Is it an act or a fact?

If your act of kindness is only for the camera or for the praise, it’s not kindness at all.  It’s just an act.    ~Liz McKenzie

How many of you know someone who is always there to lend a helping hand BUT they have to prepare their acceptance speech first?  How many of you are that person?

The acts of kindness and appreciation are, slowly, becoming extinct.  Many people, I find, get so wrapped up in their expectations of the reactions of others based on a, seemingly, good deed that they forget to appreciate the fact that they were in a position to help in the first place.  It’s easy to hone in on what others don’t do but what about you?  What about all the things you can do but don’t do?  What about all of the things you take for granted on a daily basis?  Do you genuinely appreciate what others do for you or do you simply feel privileged, like it’s your birth right?

Let me be the first to confess that, as the baby girl to four brothers and one sister, I thought it was my birth right to expect without much appreciation.  Then the growing pains of reality hit…HARD.  Luckily, for me, I was able to recognize it for what it was (not instantly, but after some bumps and bruises, I was good).  I wasn’t so trapped in a wonderland that I needed to pout or throw a tantrum just to have my way.  I learned that wants were not necessities and was able to outgrow my selfishness and embrace the perspective of, not only putting other people first, but also being genuine in my thoughts and actions. Let me interject; putting others first DOES NOT mean ignoring your own needs.  It DOES mean prioritizing your wants when someone else is need.

I’m sure you have all, at some point, been told not to expect people to behave or react the way you would.  If you haven’t, reread that last sentence and consider yourself told. If your actions are based on how you think someone should react you are setting yourself up for huge disappointment.  Learn to give without receiving.  Learn to understand that the kindness of giving is not just monetary.  Giving is time.  Giving is lending an ear or giving advice.  It’s sharing words of encouragement or a joke to clear the air. It’s all of these things sans the need to gloat.  Additionally, in your time of need, try being the person you want others to be. Put your privileged thoughts aside. Lead by example.

Don’t try to find you in someone else.  Everyone is different.  We all live, laugh, and love differently.  We talk differently, find happiness differently and we have our own ways of showing our appreciation.   Remember, if your kindness isn’t genuine, the appreciation will most likely be reciprocal.

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