In a world where we can sit behind a keyboard and say whatever we want, or look at another and make judgments based only upon what we see with our eyes, how important it is now, more than ever, to be consciously kind. We are a faceless generation. Connected only by invisible wavelengths and radio frequencies. We can have hundreds, even thousands, of followers and simultaneously feel completely unnoticed.
It is SO easy to scroll through our feed and leave a comment on a story or a post. It is SO easy to brush someone off when they say something we don’t like. It is SO easy not to realize how our words and actions effect people. We can stroll through life mostly oblivious to the way other people feel, or convince ourselves that how they feel is illegitimate, and therefore unworthy of our notice.
Let me let you in on a little secret, as a women, I’ve been in a place many times where I have been made to feel insignificant, like an inconsequential blip in someone’s life. Men (and often other women) are so quick to write off feelings or needs as “being dramatic” or “being hormonal” God, how awful has society warped our vision of the needs of others! So much so, that we instantly write them off? Are people sometimes just dramatic? Yes. Are women (and men) sometimes just hormonal? Yes. But should that be our default? No.
When I was a kid, my parents always taught me the importance of kindness. You can’t control a lot of things about this life, but you can ALWAYS control how kind and humble you are towards other people. I never really saw it as an option. I never wanted to pick on other kids or put people down, and hell I was AWFUL at competitive sports. All I cared about was if someone won, and honestly, it made me feel better when the other people did. They obviously cared more about winning than I did, and it was a chance to make someone else happy.
So is kindness nature or nurture? Like a lot of personality traits, it’s a little of both, but it’s definitely more of a skill and state of mind that can be learned. And should be more often by more people.
It’s a matter of energy.
You can spend your energy being negative, needing to be right, being vindictive, holding a grudge, etc. OR you can spend it building people up, trying to influence others in a positive way, and spending time making people feel better instead of being wrapped up in yourself and pressing your own personal views on everyone you encounter.
What good is done by a negative comment on Facebook?
What good is done by harsh words spoken to a loved one (or anyone)?
What good is done being angry at a group of people who never did anything directly to you?
The answer is ALWAYS NONE.
When you spend your time and your energy on breaking people down, on spreading hate, on inspiring disunion, you accomplish NOTHING.
So why are we wasting so much energy on something that accomplishes nothing?! The logic is pretty simple if you break it down.
The next time you’re about to make a choice, the next time you’re about to speak a sentence to someone, ask, what good is to be done by my actions or words?
The principal seems so simple, so childish, and yet SO many adults cannot seem to understand this concept, let alone put it to practice.
Now, let me get down off my soapbox and get real here. I have a plethora of times in life where I have not made the choice to be consciously kind. I have said mean things about my ex’s new girlfriends. I have said mean things about my best friend’s ex boyfriend. I have cursed my parents (in my younger years) I have physically yelled at God. I’ve called people names, I have said things in anger, and I regularly berate people from the confines of my car for their poor driving. I am by NO means perfect at this whole kindness thing.
However, when I am about to post something on Facebook, when I am about to text back something nasty, when I am getting angry at people going 2 mi under the speed limit in the fast lane, I have begun to ask myself:
What good will come of this?
Can you even begin to imagine how to landscape of social media and our WORLD would change if everyone transitioned to this default?