Kindness: The Core of 12 Religions

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  • Kindness matters. In fact, it may be the only thing that really does. In today’s world, kindness is one of the things we appreciate most, yet it oft time remains one of our least shared attributes. We buy books about sharing random acts of kindness, yet cut someone off in traffic. We are kind with our friends, yet quick tempered with strangers. We say nice things to one another, yet gossip behind someone else’s back. We’ve learned to compartmentalize our kindness rather than make it a way of life.

    The vast majority of us believe in God and follow one religion or another, yet still find it easy to be unkind to one another. We label ourselves as Christian, Muslim, Jewish or whatever, yet go against the very tenants of the religion be being mean to one another. We pray for peace yet don’t act peaceful. We pray for kindness and act selfish.  What will it take for us to live what we pray?

    I believe it’s a conscious choice we get to make each day to JUST BE KIND!

    If you want someone to show kindness to you, be kind to others. If you want someone to be a friend, first be a friend to others. If you want others to say good things about you, say good things about others. Wish for others what you wish for yourself.

    What would the world look like if kindness were our default mode? Imagine politicians who could only say kind things about one another. Imagine divorce court where only good things could be said about the other person. Imagine sharing freely, knowing there is enough for everyone. When will the time come that we make kindness our default mode? What will it take?

    Kindness starts with us, in this very moment.  Kindness is meant to be shared indiscriminately and doesn’t mean anything until we’re kind to everyone.

    For what is kindness, but an expression of love in action? Kindness is treating others how you want to be treated, with care, respect, compassion and love, in thought, spoken word and action. Kindness is speaking up to right a wrong and remaining quiet when you have nothing nice to say. It is reaching out to another without being asked, showing empathy, sharing our humanity, offering charity and not always having the need to be right.

    Technically defined as the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate, kindness is the common thread of all religions and does not acknowledge the artificial social, economic, and religious barriers we create, but rather, kindness reaches out with love to touch the lives of others and makes a tangible difference.

    For each religion, the words may be different but the core belief is the same…

    Bahá’í Faith
    Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself. – Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings

    Buddhism
    Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. – The Buddha, Udana-Varga 5.18

    Christianity
    In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. – Jesus, Matthew 7:12

    Confucianism
    One word which sums up the basis of all good conduct….loving-kindness. Do not do to others what you do not want  done to yourself. – Confucius, Analects 15.23

    Hinduism
    This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you. – Mahabharata 5:1517

    Islam
    Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself. – The Prophet Muhammad, Hadith

    Jainism
    One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated. – Mahavira, Sutrakritanga 1.11.33

    Judaism
    What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary. Go and learn it. – Hillel, Talmud, Shabbath 31a

    Native Spirituality
    We are as much alive as we keep the earth alive. – Chief Dan George

    Sikhism
    I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all. – Guru Granth Sahib, p.1299

    Taoism
    Regard your neighbour’s gain as your own gain and your neighbour’s loss as your own loss. – Lao Tzu, T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien, 213-218

    Unitarianism
    We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. – Unitarian principle

    Zoroastrianism
    Do not do unto others whatever is injurious to yourself. – Shayast-na-Shayast 13.29

    (Acknowledgements: This original English version was prepared by Paul McKenna.)

    Isn’t it an oxymoron that all religions teach the practice of loving kindness, yet we use our differences in religion to justify being unkind to one another? Perhaps it’s time to make kindness a conscious choice rather than a random act.

    Regardless of the religious path we choose to walk, let kindness be our constant companion. Rather than label ourselves and carry limiting religious beliefs that separate us from one another, choose to focus on the common thread that weaves all of us together- kindness. As the Dalai Lama said, “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

    So today, BE CONSCIOUSLY KIND. In every action, ask yourself, “Am I being kind?” Let’s find a way to live what we pray, and make kindness our default mode. Whether it’s in rush hour traffic or climbing the corporate ladder- the fastest way to get where you want to be, is by showing kindness to others along the way.

    No matter how small, no act of kindness can ever be wasted. Over time, people will forget what you say or do, but they will long remember your kindness.

     

    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of InspireMeToday.com, bringing the best inspiration to the world. InspireMeToday.com provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to InspireMeToday.com, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

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    1. Jordan
      Jordan says:

      This is so inspiring and makes you really think that every second your alive on this planet you can make a difference and you can change if you really want starting today I’m going to spread as much kindness as I can thank you for this wonderful piece of incitement 😀

      Reply
    2. Julie Blair
      Julie Blair says:

      Out of kindness comes compassion, or compassion kindness – I’m not sure if it matters which is the progenitor, but in this month of Chanukah, the Solstice, Christmas, the ending of the darkness and the beginnings of new light; affirming and reciting the message of kindness, of empathy and agape enumerated in all the traditions we hold dear, is both appropriate and lovely. Peace to all who see this. You are the spirit of God’s love and worthy of the same. Thank you for these expressions of truth.

      Namaste,

      Julie Blair

      Reply
    3. Harsha Weerasuriya
      Harsha Weerasuriya says:

      “Loving-Kindness” is the Base of all Religions. Where the human beings are are heading to? Extremism in any religion may end up in violence.
      All nations must get together in order to wipe up extremisms at any cost.

      Reply

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