I nearly went on a rant the other day, but dialed back, sat back and thought about the message gnawing at me.
It was a good message. But how would it be received if I was ranting? Not well, I’m sure. Or at least not as well as a different approach might. (And seriously? I’m just not a ranter!)
So I thought about it some more, and tried to figure out how to turn a negative into a positive–an exercise I learned a while back, and it’s been making a difference in my life.
Here’s how it works. Identify the negative, LOL, that’s easy because it’s what’s making me mad. I wanted to scream at people on Facebook, “Stop judging other people! Just. Stop. It!!!!!”
Hmmm. I bet that would have stirred up all kinds of action, and probably little of it would have been positive, which would have made me all the more angry, and I HATE being angry. For me, it’s a waste of energy, and nothing good ever comes from it.
First step: I had to figure out what I could do to make the “judging” go away…without focusing on the judging. It didn’t take a whole lot of figuring, but it did feel a bit like a light bulb moment, and when it happened, I even said it out loud. One word. One simple concept. No shouting required.
Yep. That’s it. Plain and simple. Instead of trying to stop the meanness of people judging other people, I could promote kindness.
So here I am. Spreading one simple yet magnificent word as far and wide as I can.
Kindness is cool. Kindness feels good from both the giving and receiving ends. Kindness is free. Kindness can be as little as a smile, or as much as giving someone financial support.
Kindness can be listening to a story you’ve heard a hundred times already, (because the teller doesn’t remember that). Kindness can be tossing a peanut to a squirrel, or keeping your hummingbird feeder full. Kindness can be accepting that not everyone lives the same way or has the same beliefs as I do.
Kindness can be turning a blind eye when someone makes a mistake. Kindness can be accepting that maybe the poorly written, self-published book you downloaded was someone’s dream of a lifetime, ultimate accomplishment, proof that they did something special, finished something they believed in. Kindness is not sharing your negative opinions.
Kindness is letting other people live the lives THEY own. Kindness is quietly walking away from what you can’t accept. Kindness is knowing you are not responsible for someone else’s hurt, but maybe you can make them feel better.
Kindness is smiling at your fellow man, even if his socks don’t match.
What does kindness mean to you? Please share!
Kathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series.
Novels filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance. Think MacGyver, Criminal Minds, and James Bond…with a dash of I Love Lucy.