Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A note on kindness.

The word kindness has been on constant rotation in my mind lately, or more adequately the lack of kindness. Personal experiences and experiences affecting those around me have sparked a desire in me to talk about the lack of kindness in my world lately.  I won't leave myself out. I won't blame everyone else for the unkindness and not talk about how I can be unkind as well.

So why all the unkind words, actions, and thoughts? I think we are all busy. Busy with school, work, family, you name it...most of us are pretty busy people. We get so busy that we can be unkind to those around us. Our mentality might be "they can't possibly be as busy as me....get out of my way." Perfect example of this mentality is when we are driving. We don't let someone in to traffic, we cut someone off, we yell when someone cuts us off, and the list goes on and on.We (again I use we to include myself) use busy as an excuse. We glorify in the excuse of being to busy to be caring, kind, or patient. If busy is making us unkind...I say let's stop being so busy.

 Another reason for our unkindness is getting lost in self. We see our own set of struggles and challenges. We feel our own heartbreak and grief. We forget that everyone has there on set us trials, struggles, obstacles, and challenges.We will never know the full extent of someone else's emotions or the obstacles that have been given to overcome. It's ok if we don't know them all (because it's a personal journey too) but we should at least acknowledge that every one we meet is facing something. We don't get to be unkind because we have challenges. Everyone we meet is having a challenge. Being unkind doesn't change your circumstances and it's adding to the burden of someone else. Unkindness is an added obstacle that you throw out into the world for others to overcome.

At one point, I am sure that everyone has felt broken by unkindness. Unkindness has a way of breaking spirits and ruining days. For those days I share this quote: “Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely. ... He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken.”   ― Dieter F. Uchtdorf

So what do we do about all of this unkindness?? We stop. We stop talking about other people when they leave the room. We stop getting angry, being rude, or using hurtful words. We take a second to remember that we are talking to another person with feelings, emotions, and challenges. We stop using technology to hurt people. I challenge myself and anyone reading this to replace unkindness with kindness. I challenge us to build each other up and to not let others unkindness break us.