Choosing Kindness

Kindness is a wonderful thing. One kind word, or a helping hand has warmed my heart many times. In fact, just today, a girl came in to work and was so incredibly sweet to me that I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day. One stranger, changed the way that I experienced my entire day. I believe that kindness can be life changing.

It’s so easy to lose sight of that. After all, can buying coffee for someone you don’t know really make a difference? Can a smile to the receptionist at the doctor’s office bring about world peace? Maybe not directly, but that doesn’t mean that how we treat the people right in front of us isn’t incredibly important.

It’s actually kind of fun to lend a helping hand to someone in need, or to buy coffee for the woman carrying twins through the line in Starbucks. But what about those other people; You know, the ones that are virtually impossible to be kind to? What do we do with those people? Of course the easy answer is that we should be kind to them as well, but I think we can all agree that’s easier said than done.

I’m not so great at being kind to “those people”. Those are the exact people that press all of my buttons simultaneously resulting in me saying a lot of things I will regret later. And let me tell you, I’m not proud of it. But rest assured, I am working on it, and hopefully by the time I encounter you in a not so favorable setting I will have mastered the art of choosing kindness.

First of all, kindness is a choice. The sooner we come to terms with this, the easier it will be to be kind to even the most difficult people. In any given moment we can choose how we are going to react to others. Well, that takes some of the pressure off doesn’t it? No longer must we pick and choose who deserves our kindness, instead, we can choose to be kind to everyone.

True kindness is shown to others regardless of whether or not they deserve that kindness. It’s a choice, not a knee jerk reaction to how someone is treating us. Anyone can be kind to someone who is kind to them, right? I want more than that for us! I want us to be kind to others regardless of whether or not it’s easy. I want it to be a lifestyle that we choose.

Now, am I saying that we need to be doormats? Absolutely not! There are times when, we need to take space, and set boundaries in our relationships to others. But, as hard as it is for me to say this, we can still choose to be kind through it all. Being kind doesn’t mean always saying yes. We can take space, and set boundaries for ourselves, say no to others, all while being kind.

Guys, this is so not easy. Really not easy. Maybe one of the hardest things to do. Being kind to someone who seems to only deserve a swift kick in the pants is difficult. But I believe it is so very important. More than we will ever know. Kindness changes things. It does. It changes people, it changes communities, and ultimately it changes our world as a whole.

I want to be kind to others. I really want that. I know how greatly kindness can affect me, and I want to be a part of that in the lives of others. And while I may not always be as nice as I would like to be, I will choose to live a life of kindness, pursuing it in every way possible. Let’s do this together, okay? With deep breaths and baby steps, and lots of grace for ourselves and others. Let’s be kindness.