Let's talk about ... kindness
I default to Thumper on this one. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” My only note to Thumper’s wisdom is that we can also substitute his word “say” with “do.”
I hope that most of us do a good job at being kind to people in our lives who we care for. A best friend in my life told me the other day that my love language is picking up or taking friends to the airport. I have never felt more understood. I love to love on my people.
But, that’s not what we’re going to talk about here. I don’t think many of us need a lesson in being kind to those around us who we love. That’s easy to do.
We’re going to talk about using our kindness to combat situations or people that aren’t leading with it. It’s often feels like today’s world is divided, constantly finding ways to separate people into two or more groups, and making them enemies. Us and them. It’s a problem.
We see people on social media making large claims, claims that sometimes include calling out their version of them. We can hear someone at a restaurant having a conversation with similar testaments. We probably feel the need to do the same at times. We maybe even have done one or more of these things.
None of those are kind things.
Kindness holds the ability to disarm a heightened situation. I am not a mother yet, but I have been around plenty of children. I know the difference of facing a tantrumming-toddler with yelling at them to “stop!” versus crouching down to their eye-level, asking them what’s causing the problem and offering a solution in love.
This same mentality can be translated into many facets in life. If you’re on social media – which you all are since you’re reading this – think about the “loudest” person you know on a specific platform. If nobody replied to their internet scream fest about a politician, they wouldn’t end up in a fight in the comment section.
It’s not always human nature to lead with Thumper’s advice, because sometimes we feel the need to defend ourselves. If you are faced with the need to defend yourself or someone you love, chances are you don’t need to handle it in the Metaverse.
Here’s a little kindness cheat sheet. Reference it whenever needed.
You face someone being unkind and it’s someone you care about … treat them like your favorite tantrumming-toddler. Disarm them. Figure out the issue and offer them a solution in love.
You face someone being unkind, it’s someone you care about, and they have said something to offend you or someone else you care about … privately have a chat with them about why they feel that way and tell them how it made you feel.
You face someone being unkind and it’s not someone you care about … “don’t say nothing at all.”
When you can lead with kindness, do it. If you come across someone who isn’t asking for your kindness, rather than being rude, give the kindness to someone who will appreciate it.