Not to be confused with WWJD as in, “What Would Jesus Do?”
(Although I recently was told that my “slightly Jewish, yogic mini sermons in yoga church” were quite enjoyable.)
WWKD means “What Would Kindness Do?”
That’s right. Kindness.
My number one rule to live by: Be Kind.
(Although apparently Jesus was very kind, so, I suppose these acronyms can be interchangeable. I will not get into a religious debate here, but suffice to say, this Jew has faith in all, and above all, Kindness.)
The theme of my classes is often Kindness. I dub it “Operation Kindness.”
During OK (Operation Kindness), the mantra when we bring our hands to prayer is, “I am Kind.” And in parentheses, “especially to myself.”
If you have seen the movie The Help, you will be reminded of this scene:
“You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important.”
During Operation Kindness, I have asked my tribe these questions:
1. What can you do to be kinder out there?
2. What can you do to be kinder in here, as in, to yourself?
Turns out, when I asked, it was tougher for them to be kind to themselves.
I understand the kindness conundrum.
I still struggle with it at times. It’s like an old demon I have to keep at bay. I keep a bat by my bed. (Well, my husband keeps a golf club by his side, but I took poetic license.)
“You’ve gained weight, Jen.”
“You’re lazy Jen.”
“You are annoying people because you can’t hear and have to keep asking them to repeat themselves.”
These are just three examples of the old broken tapes that attempt to play in my mind even though I have upgraded to an mp3 player, and those are more like dirty old cassettes or even 8-tracks. They are old and unkind words that I know well and used to feel as comfortable for me as breath on glass.
Not so much anymore. Not here. Not on Positively Positive. But I won’t lie. They hover at the edges of my kind self and threaten to pounce when I am tired, overworked, or my friend has just died.
I have decided to take the bull by the horns and show him what kindness looks like. Eye to eye. I decided to man-up.
Kindness is not very discerning.
It goes where needed and wanted.
I asked my students and now you: What Would Kindness Do?
Before every breath you take, before every pose you attempt in class, before you speak, before you cut someone off in traffic, before you post on Facebook, before you do or be, pause and ask yourself WWKD?
I would love to hear what you can do to be a kinder person. To yourself? In the world? To a stranger?
All of the above?
I dared my students to buy coffee for the person in line behind them. Will you take that dare?
Let’s make a pact.
The Kindness Pact: Bring Kindness Back
It would make you feel good and the person you are buying it for. The barista and the cashier and the person at the end of the line would feel good. The wife of the guy you bought the latte for will feel good because when he tells her the story, she will be reminded that “yes, there are kind people still out there” even though she may have just gotten laid off.
You see how it works? Let’s do this.
Let’s create a domino effect of kindness.
The world needs it right now—badly.
This is why my Karaoke Yoga is taking off, why Positively Positive has 1.5 million fans. The world is desperate for kindness, for positivity.
But most of all, for hope.
Ask yourself: How can I be better than I was before?
I cannot control if you are kind or not, but I will be damned if I am not the kindest person I know. That’s the thing I can control. And that is the thing you can control in your own life. We all have this power, this choice.
I will start by adding my own comment, and you can follow suit.
What would kindness do? Kindness would send a gift card to the woman I know through mutual friends whose little boy was killed by a car last week (at age 3), and she is left with 3 other children, one with special needs. Kindness would send her a grocery gift card.
Kindness would say a silent prayer for the guy I saw standing at the entrance to the freeway with a sign that said, “Smile.”
Kindness would hang out with other kind people.
Kindness would be okay with the fact that I have been in my pajamas most of the day doing absolutely nothing.
Kindness would listen more.
Kindness would tell all that I love that I indeed love them.
And then there’s always Star Trek…
WWKD? (What Would Kirk Do?)
Reference to the infamous Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the starship Enterprise on the television series Star Trek and his creative solutions to seemingly impossible situations, problems, and interpersonal impasses.
WWKD suggests the solution to a problem lies in the question of “what would Captain Kirk do in my situation?”
I am a big fan of being silly at least once a day (hopefully more) because it is good for the soul and keeps us young at heart (our most important muscle).
So be silly. If it makes you smile to think of Captain Kirk from Star Trek, then think of Captain Kirk from Star Trek. Then go be kind.
And share with us below how you did it.
Start your comment below with “Kindness would…”
Because kindness is contagious. As is joy. And I am on a mission to spread it around the world as best I can. When you share your Project Kindness story, you will inspire others to do the same!
Do you see what you have done? Do you see what you are creating?
Doesn’t it feel amazing?
This is you.
This is who you were born to be.
Jennifer Pastiloff was recently featured on Good Morning America. She is a yoga teacher, writer, and advocate for children with special needs based in L.A. She is also the creator of Manifestation Yoga® and leads retreats and workshops all over the world. Jennifer is currently writing a book and has a popular daily blog called Manifestation Station. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Jen will be leading a Manifestation Yoga® weekend retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires, Massachusetts Feb 1-3, 2013.