I 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?