“It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.” John Steinbeck
“Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.” Annie Lennox
I am truly amazed at how easily anyone, be it friend, acquaintance, family member or shop keeper, carelessly lashes out with their words. I am sincerely implying, that I find it extremely sad that we so readily step on another. It is as if we have lost our moral compass, and our compassion. I don’t know about other people, but when someone does this to me, I find it difficult and challenging to concentrate. I would compare it to having the wind knocked out of you.
It always comes unexpectedly, and most of the time without a good reason. It appears at times, when someone is attempting to “put you in your place.” That is hurtful and questionable. It makes you wonder why they have that need to push you to the point of breaking your spirit, and your heart. Many people say just develop a thicker skin, or stop looking at the world with rose colored glasses. I prefer the truth but like to observe it and digest it gradually.
That is problematic. To openly admit that basically the world is full of spiteful people, is loathsome. I want to have faith in others.I believe that we all deep down care about each other and openly share our love. If I admit kindness is fruitless, then I might as well curl up and shut out the world. I would lose my faith and belief even in myself. I know I can’t do that. On those days I am left holding the bag of thorns, I try to remember a compassionate act the other person extended towards me. I would rather believe in their love for me, by recalling their considerate deed, than dwell on their recent maltreatment. I close the door on the nastiness, and open my heart to the kindness.
It is probable, that many people are not aware of their abrupt style of delivering a message. At times, we have to accept the manner of the conveyance. Annoying situations are definitely a part of life and inescapable. Unless we learn to let go of attacks, great or small, our sensitivity will be constantly crushed. Perhaps by recalling the burdens all people juggle, we will fortify our minds and hearts, when an onslaught begins. We vie for attention, want to be the better friend, despise being out of a loop, hate to be out of step, like being the center of attention, and above all else want to be appreciated, respected and loved.
If this means choosing sides, we do it many times, even at the cost of damaging another. If it means losing a friend, we accept the damages and move on. We constantly review our next option or plan. If we are in a hurry, and a clerk wastes our time, we may verbally become aggressive without remorse. It may even leave us laughing about the incident hours or days later. It is open season on anyone who we come into contact with.
I seriously wonder when we began to be so outspoken and inconsiderate towards others. We don’t hold back, and sometimes we are not very nice. The next day finds us without regret. Meanness is overcoming tolerance. Honesty is being used as the reason for our destruction of others. Unless we wake up and confront the viciousness of our words and actions, we will continue to maltreat others because we can.
It is not power that allows us to do this, but the awareness of the helplessness of another individual. Cruelty can be used as a cover for truthfulness. I ponder if we just don’t have the time to be nice. It takes time to explain a problem to someone. It takes time to allow another person to attend to a store situation. It takes time to speak kindly in explaination, than to retort offensively. It takes time and effort to gain a person’s understanding and trust of a situation.
The time given is immeasurable because it saves a lot of grief, loss of sleep and loss of concentration. Kindness is cheap. It is available at every moment, if we open our heats. It brings countless benefits to others, and promotes positive connections. They say you can’t slow down time. I think we can add time, by calmly facing problems, and solving them quickly. By doing so we are not as apt to run ram-shod over another. The extra time it took to do things in a kindly manner, will save us time by alleviating denials, refute accusations and ongoing disputes. Those of us not interested in forgiveness, may break the bridge we might one day have to cross.
People take drugs sometimes to feel good. Kindness works better than a drug. If one applies it daily, they will find happiness. Of course there are always those who will test your resolve and patience. Your mood will change for the better, if you treat others as you would want to be treated.
“It’s not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not. We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, even – or rather, especially – when we’d prefer not to be.” Josh Radnor
Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people. Dennis Prager