If you are looking for a principle to guide your life in the new year, the meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg proposes you practice kindness. By that Salzberg means the transformative Buddhist practice of Loving Kindness (or metta in Pali).
What's the Big Idea?
While kindness is widely recognized to be a virtue, Salzberg says we also tend to see it as an ineffectual or meek quality. People often think of kindness as the inclination to say yes to everyone and every thing, or what Salzberg calls "being soft and being a doormat and letting someone walk over you."
Salzberg, the co-author, along with Robert Thurman, of the book Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier redefines kindness as a strength. According to Salzberg, kindness needs to be "infused with wisdom, supported by courage, and threaded with balance."
In the video below, Salzberg describes how we can have genuine compassion for someone and also "protect ourselves and want to take care of ourselves or protect others" and also have strong boundaries and the ability to say no.
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