Yesterday when I sat down to write a blog post I just didn’t have it in me. Hurricanes, mass shootings, public policy that seems to be sending us backward instead of forward, and a quarterback who espouses racial equality but is clearly doing what he can to keep sexism alive and well. It’s all so overwhelming. And, I’m often lost, as many people are, in wondering just how I can help.
Then this morning I was reminded of something I have been saying for years. “I might not know what to do to help, but I can always be kind.” Kind to the people I know and love and kind to the people I’ve never met before. Kind to the people who look like me and kind to those that do not. Kind to the person working behind the counter. Kind to the person behind me in line at the grocery store. Kind to the all the anonymous people flowing through my social media feeds.
Because here’s the thing about kindness – it’s free. And, it generally doesn’t take any more time out of our day, it is not political, and it doesn’t have a race, a gender, or a sexual orientation.
Kindness is something we are all capable of – it requires nothing more than awareness and acknowledgement. It only asks us to slow down a little, make eye contact, and not take our challenges out on other people.
It’s simple, but I believe can go a long way to healing what ails us. It’s hard to be mean to another person (or dog, or cat, or bird, or the earth) when we really look at that person and smile or hold the door open or say hello. It becomes almost impossible to see that person as the “other.”
This is what will keep me afloat during these very difficult times. You?