The words may be borrowed from a Frank Turner song, however, the sentiment remains the same and is something that resonates with me often. Kindness is a powerful trait and my own little life mantra of ‘Don’t Be A Dick’ is based on just that.
I have a somewhat idealistic vision of a society where people are fuelled by something bigger than their own egos. Call me naive by all means but I’d also like to pose this question to you – what exactly is wrong with that? Is it really that impossible to hope that one day we could all be a little kinder, to show a little more compassion towards one another? And how would that notion affect your existing way of life negatively in any possible way, shape or form?
I’m aware that in some (outdated and toxic) environments, kindness is still perceived as a fault, a weakness and insincere but I truly believe that you can be kind and still be assertive. You can be kind and still have solid boundaries. You can be kind and still disagree with someone’s opinion. You can be kind and still be driven. You can be kind and still say no. You can be kind and still be respected. You can be kind without having a hidden agenda. You can be kind and have a difficult conversation. You can be kind and…well, you get the idea.
Granted, kindness is not always an easy tool to utilise; it takes a lot of practice, resilience and self-awareness to be kind, especially during those moments when we really don’t feel like it. As human beings, if someone treats us badly or we’re not feeling great ourselves, it’s often easier to react from a place of defensiveness, immaturity and arrogance instead.
Authentic kindness, when delivered with compassion and understanding, can help to build trust, strengthen genuine connections and foster even more kindness, like a marvellous ripple effect. It can help those who may be feeling lost and vulnerable (for many reasons) feel seen, helping to give them a little bit of hope and motivation.
Give without any conditions or expectation, whether that’s practically or emotionally. Make a brew for a colleague unexpectedly. Think about how your own behaviours may be impacting those around you and how you can help to improve certain situations, rather than create barriers. Pop some extra food into your shopping trolley if you’re able to and pass it on those who need it.
It’s important to be kind to yourself too; I don’t necessarily mean by booking a spa day or lighting some candles but by letting yourself off the hook and stop putting pressure on yourself, by allowing yourself the things you need to thrive and be at peace. Forgive yourself for making mistakes, for the things you may still be working through and for the times when you didn’t know any better.
‘In a world that has decided that it’s going to lose its mind, be more kind my friends, try to be more kind.’