulldozing over others are so disgusted within themselves that they react to their own internal struggles and guilt by abusing those they come in contact with.

As we lift and serve one another we can find that we actually become stronger, more confident individuals as this manifests beauty within ourselves.  We see ourselves in the people we serve with heartfelt kindness and genuine intent.  We can improve our own self loathing through this service.

The way we treat others, including strangers, not only reflects how we feel about ourselves but also creates within growth in those feelings.   If we treat others in a negative fashion, we will certainly see ourselves worse than we did before.  If we are kind, we too see that within ourselves.  We gain confidence, strength and humility along the way.

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Love is service, not emotion

Love for many is elusive.  We find infatuation quickly and jump into relationships based upon infatuation while professing we have found true love.  True love exists however few understand what this is.

Infatuation makes our hearts beat faster and our minds to go to mush as we get caught up in a whirlwind romance often driven by the flames of physical passion and desire.  We crave the burning chemical rush from the flames of this passion and believe we have found our soulmates.  We come from a space where our own needs and physical desires are met.  These self serving emotions are just as quickly snuffed out and we are left wondering what went wrong.  There is no foundation for infatuation, it is fleeting and built from nothing.  Infatuation hits quickly and dies faster.  We pick up the broken pieces left over from our crushed expectations and move on to the next adrenaline rush of emotions believing this time it will be different.

The world sees this as love.  We hear continually that one can fall out of love.  I argue this is impossible.  One cannot fall out of love.  We fall out of infatuation.

Love is different.  When love is real it is service.  It is kindness.  It is compassion.  It is not self serving and driven by the whims of change.  It is not fleeting and it does not die.  For when love is real, our desire is to serve others that we love, not for them to serve us.

YES we can love someone whom does not love us back.  This is common and happens often.  The greatest love stories are those that both parties have placed the others needs before there own.  They serve one another.

There are many stories told of couples when one becomes ill and the other one steps up to serve them and care for them.   It is clear that their bond and love they share grows during these difficult and trying times.  Their love grows during this season of service and caring.

We often hear of a mothers love for her children. WHY?  Because when the children are young they are fully dependent upon their mother.  Their mother loves them and this love grows as they continue to serve them.  Children learn to love their mothers as they in turn serve their mother as they grow.  Children desire to please their parents and in so doing they serve them, this service develops love.

There are many that will argue that in just as many cases that one person serves while the other one takes.  While this is true, look at the one that is always the one that is the most heartbroken when a relationship ends.  It is ALWAYS the one that served and gave the most to the relationship.

True undying mutual love can only be attained when both parties make the other a priority and serve them without expecting anything in return.  True love is service.

Anyone who goes to a foreign country to serve for any reason always comes back with a love for the people and culture in which they served.

If you are struggling in your relationships and wonder where the magic went, try genuinely serving each other and be amazed at where this will lead.

The Service of an Open Door

service

Do you advocate for people?  Do you help others find success even when there is nothing for you to gain from helping?  How often do you open a door for someone just to open it?  Do you passively or actively look for ways to help someone?

Many people feel like they will help others, oftentimes they will provide acts of service that can help someone in a time of need. I question how many of us will truly open doors for the success of another.  We find great satisfaction in the moments of help and service, mowing lawns, helping someone move, feeding a family in a time of need, etc..

There is an old saying often attributed to Confucius that says,

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

I would argue that the same concept holds true in helping others.  If we serve them in ways that will open doors and help create a successful future then we are performing a greater act of service than we could ever do by the traditional acts of service such as making a dinner for the sick.  While these acts are wonderful and oftentimes needed, how many of us can truly help change someones life through service?  How many of us confuse a random act of kindness for that of service?

We all know people, we can all open doors for others.  The only question that remains is are we willing?

Image:  Clipart

A LABOR DAY SAMARITAN IN MAJESTIC WYOMING

Tetons

My wife and I love short weekend retreats.  Oftentimes we wake up in the morning and leave with no destination in place.  We have discovered many wonderful little roadside attractions over the last 4 years.  These wonderful trips have created amazing memories for us and opportunities to meet some wonderful individuals along the way.

This past Labor Day Weekend was one such trip.  My wife and I decided last minute to get away and go in a direction we had never gone together.  We headed for Wyoming and the Tetons.  We were excited for the much needed time together hiking and enjoying the mountains as we always do in a new and majestic setting.   We anxiously left home and headed for the Tetons, just us and our baby girl.

The trip took an unexpected turn as we neared our destination, we had arrived just outside of a little town called Afton, Wyoming about 80 miles from our destination when our Jeep overheated.  We sat on the side of the road as we waited for the engine to cool down then examined the hoses and radiator.  Strangely, nothing appeared to be broken so we filled the radiator up and head onward.  We overheated again, the sun had set and we were nearly 10 miles from Afton with our 8 month old daughter.

We sat on the side of the road for a few minutes as we contemplated our options.  We said a prayer for help and got out to look at the car again, wondering if we could fill up the radiator again to crawl into Afton.  As soon as we opened the hood,  a truck stopped by, this young man hops out and says “hi I’m Mike, can I help you?”  My wife and I quickly exchanged looks of relief and gratitude with one another as we graciously accepted Mikes help.

As we looked into the Jeep, we noticed that the pulley on the water pump had fallen off and water was coming out of it, we were not going anywhere!  Mike quickly pulled his truck around, hooked on a tow rope and pulled us into town and to a hotel parking lot.  This good Samaritan proceeded to walk into the lobby of the hotel with us to make certain there were sufficient rooms available,  After we checked in, Mike asked me for my cell phone number and told me that he would call me in the morning around 7 am to help us further.

Sure enough, the following morning Mike called as promised.  He told me on the phone that he would be there to pick me up in about 30 minutes.  Mike had made arrangements for the local auto parts store, which was closed due to the labor day holiday, to open up long enough for us to get a water pump to install.  Mikes friendship with the owner had made that possible.  After obtaining the necessary parts from an extremely kind and generous owner of the parts store, Mike and I headed to his office to verify the torque specifications for the water pump, then we headed to Mikes house to move some vehicles around out of the driveway so as to have access to his garage.

We then met my wife and daughter back at the hotel where we again placed a tow rope on the Jeep and towed it to Mikes home.  We proceeded to take out the old water pump and replace it.  Mike had to the necessary tools to make this happen.  We were unable to get the jeep into the garage, so we stood in the down pouring rain outside the garage as we replaced it, all the while Mike was urging me to stay in the garage to stay dry, I was unable to oblige that request as I was so humbled by this mans sacrifice and willingness to serve that I was going to be there assisting him on my car.

Graciously and humbly we thanked Mike for his extreme kindness, generosity and service to complete strangers.  Mikes example of service was truly an answer to our prayers the night before for help and assistance.  Mike sent me a text message hours later following up to make certain that my beloved wife had been able to see the Majestic Tetons for the first time.  He was more concerned about her and what she had hoped for on this trip than his time, inconvenience and rain as he helped us.  His unquestionable desire to help others provided a much needed service that we were in need of.  My wife and I will forever be grateful for his service to us in our time of need.

Thank you Mike and may God bless you and your family!  You are a remarkable example and a fine young man!