What’s the Difference Between Kindness and Ass-Kissing?

According to Anthony, my higher level guide, the difference lies in the point to which you attach value.

Well, Anthony didn’t talk about ass-kissing in those exact terms but I knew what he was getting at. And, truth be told, we were talking about the origin of money and competition not kindness when Anthony first said these words: Your discomfort with money, the concepts of wealth and your view of competition stem from the point to which you attach value. The answer lies in perspective. It always does.

From the new perspective Anthony suggested, I could see that before money, there was only kindness. Money was invented because humans misinterpreted the point to which value is attached in gifting.

In early societies, people gifted their talents without expecting direct compensation. There was no need to assign value to the gift itself so there was no need for money. The value was in the act of gifting and the giver expected no further compensation. Over time, the point at which value was attached shifted to the gift and the concepts of indebtedness and exchange of equal value arose.

The exchange of equal value started with trading and bartering. “I’ll give you this if you give me that.” Money was introduced to facilitate the exchange process. Money was easier to carry than a cow and it made exchanging something of greater value for something of lesser value possible.

A few days ago, my higher levels raised the subject of kindness. As this message unfolded, I came to see that it is the freedom to be kind that is the gift; and, not the act of kindness itself. By freedom, I mean free from the strings of trust and the expectation of an exchange of equal value.

My higher levels explained to me the gift is being able to see that I can be as kind as I want with no strings attached. This might not sound like much to you but I urge you to absorb these words. Do not put a value on your acts of kindness. Your kindness is not a gift you give to others.

The freedom to be as kind as you want is a gift from you to you.

When your accept that the point of value for your own kindness is not on the act of kindness but on acting kind, you will accept that expecting kindness in return or keeping track cannot play a part. When you are kind, you will not feel you have created some sort of IOU from the universe or the person on whom you have bestowed your kindness. You will be doing it strictly for you — and that is a blissful feeling.

Similarly when you are the recipient of kindness from another, you have not incurred a debt. You don’t owe that person anything and you are not beholden in any way. You are free to accept the gift of kindness without calculating whether it will put you farther into debt to that person than you want to be or planning how you will pay them back. There are no strings attached. This is true even if the giver of kindness thinks there are strings.

When you accept that an act of kindness is not an exchange of value and someone treats you poorly after you have been kind to them, you will not see yourself as naïve or weak. You will not feel the need to take the high road, defend the actions of the other “s/he is just not herself today” and you will not be inclined to retaliate. You will not be saying things to your self such as “I was really kind to you and you were not kind back. I’m going to wait and see if you smarten up before I am that kind again” or “I’ll give you one more chance but if you don’t get nicer, I’m out of here.”

By shifting your perspective you will be able to make yourself feel good anytime you want simply by being kind.

So, what is the difference between kindness and ass-kissing? Kindness makes you feel good every time. Ass-kissing is like shopping — sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you find what you are looking for and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes the price is right and sometimes it isn’t.

You can be kind all day and still feel good at night. Ass-kissing, like shopping, wears a person out.

Originally published at patmchugh-mccormick.com on July 21, 2015.

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