Kindness & Gratitude

May 19, 2020 | Aussie Nurse

At this time restrictions for Coronavirus are starting to be lifted around Australia, its a wonderful feeling knowing that we can finally meet up with people that are familiar to us. Having a gap and not seeing other people for a long time has left me reflecting about Kindness and GratitudE

Kindness-

Definition of Kindness-  Kindness (noun): the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate; a kind act. — English Oxford Dictionaries

Or

Aristotle defines kindness as- helpfulness towards someone in need, not in return for anything, nor for the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped.

We may not always be able to notice when someone is facing challenges in their life but acts of kindness can be- gestures of a kind word, a smile or a courteous helping hand to someone like an elderly neighbour. Kindness can be used anywhere, at anytime and may be simple but shows a friendly and caring nature towards another person.

Being kind to others actually feels fulfilling and good, plus during this time of Coronavirus it seems as though we are all connected through a shared humanity and in a way this connection has a feeling of mutual understanding that we are all in this together.

Recently, i’ve seen someone buy a coffee for a random person that was behind them in line, I’ve seen family members visit an elderly family member in residential care and wave from afar but were connected with their voices using a mobile phone and in my apartment block people leaving toilet paper, books and other items for free. Witnessing this sense of community is great especially when seeing a beaming smile on someone’s face when their morning roasted coffee has been paid for.

In a hospital setting as a nurse we sometimes witness kindness occurring randomly and the benefits that it has on a patient is especially present on their level of comfort. I get a boost of happiness when I see kindness occurring at work, especially when a work colleague is being kind to another colleague = happier place to work.

Kindness makes us healthy too, some effects of kindness on wellbeing are-

  • If a doctor expressed empathy and kindness, patients’ colds shortened by 1 day
  • Kindness can lower the effects of stress
  • Kindness ranked above physical attractiveness in a potential mate (kindness.org)

Aesop, the ancient Greek storyteller, once said- “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” 

Gratitude-

Definition of Gratitude- 

Gratitude (noun) : gratitude -The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. — English Oxford Dictionaries

Gratitude is the recognition of the goodness in our lives and with this we recognise everything that makes our lives and ourselves better.

With Coronavirus adjusting the way we live the above statement actual resonates in so many ways. At the moment I’m not feeling gratitude so much as an individual but more at a social level, the challenge of coronavirus made me realise I had to stop now and then, just to be grateful of the world I had. Even with the permanent changes coming to the world some positive gratitude for what will be in the near future is promising.

Gratitude is a practice that can be applied on a daily basis for example showing appreciation by saying ‘thank you’. As a nurse, I am amazed by these health professionals who have shown up to do the jobs that they never would imagine to do, who are doing more than is expected, by risking so much to help people and doing it all with grace.

 

Conclusion-

It doesn’t matter what country, what culture or what background you come from both kindness & gratitude are selfless & unconditional acts. In communities at the moment there have been many positive stories of individuals with their selfless efforts who have brought others together and keeping us connected. The joy these individuals have brought through kindness has got rid of any grey clouds and they have given some light that makes things feel better and hopeful.

I feel optimistic for the future that lies in front of us, of course this is going to take a long time to recover from and this time has marked its place in history, but humanity has been brightly shining through this time- that alone is motivating.

 

Resources-

(Photo by Colin D on Unsplash)

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”

— Maya Angelou 

 

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