Recent events have had me thinking about how much we need more kindness. Are you doing your part?
I won’t bother with telling you which recent events I am referring to. Because no matter when you are reading this, I am sure that you can turn on the news or check the internet and see some story where people did not act in kindness. It is an ongoing problem. Always has been, probably always will be.
But don’t give up! You can still make a change in the world around you. And it just takes one person being kind to spread kindness to others. If you are kind to someone else, they just might pass it along to others. And then those people might pass it on to even more people. Isn’t it interesting to think about what one nice act could do?
What Not to Do
These days, it is commonplace to complain about something that does not go your way. You can either complain to the person responsible, complain to their management, or even just complain on social media. That last option might make you feel better for getting things off of your chest, but it really just spreads the idea of complaining even more. And it might even cause trouble.
Some years ago, some service was not to my satisfaction. So I complained on Twitter, tagging the company in my Tweet. Someone at the company headquarters saw it and messaged me. Then the manager of the local store called me. Apparently, I had stirred something up.
At the manager’s urging, I decided to give them another chance a few days later. And when I got there, I was quite relieved to see that the person who had helped me before was still there. I had started to wonder if my complaint had gotten him fired. That was definitely not my aim at all. I just wanted to complain and be heard. I apologized for complaining, and the employee brushed it off. It all ended well, but it could have gone the other way, especially for him.
What to Do
So what do you do? Sooner or later, someone is going to do something that you aren’t happy with. Should you complain? Demand a refund? Raise a ruckus? Enjoy saying, “I’m going to raise a ruckus” over and over because it is fun to say “ruckus”?
How about instead of all of those above choices, or instead of other negative things you could possibly think of, you show them some kindness? Realize that everyone makes mistakes. Realize that things are not always going to make you happy. Realize that you have probably done something that someone else is not happy with, too. That might even be the reason that this other person is doing something to you that you aren’t happy about because they are responding to something that you did.
Instead of ruckus-raising, just take a step back and let it go. It really won’t be the end of the world for you. You won’t lose much face. Your reputation will not have long-term damage. Your street cred will still be there (I’m trying to sound cool now). Maybe you quietly avoid that person instead of hanging out with them. Or maybe you don’t take your business to that place of business anymore. Or maybe you do, giving them another chance, just to see if it was in fact a mistake.
Be the bigger person, as they say. Move on with your life instead of letting that one thing drag you down. You will be glad you did.
Try a Lot of Kindness
Those of us old-timers remember a song by Glen Campbell called “Try a Little Kindness”. But how about we take it further and try a lot of kindness?
It is not just a one-time thing. You can’t do it one time and then you are done. It is an ongoing process, and that process should actually last for the rest of your life. It might be difficult at first, but with a little practice, it might become easy and routine. And you just might sleep better at night, too.
Try a lot of kindness, because you know you want others to be kind to you, too.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. - Ephesians 4:31-32