Be kind, always. Is there any life advice that’s better than that?
[Trigger warning: This post, or pages it links to, contains information about mental health and suicide which may be triggering to survivors.]
Following a very, very sad week where we learned about the death of Kate Spade and, just today, Anthony Bourdain, I just wanted to write something about kindness.
There’s that wonderful quote that says “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”. You’ll find a few versions all attributed to a few different people, but the sentiment is exactly the same. And it’s the best advice anyone can give someone else, and it’s one of the best ways to live your life.
Imagine how much better the world could be if everyone on the planet adhered to this…?
I don’t want to make this post a sad one, but at the end of a week that’s seen two celebrities take their own lives – people that seem to “have it all” to outsiders – it’s a good time to reflect on how we treat others.
Although I’ve not lost anyone directly this way, I know plenty of people who have – someone in the extended family, a friend’s partner or family member, a colleague at work. I’ve experienced the loss of friends and family who were FAR too young to lose their lives many times, but always through circumstances outside of their control. I cannot even begin to imagine what it’s like to cope with the loss of someone who chose to leave you and everyone they love.
As much as I’d like to think I’m a good person and treat people fairly and kindly, I have to admit I’m the sort of person that gives people the benefit of the doubt – until they cross me. In the words of the Hulk, “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry”. I’m not as bad as some people I know, and I don’t harbour grudges like some people I know, but I have been known to unleash my wrath on those that I feel deserve it because “they started it”.
This is NOT a good way to live your life and treat others if you think about the “Be Kind” quote. So, I’m vowing to apply the Be Kind ideology to more people, more of the time. I need to do better. Anger and regret and holding grudges get you nowhere.
How I’ll apply kindness in more situations in life
I’m vowing to change my behaviour in the following ways:
When I’m trolled, I’ll continue to kill them with kindness and not let myself get worked up about it. (They’re most likely sad and unhappy people so deserve some love.)
When someone I see on my dog walks or the cashier in the supermarket doesn’t say good morning back to me, I won’t get in a huff because they were rude – they may have just been given some terrible news and aren’t up to it.
And when I get cold called and potentially duped into buying some new windows or something else I don’t need I won’t take out my frustration on the caller – they’re just doing their job.
You never, ever know what someone is going through. Even those close to you will likely never tell you.
So there’s the thought for the weekend: Kindness – all the time, always. It costs nothing. It hurts no one. It helps everyone. You never know, it might switch something in someone’s brain… and even save their life.
DO YOU HAVE STORIES OF KINDNESS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS…
If you or someone you know is affected by any of these issues, please, please, PLEASE seek help, or just talk to someone. If you are in the UK, call the Samaritans on 116123 or go to their website https://www.samaritans.org. As their website says, Talk to us any time you like, in your own way, and off the record – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal.
If you’re in the US call the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Test Line by texting HOME to 741741.
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