Can the chain of kindness turn you unkind?

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Have you heard about the concept of circle of kindness, an idea that tries to emphasize that doing an act of kindness to someone shall encourage that person to do another act of kindness to someone else, and so on, the kindness chain shall  go on and eventually, you shall be at the receiving end of an act of kindness. And that’s why we should keep practicing acts of kindness to make this world a better place. You may have seen this video on a social network before.

While driving to work one day, I started thinking about this concept (that’s what you do when you are stuck in traffic, your mind wanders to such random thoughts.) I will get to the point why I started thinking about it, but before that, I would like to emphasize here the difference between “chain of kindness” and “circle of kindness”. A circle of kindness is a subset (or an instance of) chain of kindness. It’s possible that you could initiate this chain but don’t end up being on the receiving end of such an act.

Ok, now getting back to the point why I started thinking about it, I had to shift to a right lane but the cars in the right lane weren’t giving me enough space to shift in. Then someone in that lane , who probably saw my struggle to get in that lane, decided to give me enough space to shift in easily, I raised my hand as a gesture of thanks to that person. Then, after a few seconds later, I saw another car struggling to get into my lane and I decided to help him out by letting him enough space to get in front of me. Or in other words, close to the theme of this post, I carried forward the chain of kindness.

That started a train of thought (or shall I say a chain of thought to keep up with the title:)). But before that let me define some actors to keep track of them easily.

A – the initiator (the person who let me in)

B – the middle guy (me)

C – the last receiver of kindness (the person whom I let in)

Questions for A:
How did A feel when B let C in ? Did he feel aggravated? If not, How would he feel if C let in D and D let in E and so on.. ? Would he still be calm about it? Will he regret initiating this chain of kindness and curse himself and eventually, decide to pledge to never show such an act of kindness?

Questions for B:
Was the act of letting C in just a way of pleasing himself or settling the “score” of kindness? Would B act as the initiator himself next day or would he always need a nudge to do such an act? Letting in C is adding additional delay to A, so is B doing an unkind act to A then?

Questions for C:
What happens if C doesn’t get a chance to show kindness in traffic, does he forget about it or would he be willing to initiate it next time?

All these questions were interesting to think about, give it a try. It’s not easy to guess what others would think, so I think the easiest way to reason about them will be imagining what would you think if you were A (or B or C). I don’t want to persuade your thoughts by sharing my personal opinions now, so let’s talk about this when we meet over a cup of coffee 🙂

PS: Total number of “kindness” given(used) in this post = 19 😛