A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles. – Washington Irving
What does that mean?
This quote is about a rather straight forward observation. Those who are kind-hearted tend to radiate gladness, or happiness. The use of the word fountain implies a never ending stream of gladness, pouring out over anything that gets too close.
This effervescence and effusion of gladness pours out in waves and, as it interacts with others, infuse them with that gladness. Everything nearby then bursts into smiles.
I’m sure you’ve been around the kinds of people who have this kind of impact on others. Sometimes you avoid them, sometimes you seek them, but you know what you’re going to do if you get too close, right?
While the quote doesn’t state it directly, it seems to be imploring us to have a kind heart, and use it to help raise the spirits of those around us. At least it sounds that way to me. Do you agree?
Why is a kind heart important?
Well, I certainly wouldn’t want one that was hard as stone or as cold as ice. A kind heart is pretty much the opposite of those, so that’s a good start. A kind heart, I believe, is the basis of a better version of ourselves. That doesn’t mean we have to be weepy or a bleeding heart. I believe one can be kind hearted, yet still stand firm when need be.
With a kind heart, it is easier to make friends (although sometimes introverts will hide their heart or harden it just to avoid other people). With a kind heart, it is easier to help people. With a kind heart, it is easier to win the trust of people. With a kind heart, it is easier to develop and show compassion for others.
In my mind, any one of the reasons listed above are reason enough to work on having a kind heart (or kinder heart). Since I believe a kind heart leads to all of those things (and more), it is even more important to me to continue to work on having a kinder heart. I hope you can see the benefit as well.
Where can I apply this in my life?
This took me a while to think out, so we’ll go with the negative of a kind heart to start with. Grab a sheet of paper and write a few of the following things down, leaving some room for adding details later.
Think about the times when you feel yourself being cold-hearted. When do you tend to be less than friendly, icy even, towards others? When do you find yourself radiating cold instead of warmth? Write down the situations or people you tend to be around when you find yourself acting this way.
Now think about the times when you feel yourself being hard-hearted. When do you tend to be disinterested, aloof, or closed off from other people? When do you feel yourself radiating a warning instead of warmth? Write down the situations or people you tend to be around when you find yourself acting this way.
Finally, think about the times when you feel yourself being warm-hearted. When do you feel helpful, warm, and engaged with other people? When do you feel yourself radiating warmth and smiles? Write down the situations or people you tend to be around when you find yourself acting this way.
Now take a look at the three lists you have, and try to think of what the patterns might be. Look for common situations, common emotions, common paths that lead you to the -heartedness in question. If you can find a pattern, you can work on changing one thing that will get multiple results.
Also look at the contrast between warm-hearted and the other two. What is different about the people, the situations, the locations or anything else that is noticeably different between them. Also look for when some of the details are the same, and what is different to make for such a different result.
You will have to figure out how much effort you will put into increasing the warmth of your heart, and how much effort you will put into reducing the coldness or hardness of your heart.
I would suggest finding ways to spend more time in your warm-hearted places and avoid the places and people that tend to bring out the cold or hard aspects of your heart.
As you get better at turning to your warm-hearted nature, it will be easier to avoid the cold and hard nature. Eventually they will diminish to the point where you might forget you ever had a cold or hard hearted nature.
It’s up to you, not everyone enjoys being around constantly smiling people, but what I feel is most important is all the attributes that will follow all but automatically when your heart ceases being cold, ceases being hard, and becomes warm.
Compassion, helpfulness, cheerfulness, and so much more is awaiting, all you need to do is take the first step, and then keep following each step with another.
From: Twitter, @MarilynMonroeID
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/washington103543.html
Photo by anil bhatt
Happy Birthday to Washington Irving, born 3 April, 1783