Monday Mantra: Kind

Warmth in winter MBB

“One kind word can warm three winter months.” – Japanese Proverb

In looking for inspiring quotes about the upcoming Winter season, I came across this proverb. The sentiment appears simple and concise at first. However, I enjoyed a long meditation after reading it and my mind went in several directions about how to interpret and apply the richness of its meaning.  Before I post my own thoughts, I am wondering what you think it means?

Share your ideas and mind wanderings here.

– TaraMarie Perri

10 Responses to “Monday Mantra: Kind”
  1. Molly McSherry says:

    This end of the spectrum is often forgotten (unfortunately)…I am quick to remember how an unkind word or two can stick with me for so long, but forget that kind words could have the same longevity.
    It is so easy and simple to deliver genuine, kind words to others, and I think we have all experienced at some point how the right words at the right time can lift us out of wherever we buried ourselves for the winter.

    • Jessica McCarthy says:

      Beautifully said Molly! I completely agree. This also made me think of how we transition from one year to another during the winter season. At the beginning of winter, we end the year and begin a new one. I always used to think of beginnings and ending as circular in nature, but there is truly a fine line between where something ends and something else begins. One second it’s 2013 and the next, it’s 2014. These shifts happen so quickly in reality, but we tend to get stuck on only seeing the longevity of one or the other, not realizing that they can exchange almost simultaneously.

      I recently came across a quote from Mitch Albom’s “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”, (which is an excellent book if you haven’t read it) that pairs nicely with this idea:

      “All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.”

  2. Lewis says:

    I find that when I’m stressed, kindness is often my second thought, not my first. Being on a crowded subway, or exhausted after a trying day, anger and indignation can rise without invitation. I try to breathe and pause for a moment and choose my action, like we do on the mat after a tough vinyasa. Warrior One or Child’s Pose?

  3. Liz says:

    I find that while maybe it shouldn’t be this way, environments tend to affect our level of kindness – or at least those simple sorts of kindness where you look someone in the eye when you speak to them, ask someone how they are doing and actually care rather than just tagging it on to your greeting, or start up a simple conversation with someone serving you to evince your gratitude for their help. Growing up in Wisconsin, I was used to waving at someone walking on the streets of my neighborhood as I drove off, whether I knew them or not. I was used to people looking you in the eye and sharing a smile with you, again whether you were acquaintances or not. In moving to NYC, people constantly commented on the niceties of Midwesterners when they learned I was from Wisconsin. Only in living here for seven years now do I recognize more fully the distinction between people. I don’t think that New Yorkers mean to be harsh people; if we tried to interact with everyone we passed, we a) would never make it to our destinations and b) there would be complete social chaos 🙂 But that being said, I truly value the kindness that comes with such genuine care for others and regret that I have lost parts of myself related to that quality. I think that one aspect kindness requires is time – it isn’t so much time, but oftentimes it’s enough that we speed right through those moments that could bring about a kinder interaction with another human being. Maybe we sometimes shy away from offering a touch more kindness so as not to encroach on others’ space, physically or mentally, but I bet the majority of people would welcome such warmth. Looks like I’ve got an intention for the week….. 🙂

    • CallieRitter says:

      yes yes and yes.

    • Traci says:

      Liz, this totally reminds me of my first day on campus at SMU in Dallas! My parents and I strolled around exploring the campus and everyone we passed said hello to us and we were just blown away by their kindness! We got such a kick out of it at first but then it became addicting. It was like we couldn’t wait until the next people passed so that we could say hello to them. LOL! And look at me now…that was 16 years ago and I still remember it. I can’t even remember what I ate for lunch yesterday.

  4. CallieRitter says:

    Kindness exponentially expands; it’s the spark plug; it’s the joining of two fires. It’s the thing I love about love – it affects both people: the giver and the receiver.

    Acts of kindness live on; they are much anonymous in NYC. Gestures repeat themselves even if the person who gives them changes, or has no memorable face or name. You have no where to say thank you, other than to the spirit in which they were given, and so you yourself, give. I love that.

    • CallieRitter says:

      Oh and also – “winter” is when it’s most needed. When we’re all sheltering inside, insulating ourselves, is when it can have it’s greatest impact.

  5. Jonathan Matthews says:

    What a lovely idea….the power of the little things…while kind words are always welcome and a surprise I cherish receiving, I find winter to be a time where I need to give myself a lot of pep talks…We can get so critical of our every move, even when we are trying to present ourselves as otherwise praiseworthy beings…While a kind word from someone else might warm us, extending this warmth deep within to ourselves from ourselves seems like a lovely goal to have for these next few months.

    • Brianna Goodman says:

      So good to point out Jonathan… while I do find myself warmed by someone’s kind words, I find myself just as easily cooled by someone’s negative ones. Sometimes I struggle to not allow other’s assessments of me affect how I assess myself–so rather than allowing our temperatures to fluctuate depending on the amount of kindness we receive, maybe we could stabilize ourselves by listening to our own kindness. Easier said than done, but nice to think about!

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