A Scout is kind. A Scout knows there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. Without good reason, he does not harm or kill any living thing.
No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to
another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out
roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.
The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them
– Amelia Erhart
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for
complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the
philosophy is kindness.
– His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Kindness is not usually my first reaction to difficult situations. My first reaction may be disappointment, anger, frustration or some other form of dismay. But if I can maintain an even temper (something that gets easier and easier as I practice) I can choose to respond with kindness.
Buddhism teaches a conceptualization of other people that reminds us we are all part of each other. Admittedly this concept is foreign to the western mind and may not pass theological muster in other systems of belief yet it contains some broad truths that correspond to most.
Buddhism accepts that we have all passed through innumerable cycles of rebirth in innumerable worlds in the the infinite past. In these innumerable cycles we are so closely interrelated to the rest of humankind we have all shared the same family at one time or another. Keeping this in mind that person who is the source of our distress was, in some past life, our mother, father sister or brother and we should look on them as such. We should treat them not as an enemy but as we would treat the closest member of our own family.
This thread of kindness is woven into every system of belief.
The Judeo-Christian imperative that we treat others as we would wish to be treated ourselves echos this concept.
Hinduism declares that “One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self. This, in brief, is the rule of dharma.” in the Mahabharata.
Islam’s Muhammad said “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”
Scouting’s aspiration to kindness possesses great potential to unite many disparate opinons on a single point of agreement.