We all know too well what bad days are like! You oversleep, miss breakfast, or spill your coffee on your favorite shirt. Maybe, you get stuck in unexpected traffic and end up late for a meeting. Maybe you get a paper cut, you know the painful kind, right in the crease of your finger and the only question buzzing through your mind is: Could this day get any worse? The silver lining is that it doesn't have to be!
How we react to our circumstances makes all the difference!
I was driving the other morning and the person driving in front of me was cruising way below the speed limit, which is one of my pet peeves. In busy traffic, slow drivers really are dangerous and get my blood boiling. All I wanted to do is honk the horn and scream obscenities. I’m not quite on the level of calling it road rage, but this one thing evoked a reaction out of me!
I had to remind myself that every person has a story. Honking the horn or screaming obscenities only adds more stress and anxiety to that person’s day, not to mention mine too.
Is this how I want to contribute to someone else’s day?
What kind of energy am I creating for my day, and the people around me?
Instead I chose to take a deep breath and said out loud to myself, “This isn’t serving anyone if I get upset,”. In that moment, I paused and thought about that driver and their story. Perhaps he/she was having a bad day. Maybe I should just be more patient and think more positive thoughts while driving. Seeing things from someone else’s perspective can really change your outlook on a situation.
It is hard not to focus on how divisive our current election is. It is difficult to see how people are allowing their political views stand in the way of long term and valued friendships. I have even found myself struggling with the different views of some of my dearest friends.
We are all in a position where we could use a little more love and kindness in our lives.
What if I told you that statistics show that in the past, acts of kindness have reduced crime rates by 23.3%! It’s true! Kindness is underrated!!
In 1993, Washington D.C. had some of the worst crime rates in the country. The capitol decided to take part in a two month national demonstration project by inviting TM-Sidhas (Yogis that practice Transcendental Meditation) whose mission it was to reduce crime and social stress through meditation and kindness. Backed by several researchers, including renowned quantum physicist, John Hagelin, they were ridiculed by local police and authorities, who practically laughed in their faces. Imagine the surprise when the crime level in D.C. was reduced by 23.3% after their two-month experiment concluded!
Do you think the results would have been different if the TM-Sidhis, who were met with such negativity from the local authorities, had packed up their bags and just gone home? Of course not! Instead, they did not pay the nay-sayers any mind! And guess what?! They ended up reducing the crime rate by 20%! Kindness for the win!
A beautiful song by Jackie DeShannon comes to mind:
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love It's the only thing that there's just too little of. What the world needs now is love, sweet love, No not just for some but for everyone.”
Can you make a difference?
“But Shree, I’m not a TM-Sidhi. I am not a yogi. I am just a girl from down the block. How could I possibly make an impact?”. Well, take it from The Dalai Lama who said, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Each of us can make a difference.
How we react makes all the difference.
Have you ever given any thought to how you contribute to someone else’s bad day? Are you kind? Forgiving? Are you coming from a place of love?
How are you reacting to unfavored situations even on a good day?
If every one of us did something out of love, even more so when it may feel challenging, and we multiply the acts of kindness of 3 people, and 50 people, then 100 and 100,000 people, we begin a movement!
Think about the effect of the negative movements in this country and the energy and awareness they have created. Let us stop the negative banter on social media platforms and chose kindness.
I challenge you!
Think of just two ways to be kind today!
Start the movement now!