The art of being benevolent

Kindness is magic on the floor street art

Consume more responsibly, yes, but how? In a society where we are constantly asked to make efforts, more efforts and again more efforts. Whatever we do is either not enough or too radical. It is easy to give up in the face of what seems like a monumental task.

Why make us feel guilty about trying to do something good? Because it’s not “good enough”? What’s “good enough”? What if we start by being benevolent to each other, to encourage ourselves and those around us in our more or less successful ways of trying?

And what if we stop judging people around us because they don’t do the same thing, because their eco-responsible acts aren’t radical enough?

My experience

Faced with these injunctions, I had a hard time getting started. But I met an inspiring person who, without judging me, was able to give me the answers I needed. I ended up peacefully accepting that I was the master of my own life, my future and the future of my children. Since then, I have reduced my consumption of animal products, I pay more attention to the origin and mode of production of what I buy. I prefer quality to quantity while taking into account my physical and financial abilities. So it’s okay if I’m not the perfect eco-responsible consumer. I’m doing my best, step by step. I realize things, I make mistakes, I correct them as best as I can, but at least I try.

To make a difference, only listening and constructive dialogue will work.

But what is being benevolent? (non exhaustive list)

  • Before turning to others, it is important to start by being caring for yourself. Listening to one’s own limitations, granting one’s right to error. Do not set the bar too high, take the time to achieve your goals.
  • To be tolerant, not to fall into a priori, backbiting and easy judgement. Accept that everyone has their own history, their own experience. Everyone lives up to his or her means and beliefs. We cannot expect the same things from everyone.
  • To be actively listening to those around us, to show empathy and respect, without being aggressive, without hasty judgment. It is also necessary to take into account the habits and wishes of each one, without forgetting oneself of course.
  • Act with others as you would like them to act with you. We all need motivation in life. Encourage others without expecting a counterpart. For you it is only a small act but do not underestimate the power that a “You can do it”, “I believe in you” can have for others.
  • Being open, accepting mistakes and opening up to new horizons. We all have something to learn from each other.
Coffee mug on a table what good shall i do this day

You who reads this, knows that your most innocuous gestures make sense, it is always a beginning. We will not change the world with a snap of a finger, but each one of us can make a contribution to it.

So next time you run into someone who tries, don’t say, “We can always do more!” but tell him, “Great commitment, how about we talk about it?”

 

And you, what are your daily small gestures to be benevolent towards yourself and those around you?



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