Why being kind is good for you and others—especially now!
A moment please, and a word about biding your tongue and minding your manners.
I think we've all lost patience with the world since COVID-19 appeared. I know I have. Not surprisingly, social media has gotten ugly. If you don't agree with someone's opinion, then you're given all kinds of nasty labels.
I tend to stay away from controversy and conflict, so you'll rarely see angry rants on my wall. it's time to simply step away, avert your eyes. You won't change their opinion, and they most likely won't change yours.
Unfortunately, being short-tempered and unkind isn't something new. I was out shopping a few months ago, and I came across a store employee who was chewed out by a customer. There was a long line, the store was short-staffed, and the lady who complained promised to speak to the manager in hopes that the employee would be punished. Needless to say, the young woman seemed humiliated and hurt.
On a more personal note, I had extended a kindness to a friend recently, and I received no word of thanks or even an acknowledgment of my efforts. (Ouch!) So, you know what I did?
I didn't lash out at the friend. I didn't take her to task for hurting my feelings. I didn't gossip about her.
I shrugged it off and reminded myself that her indifference to my actions could have been because of something else going on her life. (Honestly, I don't think she would hurt my feelings on purpose. She most likely doesn't even know how I feel.)
I reminded myself to not read into her motivations. I've found when I do that—not ascribe motive to other's actions—I'm a happier person.
The scenarios we imagine in our heads are usually far harsher than reality. "They did such and such because/believe such and such . . ." By practicing our anger, and by that I mean imagining why someone acted as they did, we stir up hateful feelings for others and stir up hurtful feelings for ourselves.
Since I first saw that Jane Eyre quote, I've loved it. I think it goes hand in hand with a favorite bible verse: A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Proverbs 15:1
So please—for your sake and others'—take a breath, say a prayer, and be kind. Practice your patience, and practice kindness. It will benefit everyone.
What do you do when faced with hurtful situations?