Kindness – Not Just a New Year’s Resolution

Our world is a mess.  Watching the news this morning, I found myself frustrated and worried and thought it best to turn it off.  It’s crazy.  There is so much anger and hate, us against them…it’s tough to avoid getting caught up in all of the negativity.  People are so stressed, tempers flaring everywhere you go, and this is both contagious and self-perpetuating.

Everything is me me me, and we really don’t care who we stomp on or how.  It makes sense that people are looking out for themselves and their families – life is cruelly indifferent and there is a lot of evil in the world.  But “me first” is not the same as “me only.”  When did we become so demanding, so entitled, and so freaking mean?  We have very little sense of civility, and while we can’t let other people walk all over us, it shouldn’t be a badge of pride to tell stories about how we ripped someone a new one.

People excuse their own bad behavior by pointing out how much that other person deserved it.  Sometimes, they may be right…but usually, it’s a gross over-reaction to something less significant.  Whatever the reason, when rudeness and anger prevail, you’re probably not solving anything.  Maybe you feel a little better, but you probably feel worse…unless it was truly deserved.  Or you are not a nice person.

I like to think most people are somewhat rational, caring individuals.  We’re good people with good hearts, so why are we like this?

We feel better when we are happy, when we’ve done something nice, or when things go right.  Most of us don’t like to be mean, and we don’t mean to be.  It’s easy to get caught up in the negativity around us, and not even realize we’ve become snappy, self-absorbed, or unrealistic.  This affects every aspect of our lives, including our home and relationships.  Sometimes, we’re most awful to the people we love most…

Can’t we try to be a little nicer?  The only thing any of us can control is ourselves and the way we react to things.  If we take time to step out of our shells, and actively cultivate kindness within ourselves, our attitudes can change dramatically.

Think about it.  We can be the change we’d like to see, rather than complaining about and contributing to the problems.  You can make your world better.  The motivation may be technically selfish, but everyone around you will benefit.

I understand we are all different with different personalities.  However, I think that everyone can agree that kindness is lacking in our world and that we could use more of it.  Committing to doing one random act of kindness every day is a great place to start, even if you’re a genuinely cranky person who hates people.  Consciously making it a point to do something nice might help you maintain a more positive mindset throughout the day.  Maybe you won’t even flip off that little old lady on the highway!

Maybe you’ll be a little more understanding – the other thing sorely lacking in today’s world.  Maybe that poor lady didn’t see you because the sun was in her eyes. She’s probably scared out of her wits, and may have no other way to get groceries for herself and her sick husband…what if that was your Grandma?

Checking your temper could even be your kind act for the day! 😉 Baby steps…

We spend a lot of time talking about tolerance and understanding and helping others.  These stories were on the news as well.  Do we really need to learn how to be nice?  What if we actually tried to put our words into practice, each of us, by our actions?

One act of kindness each day…it won’t kill you, I promise.


Featured Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

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