I woke up this morning with a buzz in my ear…and here it is.
You may have seen on my social media, on my etsy shop and on my blog that I call myself a kindness advocate. Let me explain a little. Judging comes very easy to me. Always has. Expectations and opinions flow through my veins. It is only through some serious growth, and a few hard lessons, that I realized that I’m not always right and kindness truly matters.
Giving the benefit of the doubt matters.
Understanding that everyone is different matters.
Realizing that everyone’s circumstances are different, their backgrounds are different, their response mechanisms are different, their support systems are different…and that all of that matters.
It took me well into my 30s before I realized that how I think, how I react, and what I do is not always right. That was a hard pill to swallow. Lol. I realized I’m not always the smartest person in the room and that I’m definitely not always right. I don’t always have the answers, and there are other ways of doing and thinking that are better than the way I do it.
I realized that you really have to hear where a person comes from and how they got to where they are in life before you can really understand their position, their mentality, and their actions.
Maybe you would have done things differently if faced with the same set of circumstances, but maybe not. I had to really examine how many times I’ve made a bad decision, one that others in my exact situation wouldn’t have made, and how I had to learn from the mistake to truly appreciate just how bad of a decision it was. Most of the time, the decisions were things I could recover from. But some did change my life in more permanent ways. But should I be judged or should someone be mean to me because I chose a wrong path or because I made a decision they wouldn’t have made? I don’t think so.
But every interaction may not afford you the opportunity for a deep dive into people’s lives so that you can understand exactly how they got to that street corner, or wound up in a financial bind, or whatever. It may only be seconds of time out of your life that your path crosses with someone. And that’s when you have to decide. Would I rather spend these seconds judging, being mean, ignoring, or getting riled up? Or would I rather realize this is a human being that got here by means of which I do not know, and that this person could use a couple of dollars, a sweater, a drink, a meal, a smile, or at the very least, for someone to not add to the weight on their shoulders by being mean to them?
My choice is compassion. Or rather, the choice I hope I make each time is compassion. Kindness. Generosity. I’m working each day to train myself to make that choice, and to advocate for people to consider compassion as their choice. It’s not always easy, and it doesn’t come naturally all the time. But that’s what I am working towards each day. Kindness always. Even when it’s really, really, really hard.
Through my apparel, I try to emphasize positivity and good vibes. I try to always smile, and I try to see the good in every person I interact with either in person or on social media. I’m not always successful, trust me. But it is something I actively strive for each day.
These days we are all coping with unprecedented stress. We are in a situation we may not see again in our lifetime. We are all figuring it out and we are all trying our best. And we all deserve a little kindness.
Do you have a personal attribute that you are working on? What made you realize it was time to work on that particular quality? What do you do to motivate yourself to work on it? Do you have any tips?