Being kind and thoughtful means making ourselves aware of the needs and feelings of others and then taking action to help them. It means taking the time to stop thinking about ourselves, to put the spotlight on somebody else's needs and to think "What can I do to make that person's life a little better or easier?".
Sometimes we can't do anything to solve somebody's particular problem but just the act of showing concern and compassion can help to comfort them and make a difference. For example, your friend might be worried or sad about something that is happening at home. Even though you cannot solve that problem you can spend some time listening to your friend's worries and supporting them as much as possible.
Caring and being thoughtful means letting things matter to us; not just for people that we know but also people that we have never met before. It means that we also value the needs and well-being of animals and the environment. Caring means that we have concern when we see problems and unhappiness and wanting to help; from very simple gestures like buddying with a new pupil at school right through to spending your free time as a volunteer to help a good cause.
So why should we be kind and thoughtful to others? One ENORMOUS benefit of doing so is that it encourages other people to act in the same way. We can't put it any better than the famous American pilot Amelia Earhart who once said:
"No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves."
So - like a domino effect - we find that a simple act of kindness creates another act of kindness which creates another and another and another ....... and before you know it the world is a better place because everybody is taking the time to care about everybody else.
As you start to look around and deliberately look for chances to be
kind, thoughtful and helpful you will be amazed at how many opportunities
there really are. Start with the small things like holding a door open for
somebody, visiting a lonely relative, offering to help with somebody
else's task or offering for somebody to step
in front of you in a queue. Do it with a smile and you'll be amazed at how easily
you can make other people smile whilst setting a good example for others to follow.