I like to consider myself a fairly knowledgeable and understanding person, but one thing I can’t wrap my mind around are mean people; just plain ole’ mean for no good reason. Although I don’t believe there’s ever a good enough reason to be mean, the bottom line is that I don’t get it. Even working in my field of practice, I hear horrific stories of abuse, pain, and injustices of all kinds; some that may even make you give someone a pass to be mean. But even in all the things I’ve heard from the individuals I’ve counseled, they still find a way to display kindness.
One thing that I know for sure is that kindness will NEVER go out of style. I was raised in a household where kindness was the standard. I didn’t know what it looked like to be intentionally mean or hateful to another individual because despite circumstances I never saw my parents display that type of behavior. Sure I saw it outside my home, and I often thought that it was merely circumstantial; all in all it never encouraged me to be anything other than kind.
I believe that kindness is learned primarily through reciprocation; and I especially believe that it is a choice. We choose to be kind or unkind; and every time we make the choice we are spreading hope, joy, and possibly giving someone a reason to keep going. Being kind also gets us a lot further along than being indifferent, upset, or mean does. I’ve heard the saying that “manners will get you places that money can’t”. And not that we should use kindness as a means to an end, but simply that we should be kind because we have the capacity to do so.
Lately it’s been especially heavy on my heart to be even kinder to people, and to find ways to be kind on purpose. Being kind can cost us absolutely nothing, and it can manifest in different ways: holding the door, giving your time, or simply smiling at someone in passing. I believe my recent urge to be more kind is related to my slight annoyance with individuals who don’t smile and those who suffer from RBF. I know it’s sometimes uncontrollable and even unintentional, but it makes me frustrated so I smile extra hard at those people (haha).
I know that this world can sometimes be an evil place, and I dare not minimize the real issues that exist in our lives or the tormenting ones that exists in our world. But even despite the issues, I believe there is still so much to be joyous about and I refuse to let a moment pass where I don’t allow it to show. There’s enough hatred, malice, and pain being spread around; being kind never hurt anyone. Yes, we will have bad days, and we won’t always feel great on the inside; but when those days hit, it gives us an opportunity to remember that someone else may have it worse.