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A Prosperity of Kindness

February 28, 2012

I’ve heard it said that every challenge is a stepping stone to success. Today, I had an experience that was a true gift.

In essence, I had an understanding about a certain business deal that apparently wasn’t shared with the other party. As a result of the misunderstanding, that person was rather rude to me, and left me feeling pretty stunned, especially since I am quite prolific in singing that person’s praises on a regular basis in certain circles.

I spent several hours contemplating this, wondering about it. Some part of me attracted that experience to me, and so I had to look at that. I finally realized that I was treated in a way that I would not treat others, and that left me with an awareness of what I prefer, as well as a choice. I can consciously choose to be kind, and to love, no matter what.

This isn’t the first time in my life where I have experienced that sort of behavior. There have been several instances in my life, both in business and personally, when the other party hasn’t responded in a way I expected and it usually leaves me puzzled.

Today I realized that the biggest difference is that my usual way of responding to most things is with my unique perspective, based upon core values rooted in the heart. I see the other person’s side, and I have compassion and empathy for them. I don’t ever intentionally hurt others and I do my best to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Not everyone has that perspective.

Even in this particular situation, I found that I felt sorry for the person I was dealing with because they were responding in a way that made it clear to me that they had been mistreated in the past, and was suffering at some level. No one who feels at peace within themselves would lash out at another for no real reason.

I clearly saw that one of the unique gifts that I offer to the world is my brand of kindness. Kindness and respect is not a weakness. It does, in fact, take a lot of courage and strength to choose kindness, especially in challenging situations. Similar to a willow tree which seems to bend in the wind, it is because of the flexibility that it does not get blown down. Kindness works like that.

Kindness also demonstrates depth of vision. We never know when or if we will be in the same situation as the other(s) we are dealing with. Being open to understanding the other point of view goes a long way to building rapport with that person, and ultimately, building rapport has far-reaching implications.

I know that I am more likely to do business with people who treat me with respect, and therefore, I am more likely to be respectful of others who do business with me. Yet, even when someone mistreats me, I find it better to come back with respect. Some people think I am a softie, but what I know is that I’d rather be able to live with myself than to think that I have hurt anyone unnecessarily, especially someone who must already be hurting at some level or they would have responded more kindly themselves.

In the long run, I agree with Caroline Kennedy, who said, “As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency.” I know that I will continue to do my part to increase the prosperity of kindness in the world!

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