Despite our fervent wishes, COVID just won’t die out, tropical storms and fires have some living on pins and needles, and, with the election a day away, the political climate could not be more heated.
Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about something — oftentimes to the detriment of harmony. Now let me cut in right here so you don’t get the impression that I’m coming across as a goody-two-shoes. I’d be fooling myself (and you!) if I didn’t admit that every once in a while I’ve been known to hop on my soapbox and share a piece of my mind. I have and I’m not proud of it.
Election signs are being stolen from yards, people are rioting, social media is rife with attacks, political parties are lambasting each other and there’s a whole bunch of finger-pointing going on.
Long-held beliefs and political ideologies are being attacked and characters are being assassinated left and right. Ugh! Welcome to the age of unrest.
Me Centered or Others Centered
There appear to be two camps where people are deciding to “live” in this day and age.
One is the “me-centered” camp where people tend to look inside, care only about themselves and say or think things like:
- “I’m right and you’re wrong” and
- “what will the world do to benefit me?”
The other is camp “others-centered” where people look outward, care about others, and say or think things like:
- “let’s discuss our differences” and
- “what can I do to make the world a better place (without looking for anything in return)?” (others-centered)
Which camp do you see yourself residing in?
We Are Not Enemies
Despite the polarizing views that people may have right now, it’s important to remember that we are all in this together and we.are.not.enemies! We can have different opinions and still find common ground!
I recently attended a funeral where a series of “thank yous” were spoken aloud to all of the people who had shown acts of kindness through the years to the deceased. Each person was called out by name and the specific act was lauded. It was a remarkable thing to witness. The energy in the room went from heavy to light within minutes.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do something similar every day to raise the energy from heavy to light in the world?
Besides strengthening our immune system and decreasing our stress, kindness is just good for the soul, makes us feel good about ourselves and it’s contagious-it inspires kindness in others! This is why the Pay It Forward movement works.
It’s Just Kind to Be Kind
Let’s go against the norm and start being kind. We can’t let the things going on around us divide us…as I mentioned earlier…we’re all in this together.
5 Simple Ways to Be Kind
- Turn your radar on! Look outside of yourself at the people around you who you have the opportunity to affect in a positive way. Make it a game and see how many people you can connect with each day when you are out and about. Smile. Wish people well. Help someone. Share a laugh.
- Love someone just the way they are. Accept them. Don’t try to change them. See them. Recognize them. Affirm them as a person. Be OK with your differences. The world is made up of people in all shapes, sizes, colors, views, and beliefs. If we were all the same the world would be a boring place.
- Do random acts of kindness (without looking for something in return). Leave quarters at the laundromat. Leave change in the vending machine. Text someone Good Morning or Good Night (or both). Give a stranger a compliment. Pay for someone’s meal. Babysit for free. Offer someone your pen. Pay for someone’s morning coffee. Tutor someone. Shop local. Click here to find more ideas.
- Listen to understand, not just to hear. Listen with your full face and give the speaker your attention (don’t let your eyes wander). Listen fully without rehearsing in your mind what you want to say next. Ask questions. Discuss content. Show the speaker that you truly care about what they’re saying.
- Write a note. In this age of texting and social media messaging, the act of writing a note is a rarity and an overlooked gem. Take a few minutes a day and write someone a note of gratitude. Tell them why you appreciate them. Tell them how much they mean to you. Write a note to your mail carrier, front line workers, a teacher, a parent, a neighbor, a soldier, a child, your favorite barista, your pastor. A written note will outlive a digital text or a message.
Friend, the world needs more kindness and less strife and division. You and I together need to be the change we want to see.
I hope you will join me in being more heart and less attack from here on out.