It’s a phrase that I’m sure that we have all heard at least once in our lives. It’s an idea that goes against what I believe is the height of what humanity should strive for, and it’s something that any decent person struggles with rejecting on a daily basis.
“kindness is a weakness”
The world is designed to make you believe this in the core of your being. I feel, especially in the country where I live, that our empathy has atrophied. Look at how we treat our poor, our wounded and disabled. Look at how hard the poor really have to struggle just to survive in our nation. Look at how we treat those poor unfortunate “others” however they may be defined. Look at them without judgement and discrimination and decide if you feel that it’s fair that they should have to live like that. Imagine yourself in their shoes, keeping in mind their upbringing and background and the fact that they most likely had a different set of opportunities available to them at birth.
The truth is that it’s so much harder to react with kindness in all situations. It’s easier to build a wall and keep out any any person who disagrees with you or may not like you. It’s easier to surround yourself with people who think and talk and act just like you do. It’s easier to not have to think about others and their “other” problems.
Another truth: it’s easier to not grow as a person. It’s easier to not ask yourself uncomfortable questions. It’s easier to see people who disagree with you as “others”. (I know because I saw myself hypocritically falling into this same trap after election night. I had to ask myself some uncomfortable questions. I took some time off social media and came to a conclusion that I can live with.)
My personal goal is to make this my default setting, I want to be the best version of myself that I can. I want to grow and learn and make the world around me a better place just by existing in it. Empathy, kindness and compassion are the three words I want engraved into my soul. I don’t care if other people don’t understand, or think I’m existing with my head in the clouds; at least I can say I tried to better myself and that I tried to make the world around me better.
(I mean, I freaking gave drama llama a Christmas gift just because it would go against my philosophy to exclude him. I could have given my other coworkers their gifts outside of work to avoid this, but I’m not the kind of person to exclude people. Not anymore.)
So, if you are on the same wavelength as me and want to start on this path I have to warn you, it’s very difficult at first. Think of empathy and kindness like a muscle and you are just starting out at the gym. It sucks at first, right? Keep with it though, and you will find it becomes easier and one day you will look at yourself in the mirror and be very pleased with the results.