A Call to Kindness – Not because “’tis the season” or for any aphorism, maxim, or particular moral code. I raise a call for kindness because kindness is needed.
As many quote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”; but let me make this more direct, more personal.
For me, holidays have always been really tough. And this has been an exceptionally terrible year. As the holiday weekend draws closer, this chasm of pain tears open in my chest.
Holidays have a way of creating expectations, shifting norms, and exaggerating in our own minds how far from what we want we really are. For example, we are supposed to be with family for the holiday, that is the expectation. We see an image of a happy family and it serves as a sharp reminder of what we don’t have.
I went to a party where someone, joking, laughed about what would be the most pathetic holiday, and that individual described almost exactly what my holiday will be.
Let me be clear about this: I don’t want (or need) your pity, or even your expressions of concern. Please don’t send them my way.
I want you to spend your kindness on others.
In living in these moments of pain, I realized that there are others similar to me, as well as those who suffer similar circumstances with even harder emotional results.
Truth is, I’ll get through it, I’ll come out the other end. But not everyone will. Some will barely be able to get through it; and others, not at all. People can smile and you think you know them, or you think you can read what they are feeling, but you really never know who may be suffering and to what degree.
I also realized that there are more yet who have it far, far worse than I do. I’m fed, I have a job, I have people I can call upon if I really need it.
There are people who’ve made their choices and ended up in bad places, as well as those who ended up in bad places despite trying the best they could; worse, there are a whole lot of people who are victims of the decisions others have made.
So this is my Call to Kindness, and I hope a few of you will listen.
Dwell in those things that bring you joy. Live in those moments of happiness: family, friends, the people you love, good food, a new job or promotion, your cat, dog, or whatever, a story acceptance, something accomplished that excites you, whatever those things are that bring you happiness.
Let that joy be the fuel for your kindness.
Let go of petty grievances, of irritations, of the urge to lash back at an insult or slight. Let go of greed, or the need to shine brighter at the expense of someone else.
Let your joy give you the strength to be kind; and give that kindness to everyone.
We exist in cooperation. We live and grow and improve through our combined efforts.
Set your phasers to “hug.” Put on an honest smile. Your kindness transforms personal joy into a gift for everyone.
Thanks for reading, and happy everything you are.