This subject has been on my mind a lot recently. It all started with a quote I found a while back that has since sort of shaped my life.
“We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.” – Charles Bukowski
I then saw a vine of a guy who was talking about how the world we live in sees positivity and kindness and spreading love as weak.
Finally, Carrie Hope Fletcher came out with a video the other day:
And on that same day, my friend followed me on twitter. His bio: everyone has light and dark inside of them…what matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.
I get it, universe. You obviously want me to write a blog post on this subject.
In all seriousness, though, I think this is something that never really gets talked about. Kind people are often taken advantage of, and people who are brutally honest are often praised. “Good for them, not being afraid to speak their mind,” we think. And “about time someone said what we were all thinking.”
But there’s a difference between being outspoken and being downright mean. Like Carrie mentioned, I’m not sure why we sometimes think the only way to give someone the truth is to hit them with it hard. I think this probably happened because people saw two choices in front of them: brutal honesty or sugar coating. But we have another choice: kindness. We can always choose kindness.
My friend’s bio really stood out to me because I had/have a bit of a mean streak. And it’s clear when you look at the differences between my sister (a true saint I kid you not) and myself when we were children. Sarah was constantly helping others, especially those who couldn’t help her in return. Even in elementary school, she would get paired up with kids who had special needs because the teachers knew she would treat them with the most kindness. She just emitted happiness and warmth. I mean, she was a hugger. I couldn’t have been more different.
Now, I like to think that I’m a fairly nice person. I’m certainly capable (we all are), but I don’t think I always choose kindness. I can think of too many situations where I chose to be brutally honest and I regret it. Maybe I thought I knew better, and I thought brutal honesty would be the best way to help someone see their faults, or learn a lesson. I don’t know, but the excuse isn’t important. What’s important is that I chose to act on the darkness, and that was the wrong choice. It’s always the wrong choice.
I’m realizing that more and more now, and I see people like Sarah not as fragile or weak, but as admirable. To choose kindness is to be strong–and mindful. In a world where it sometimes seems like everyone is just using everyone else and trying to tear each other down, it’s inspiring to see those who pick people up, just by second nature. It takes an incredible amount of strength to push aside feelings of hurt or anger or frustration and choose kindness. That’s what I’m going to really try to focus on doing from now on, and I urge everyone else to do the same.
Choose kindness, because why would you choose the opposite?