Kindness is not a Sacrifice

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. on Wikipedia

There is more to kindness and generosity than the warm feeling it gives us in our hearts. When we give to others, we improve the conditions of the world in which we live.

When suffering and scarcity exist, it affects us all in some way. Whether close friends and relatives, neighbors in the same block, the other side of the city or the other side of the world, it is impossible to shield ourselves entirely from what others experience. Ours is a shared experience.

This is also true with joy and abundance. From the economic ripple effect of our neighbor’s upward mobility to the warm feeling we get when we see the sincere smile of a friend or stranger, when others are uplifted, so are we.

Martin Luther King, Jr. risked his comfort, security, freedom and ultimately his life in his efforts to improve the conditions of all people facing injustice and poverty. He knew that, even with the means to live a comfortable life, he could not while others suffered.

Most of us do not have the strength, faith or desire to make the apparent sacrifices he made, but through his example, we can learn to live more fully and see that kindness is not a sacrifice at all. Though King’s life was short and often stressful, he experienced more hope, joy, passion and true richness than the wealthiest among us.

About the author


I am Danny Kohn, writer and designer for this site and owner, software engineer and consultant for Inspirations Software Design. My three greatest passions in life are sharing time with my family, software design and sharing inspiration with others. I have the incredible privilege of being able to spend a significant amount of time every day doing each of those three things. I am a single father of Tristen, our 6 year old son. It has been such an incredible joy to watch him grow up and learn so much. Everything he does and says overwhelms me with adoration. We have a wonderful evening ritual of reading books together in a beanbag chair. Nearly every night, we have a laughing attack together. I smile and giggle constantly in his presence and feel truly inspired.

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