It is, obviously, important to be kind.
Imagine a world where everyone is unkind.
I have been reading this boo over the last couple of days; I finished it last night, actually. It’s called Holding Up the Universe, and it’s written by Jennifer Niven. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen all the photos I have posted of it.
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In this enchanting novel, Niven discusses the importance of kindness and the detrimental effects that unkindness can have. It got me thinking about the kindness that I show to people. It made me consider whether there is such a thing as too much kindness.
I try to show as much kindness as I can manage. If someone asks me to do something, I will usually try my best to help them out. I offer my assistance when someone looks like they are struggling. I like giving gifts just because I appreciate the recipient, and I want to see them smile. But sometimes I wonder whether my attempts at kindness go a little too far.
There have been times, and I am not going to mention specifics, that I have let my kindness go so far that I have let the recipient of my kindness walk all over me, just because I want to please them and I don’t want to let them down.
Though being earnest and kind are great qualities, and I am in no way demeaning them – they are valuable and sometimes impossible to find in a person – you need to find a balance. But the thing is, I don’t know how.
I’m hard wired to do what is expected of me. My default is to try to make people happy, and when I can’t do either of these things my brain starts to panic. I will usually start to cry, and I will go through a series of stages trying to problem solve. This is a vain exercise. Because everyone knows you can’t change the past.
I believe in the power of kindness. I respond well to someone being kind to me. The best way to motivate/convince me to do something is to give me positive reinforcement. Criticism, though needed in some circumstances, merely makes my brain produce a series of farts and then give up, hands up in surrender. Plus, kindness promotes self-esteem – which most members of society (including me) tend to lack.
Perhaps, though, I am in a better situation than some. Because, isn’t better to be kind and to know that you have made someone else’s life easier or brighter, than to be purely selfish and to make others feel smaller to make yourself feel superior?
“Do unto others as you have them do unto you.” It’s an old quote. But it’s poignant, and will be so ’til the end of time, because no matter how hard we try to eradicate it, there are always going to be people that are unkind. Just remember…
“You are wanted.
You are necessary.
You are loved.”
– Holding Up the Universe, Jennifer Niven
Find your balance. Be you, but don’t do this by make others feel like they shouldn’t be themselves. Treasure your friends, treasure your family, treasure those that you may not get along with, because the truth is …
Everyone you meet in this world contributes to the person you will eventually become.
Think on that.
Much love to you all. x
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See you Tuesday!