Be Kind Whenever Possible. It Is Always Possible

White and pink flowers on light blue chair

Be Kind Whenever Possible.  It is always Possible.  Dalai Lama

A few days ago I bought an apple pie at Whole Foods. There was a sticker on it that said vegan (no dairy) so I bought it for my husband who is lactose intolerant. After he started to eat the pie he looked closely at the label and read the ingredients.  Sure enough, it had butter in it. The vegan sticker had been incorrectly placed on the pie and he was sick for days. I called Whole Foods immediately. I was most concerned that they pull the other mislabeled pies off the floor so others who can’t eat dairy would not get sick. They called me back a few hours later and offered me a refund and a gift card but still had not pulled the pies off the shelves. Yesterday morning I went to the store and there was no record of my call and no gift card even though I had been assured the matter was very serious to them. Maybe because the pie had made my husband so sick, I felt really sensitive about the fact that there was no record of the incident and no satisfying acknowledgment of the situation. After waiting for 20 minutes, I got the refund and a $25 gift card for my trouble. I realize that this is a small matter in the large perspective but there was something about how the store handled it that really stung my heart.

It reminded me of when you go to a doctor and you don’t feel well and the doctor is very busy and a bit aloof to you. She or he is helping you but you feel so vulnerable and need some warmth to make you feel better. Or when you need a doctor’s office to call you back because your child is sick and no one calls for hours. Or the phone company doesn’t show up after you have waited for them for half a day. Or a customer service representative is unhelpful when you have a problem with a bill or product. There is something about all of these incidents that can make us all feel terribly lonely and not cared for when we need help the most.

But we all have a choice. We can let these moments close our hearts and nurture anger because the world does not care more for us, or we can choose to open more to the kindness that we wish to feel.  In fact, when I left the store I was so careful and deliberate about how I treated everyone I came in contact with all day. For me, the store’s lack of care and sensitivity about the incident made me more aware of those around me who were suffering because I understood the perspective of not feeling cared for. Even if I didn’t understand what exactly the person in front of me was feeling, I was able to pause and smile and care with an open heart. I did not solve everyone’s problems that day, but at least I tried to give each person I met the warmth of my love instead of leaving them feeling lost and alone when they were most vulnerable.

So today when you have a chance, maybe call a friend who is having a tough time or hug your children a little longer if they are struggling at school. Ask the woman at the local store how she is doing and try to react with kindness even when someone is not kind to you. And Maybe as we offer this warmth to the world, we might just find the coldness of others fade and the warmth of light will shine from within us.

Have a great day!!!



14 Comments on “Be Kind Whenever Possible. It Is Always Possible”

  1. Judy says:

    This is beautiful Allison. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! :)

  2. You are terrific Allison! I love to read your thoughts since I was one blessed with the Southern Italian boiling blood!

  3. smilecalm says:

    compassionate to take an action for the dietary benefit of others. hope future pies are “just right”.

  4. Mimi Kamal says:

    Really inspiring .. thanks Alison. . But actually some times we need a kind of outer wormth when ws are not able to make wormth shine from within us

  5. What I encourage when these situations impose themselves, is:

    1.) Remember the three irrational beliefs, which I pull from Dr. Albert Ellis who created rational emotive behavioral therapy.

    Irrational Belief No. 1: I must be liked by everyone or I’m worthless.

    Irrational Belief No. 2: I must be treated the way I want to be treated and those who fail must be punished.

    Irrational Belief No. 3: I must get what I want in life or I will be miserable, procrastinate, and/or give up.

    2.) Determine which of the three scenarios most fits your situation.

    3.) Determine what is in your control.

    4.) After you realize that the only control you have is self-control, then proceed to readjust your corresponding irrational belief…

    5.) …by realizing that reality does not often meet our expectations.

    6.) After step four, if the matter is one of moral and/or ethical importance, proceed to address a higher authority than yourself and those in question until your desired-and reasonable-conclusion has come to fruition.

    Pertaining to “emotional reasoning”:
    I’m glad you were aware of your frustration and chose to harness it, because oftentimes when one proceeds unaware, negative emotions can be imposed upon those unwittingly caught in the psychological cross-fire.

    Only when we learn to live in the present-only concerning ourselves with our own actions-will we then achieve inner peace.

  6. One more thing…I’m reading multiple comments on here to the effect of “I need” and “get warmth from others.” That’s all well and good; in fact, Clayton Paul just posted on “Hug Therapy.”


    It is my hope that each of us can find the self-sustaining warmth from within so that the propensity toward neediness can be dispelled. I know no one likes to be thought of as needy, but when we have the irrational mentality that people are obligated to treat us a certain way, eventually we exude that “desire” and when we try to force our will on others, the action becomes “not one of need”, but “need-y.”

    Your ability to feel at peace in any situation is founded in your thinking; positive, negative, neutral thinking are the choices.

    Instead of “Others ‘should’ do for me” or “I will try to be as kind as often as I can to counteract what I deem unacceptable”, try this train of thought for example:

    “Well, that didn’t turn out like I expected. I don’t know why and I may never know, but I know that all human beings make mistakes on a daily basis, because we were all born fallible, so I’m going to let it go, because stress is unhealthy for me and if I choose to be stressed the only person I hurt is myself. Besides, it might be my insensitivity up for bat next and then I’ll be in need of a little understanding. So from now on I know not to trust buying their baked goods and maybe I’ll try shopping somewhere else if I continue to feel uncomfortable shopping at that market. And what was the customer service number for that markets region?”

    I hope that helps.

  7. You stated: Yes that is true. But MAYBE if we try to be kind as often as we can, there will also be more warmth to receive!

    My question: But how will you think, feel, and behave when you give warmth, but do not receive warmth? How will you handle that situation in order to maintain inner peace?

  8. Thank you for sharing irrational beliefs from Dr Albert Ellis. Surely, more warmth from the inside will give us more peace inside. I think many of us know this but our emotions can get the best of us sometimes. For me, I try to stay mindful, open my heart to the experience when I am ready, find forgiveness and breathe. Eventually I find my way back home. Have a great holiday!!!!!

  9. Hi Allison! I’ve nominated you for the Lovely Blog Award! Please stop by Simply Life Blog to get your award!!


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