In a world of bristling egos, kindness can sometimes seem as quaint as it is rare. We're in a hurry, and have to get things done. We confront obstacles, irritants, and demands. There's little time to pause and recognize a need and then go to the trouble of treating someone else kindly. As I've heard it asked, recently: "Who's got the bandwidth for that?"
We all do. And we ignore kindness to our own detriment. Whether you believe it's a quality that reflects our Creator, or you think it's a strange and wonderful anomaly in a universe of particles and energies, if you look deeply enough, you can see that it's a nearly magical elixir for great relationships and inner peace.
Do you want to get a lot done? Do you even aspire to the excellent, the exceptional, the extraordinary? Surround yourself with great people. And treat them with justice, fairness, and kindness. Truly great people will do the same thing, themselves. And your work together will flourish.
Kindness is the extra, supererogatory "beyond" - an overflow of goodness that takes place beyond the demands of duty, and occurs only as a manifestation of love. It plants the seeds of great relationships and then nurtures them into a full flowering. It resonates in the heart.
When you contrast the soul of an irate or callous individual with that of a person filled with kindness, you find a clash and disparity no greater than which can be conceived.
And here's a secret. Kindness toward others is, perhaps, the greatest form of kindness toward yourself. When peace is given, it grows within. When love is given, it grows within. The small kindnesses of life obey a mathematics not imagined by the unjust and surly among us. Their consequences multiply beyond any reasonable expectation. Those often quiet actions make for great business teams, sports organizations, schools, neighborhoods, and families. They are a hidden source of excellence in all our endeavors.
Kindness has power. And as one of Shakespeare's characters says about mercy, it's always twice blessed - it blesses him that gives and him that takes. And the great surprise is this. The more you give, the more then is given for you to take. That's the power of kindness.