What If Every Day Was ‘World Kindness Day?’ We Need It.
Every year, the world takes note of the importance of kindness. November 13. I can't help but feel that this year, it is more needed than ever.
After the season we've all walked through, from blatant acts of hateful racism, a contentious political season, and a re-surging pandemic, we can feel tempted to either overdose on glazed donuts, go back to bed, or to begin to feel a creeping cynicism and apathy about all of the heartbreak and sadness going on around the world.
I tend to be a sensitive soul, so I know I have to mentally prepare myself before delving into what's "trending," in order to get updated without becoming emotionally paralyzed and melancholy.
Obviously, there is a continuing pandemic in East Texas, our state, country and around the world. It feels a bit like there's a world war. In fact, there is, albeit of a different variety. On top of that, we are all facing some kind of either heartache or difficulty in our own personal spheres as we do our best to wrangle with our new realities and potential economic challenges.
And however we feel about what's happening politically, there's one thing we need to keep in mind. We are all human. We have people we love. Most of us want to do the best we can in our lives and for others. One of the most powerful balms to soothe almost any wounds? Kindness.
Sometimes kindness is underrated in this fast-paced, "get it all done and win" world in which we live. Some of us have been taught that a little kindness is okay, but overdo it and people will run all over you. Some see it as out-and-out weakness. However, I don't subscribe to that point of view.
To me, meanness and cynicism are easier. Excluding other based on some particular issue or mindset is easier. Fanning the flames of disagreement and division is the "natural" human choice to make. It's easy to be at war with ourselves, our neighbors, our enemies. Kindness and seeking to show love where it isn't warranted is much more difficult. It takes sincere strength.
Disclaimer: I'm not advocating for a world in which kindness means we don't defend ourselves, set boundaries, and have our own voice. Kindness, to me, is more indicative of a type of grace or buffer for people in our lives--even those on whom kindness occasionally seems to be lost on them completely. Many times, those people need it the very most.
As we all do our best to walk through this crisis together, be kind. We need each other. And we need each other to be kind. Not just today. But every day.