Wednesday, September 28, 2016
You Can't Make Me!
Remember that childhood retort? Well, it certainly is true of kindness. Someone or something might pressure you be nice or polite. But true kindness comes from your heart and only you can choose it. " Every genuinely kind act in this world is a result of someone having chosen to do it if their own free will."*
Being kind is a private matter involving our heart, head and soul. Choice is our personal power. Only you can make choices for yourself. Yes, sometimes the pressure toward certain choices can be strong. But you have to make the choice about how to respond. And each choice is important to you because our choices determine who we are. And every choice is an opportunity to change who we are - for better or worse.
When we are kind our words and actions make a statement about who we are. "An act of kindness is an act of self-expression."* So knowing your true self helps you make choices that are good for you, as well as for others.
This is where courage comes in. Sometimes we are not kind because we are afraid - afraid we will be taken advantage of, afraid that opening your heart will result in rejection, afraid because you don't know how the other will react, afraid to let your true self be seen.. Sometimes kindness means making tough decisions. Kindness is not for whimps!
There are always people who will try to make you feel bad when we show our vulnerability. But you have a choice. You can choose to do it anyway. If your life is defined by other people's opinion of you, you will never be happy or fulfilled, because you will never please everyone. Decide who you want to be - and be it!
When you risk being kind you are becoming more human. You connect with people who need your help as kin - we are all related. You make human contact with them and remind them that they are part of the human family. You also reaffirm your humanity to yourself.
So, be kind. It is ultimately who your are.
* A short course in kindness by Margot Silk Forrest