Occasionally, there’s some good stuff shared on social media. Stuff that lifts the spirit, that inspires and challenges us to be better. Stories of love, compassion, and understanding that invite us to be more human.
Here’s one from @thoughtsdotsandtots:
As I was pulling into work, I was following this car. The sign in the back window says, “Learning stick sorry for any delay.”
Knowing this information, I was very patient with their slow shifting, and honestly they were doing pretty well for still learning. Then I asked myself a tough question: Would I have been just as patient if the sign hadn’t been there? I can almost definitely say no.
We don’t know what someone is going through. We don’t wear signs that illustrate our personal struggles. You don’t see signs taped to people’s shirts that say, “Going through a divorce”, or “Lost a child”, or “Feeling depressed”, or “Diagnosed with cancer”.
If we could read visually what those around us are going through we would definitely be nicer. But we shouldn’t have to see signs and have reasons to treat strangers with kindness. We should do it anyway, whether we know what is going on or not. Whether they deserve it or not.
Let’s give everyone an extra dose of patience, kindness, and love!
(Me again…) The HeartMath Institute coined a term for this: compassionate latitude.
“Compassionate latitude increases our care and flexibility with others’ shortcomings or missteps—recognizing that almost all of us are probably experiencing similar challenges, along with highs and lows in our thoughts and feelings. Understanding this can help us treat each other in ways we would desire for ourselves.” (HeartMath.com)
Imagine living in a world that wasn’t so quick to judge. That wasn’t so impatient.
If you feel a little resistance to treating strangers with kindness, just remember, you are a stranger to a lot of people. How would you like them to treat you?
Here’s an added bonus. Besides being a kinder person and making the world a better place, when you give others compassionate latitude, you experience the benefits of having less stress!
Feelings, emotions, and attitudes, such as impatience, judgement, and superciliousness, create stress inside you. Stress leads to accelerated aging, disrupted sleep, and health problems, including impaired memory, reduced muscle mass, and brain-cell death…to name a few.
Those don’t sound like much fun.
But when you give others compassionate latitude, you decrease your stress. This leads to improved health, a strengthened immune system, more calm and less anxiety, increased longevity, improved memory, and enhanced sleep…to name a few.
Those sound much better.
Remember this: being kind to others is for your benefit, too.
It’s a win-win!
Program yourself to be more compassionate and experience less stress. Start with The 42 Day Choice Challenge.
Or if you're ready to make a dramatic improvement to your stress level, check out our coaching options!
Here’s to conquering stress.
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