Before my daughter was born, I can't say that I honestly thought much about what I value. Even though the thought of what I value and why I value it wasn't in the forefront of my mind then, my life was still driven by my values. For example, when someone lied, I'd be triggered because I value honesty. Similarly, when I saw people skating by at work, I'd get upset because it conflicted with my value of hard work.
I'm now aware of my values and why I have them (one of the many benefits of living consciously). I give great consideration to how my values are incorporated into my life. I also give a lot of thought as to how I communicate my values to my daughter.
Kindness is a value I hold dear. I strive to be kind to all those with whom I engage. Why? Because it feels good. And even though I practice kindness without any attachment or expectation of it coming back to me, I do believe our actions are karmic. We reap what we sow.
Instilling kindness in my daughter is important to me. I have overtly communicated this value, and I also show her with my deeds. She sees me engage kindly with others. I volunteer for her school. I donate money to charitable causes. And just this week, I supported my cousin after her home caught fire.
And while kindness should be done with the idea of benefiting another, don't think for a second that kindness doesn't help you too. Per the article, The Psychological Effects of Kindness, there are numerous scientific studies that have shown that engaging in acts of kindness is one of the most significant ways to improve one’s wellbeing and life satisfaction. I encourage you to check out the article. And, please make a point to watch the embedded video. It's well worth it.
If you want to be happier in life, be kind. Kindness can be as simple as a smile, holding the door for another, or NOT losing your shit when someone cuts you off while driving. Kindness can be grander, like donating your time or money to a person/cause you support. The opportunities to express kindness are limitless. The significance of the act is not important, because all kindness holds magic.
(For any reader that has the ability and interest to help my cousin and her family, they are still trying to reach their nominal goal of $2,000 while awaiting insurance matters to be resolved. Her Go Fund Me page can be found here.)
Be open to what comes.