Choosing kindness

grupoI watched a YouTube video several months ago that really made an impression on me. Its called ‘Why Not Choose Kindness‘ by Tessa Violet. I wanted to share a few of her thoughts here, as they really connected with me.

In college, I had several classmates who would brag about being brutally/cruelly honest. They truly believed that being careless of other’s feelings, while stating the truth, was an acceptable way to behave. They justified it by saying ‘I’m just being honest, its not my fault they took it the wrong way’. But honesty doesn’t equal cruelty. I’m not trying to belittle those who may be struggling with this, but rather I hope this may encourage others to think about how their words affect others. I’ve said cruel things before, its not something I’m proud of, but these mistakes continue to motivate me to be a kinder person.

Perhaps you have to inform a co-worker about an error they made. You can make them feel inferior by harshly pointing out their mistake, or you can approach it with kindness. You can gently explain their error, making sure to compliment something they’ve done right as well. They may still become defensive (we can’t control the actions or reactions of others), but you’ve done your part to approach the situation positively. Honesty is incredibly important, but its our choice whether to be cruel or kind about it.

Kindness doesn’t have to be a grandiose gesture either. It can be a smile across the room. A kind comment for the stressed-out cashier who is taking your order. It can be holding the door open for the person behind you, or opening the door for someone who has their arms full. It can be paying it forward by buying someone’s coffee, or writing a thank you note. Simply being attentive when someone is talking is kind. Obviously, no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. But we have the ability to apologize if we’ve said something in error.

Tessa asks the question: ‘what kind of world do you want to live in?’. I want to live in a supportive society where empathy and mutual respect guides interpersonal relations. So why not choose kindness?

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Image credit: “Grupo” by Danilo Urbina is licensed under CC by 2.0
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20 thoughts on “Choosing kindness

  1. Deb says:

    I had this discussion with people who insisted on always speaking the truth regardless of if feelings were hurt. I stick to my belief…i don’t like my feelings hurt so I don’t hurt other peoples.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. twainwall says:

    I totally agree with this; saying a simple please and thank you can be important to that person if they’ve had or having a bad day – which everyone has or just being nice can help! 🙂
    Great post and love the thoughts with this as well. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. VTNessa says:

    YES! I agree so completely.

    I would also add that there are times we withhold speaking loving truth because we may not want to seem unkind, or we just don’t want to deal with it. However, sometimes the unresolved comes out in an unkind way when a person snaps over the last straw. If they had approached someone earlier on about the situation, it could have been handled kindly, but since it was withheld, it came out sounding very mean.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ally says:

      That’s a great point. I know I’ve been guilty of not saying something when I should have. Thanks for sharing that perspective as well 🙂

      Like

  4. pearlgirl says:

    I agree so much! I also think that people often confuse truth with criticism. Not all truth is negative, but even when it is and we’re giving feedback, or trying to help, it’s important to do it in a kind and loving way. I think boundaries are also important, sometimes we speak when it really isn’t our place to, I know I’ve been guilty of that. And we never truly know the affect our words can have, positive or negative. We can make such a difference in a person’s day even with something as simple as a smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I totally agree, if we always do things in a kind and loving way, most of the time, our intent will reach those who we’re speaking to. I also agree that we never know what someone else is going through and a kind word or action could brighten their mood, their day, or even save their life. When I worked in retail, I was so grateful for the kind customers who took time to smile and genuinely ask me how I was doing, it was a little bit of sunshine in my day.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lauren Zazzara says:

    I hate when people use truth as an excuse to be cruel. People are entitled to their opinions, but there is a fine line between using your right to free speech and just being intentionally mean. There is always a kind way to say something. And we never know what is going on in someone else’s life. Kindness and understanding is truly what everyone needs. Thank you for this post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Léa says:

    Ally, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! YES, kindness is a choice. It is the choice I made as a very young child. You may have read enough of my poetry to have an idea as to some of my past. I’m so worn from those who blame the past for bad even horrific behaviour. It doesn’t have to be that way. Regardless of your experiences, at some point you make a choice. Making choices makes us responsible for them.
    Thank you Ally for your words and for letting me get that out! Lea

    Liked by 1 person

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