Top ten ways to repay the kindness you receive


Once we recognize the kindness we receive, we will naturally feel thankful, and if we feel enough gratitude, we will develop the desire to repay that kindness. By breaking this progression down into three parts, we can deepen our conviction and reinforced these feelings and beliefs. We can repay the kindness of others through acts of giving.

Giving in this context is helping others in whatever way we can. We should set our intention on seeking opportunities to provide assistance and acting on those opportunities as they arise. We then apply vigilant attention to seeking opportunities to give. These opportunities include the following ways of helping others:

1. Return the kindness we have received.

1.A. If we can’t actually do anything, we can at least remember the kindness we have received and pay due respect, send blessings to those responsible.

1.B. If we can’t repay the person who helped us, we can pay it forward and help someone else in a similar fashion. In this way, kindness spreads.

2. Offer sincere thanks to everyone who’s kindness directly benefits you, no matter how small the kindness is.

3. Offer other people assistance with their work. Provide a supportive work environment.

4. Teach skills to those who do not know how to accomplish tasks.

5. Practice patience with those who arouse anger in you. 

6. Help those who experience problems resulting from their anger or attachment.

7. Give material assistance to those who are destitute.

8. Remove dangers that threaten others and eliminate what causes them fear.

9. Console others when they are in grief.

10. Praise and encourage those who intentionally act with kindness and assist their practice in whatever way we can. And affirm our own commitment to apply effort to acts of kindness.

And always help others in a way that is appropriate to their own views and customs, or we may not be helping at all.

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I am Anattā. Not my real name, of course, but that’s the point. I selected the moniker Anattā because in Buddhism, my primary spiritual practice, the term anattā refers to the doctrine of “non-self”. In more practical terms, I chose the name Anattā because by writing anonymously, it’s far easier to be completely candid and honest. Further, there is no danger of my writing becoming tainted by any desire for self-aggrandizement. I write primarily to improve my own understanding of these topics, but my deepest desire for writing on this site is to help others.