Although I most often error on the side of kindness, I too can get caught up in the ‘how dare they treat someone that way’ game, or “how unfair and unjust that person” is being game.
I fully understand and believe that hurting others comes from an underlying lack of self love and with that knowledge, you would think that we would choose kindness as a way to counter cruelty. I don’t mean to allow and accept cruel behavior, but rather not to become cruel ourselves in dealing with those obviously hurting as well. I also don’t mean to condone it as there are consequences to the choices we make – some good, some not so good.
So where is the aha moment you wonder?
I love Ellen Degeneres and DVR her show to watch it later. I usually watch her opening monologue and catch the guests of interest. I just saw her show with Kanye West and they discussed his cruel (my words not theirs) treatment of Taylor Swift on an awards show last year. Kanye certainly didn’t error on the side of kindness. I remember at the time feeling sorry for him (and Taylor too who handled it beautifully) while still realizing what he did was in poor taste and down right mean. I thought the abuse he took after was equally bad if not worse as it was calculated and chosen words, not spur of the moment (or alcohol induced) words. I by no means agree with Kanye’s actions, yet felt compassion for him.
Here was my AHA moment. I like Kanye for some reason. I like several of his songs, but there is something about him I like. I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s there. Although I more than not error on the side of kindness, I’ve also been quick to judge and complain about someone’s behavior to another person and have most likely been hurtful at some point in my life…but what I realized is my judgment wasn’t first and foremost kindness, but rather if I liked the person to begin with. Had this situation happened with another person I’m not a fan of, would I have had that initial compassion? Or would I have been on the band wagon of making him out to be an animal attacking a little girl?
I will continue to error on the side of kindness, with a new caveat to truly be kind whether or not I like what you stand for. I am a firm believer in talking about others the way I want others to talk about me. I believe in writing about others the way I would want others writing about me…this seems to tell me that kindness needs to be my first, second, and third thoughts and then if anger needs to happen, it’s meant too.
I ask you to join me starting our conversations, judgments, and days with kindness.
Talk and write about others how you would want talked and written about.
Give a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, to those in need.
Be the voice for someone who has been silenced – and be that voice kindly.
Our mothers always say “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Kudos to the mammas!