I found this one especially enlightening, because I’ve never been an amazingly trusting person, and often fear the worst in situations, and this would only make me even less trusting, and then fear the worst even more, in a vicious cycle.
But by really focussing on cultivating an attitude of love, kindness and compassion towards others, even just for a day, it makes the world seem a much less scary place. Trust comes a lot easier, and I guess it’s because we project how we’re feeling onto other people. So if we’re feeling envious or angry towards someone, we presume they must be feeling something similar, and that makes them appear hostile in our minds.
We see words like ‘love’ and ‘kindness’ thrown around a lot, whether it's on a Pinterest pin, a H&M t-shirt, or even the cover of a Paperchase journal. There’s thousands of inspirational quotes and adages online telling us to ‘Be loving’ and ‘Be kind’. It’s awesome that these little nuggets of positivity are now dotted around everywhere, but at the same time, I feel like it can trivialise it.
Deep down, we all know we’re supposed to ‘Be loving’ and to ‘Be kind’. But what does that even really mean? How can you put such abstract ideas into practice? I’m certainly not going to figure it out from staring at a journal cover.
If anything, I think it’s better to take the pressure off ourselves, and to stop worrying about what good deeds we should be doing in order to be a loving and kind person. It doesn’t mean we should start walking loads of old ladies across roads and bringing your tutors an apple every tutorial (that would just be downright odd).
Which means that maybe the journals and Pinterest pins are right after all. It’s not really about focussing on doing loving and kind things in order to be a loving and kind person. In my mind, the sequence works in reverse, and you need to put energy into being a loving and kind person in order to do loving and kind things. And that’s just a mentality.
So I really don’t think we need to torture ourselves over that time we used almond milk in our coffee even though we knew growing almonds is bad for the environment (Chidi from The Good Place, anyone?). The Dalai Lama says it’s more about just having a loving and kind attitude towards other people, and that will inevitably manifest itself in your actions.
“When those dreams you’re dreaming come to you, when the work you put in is realised, let yourself feel the pride, but always stay humble and kind”
The song ‘Humble and Kind’ is perfect for this lesson. Tim McGraw lists things that we should do in order to be better, happier people, such as calling your mum, visiting grandpa, helping those worse off than you, and so on.
But when I listen, it doesn’t really feel as if he’s just reeling off an arbitrary list of good deeds that you’re expected to do. Every time the song returns to the chorus, you’re reminded that all these acts are glued together by the genuine wish to be ‘humble and kind’.
“Bitterness keeps you from flying”
It’s a heartwarming, feel-good song, and it’s centred around the mentality we have towards other people. The Dalai Lama’s principles are geared towards making us happier, so not only will being loving, kind and compassionate will make others feel a lot more happiness, but it’ll help us feel more trusting, and the world will feel a much warmer, friendlier place.
“I know you've got a mountain to climb, but always stay humble and kind”
Which song are you adding to your 'happiness playlist' today?