Be Kind… You Never Know What Someone Is Going Through #SaturdayShareLinkUp

Be Kind... You Never Know What Someone Is Going Through (everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle)

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…

Catherine

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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34 Comments

  1. June 11, 2018 / 1:42 am

    Yes, kill with kindness. Always! Way back in college, I had this roommate that was soooo mean to me. It was senseless actually. I didn’t know what to do. My mother told me to kill him with kindness, and guess what?! It worked. He stopped. We became acquaintances!

    But yes, this is so true. We must be kind. We must. We really don’t know what crosses other people bear, and we all have one, maybe more. I know I do…..

    I like this post Catherine. It’s a wonderful reminder.

    Love, Ann from Kremb de la Kremb

  2. June 10, 2018 / 8:08 pm

    That is so very true. We always need to remind ourseveles that sometimes people might be smiling on the outside but are jusgt hiding the fact that they are hurting and crying on the inside. Very nice. Thanks for hosting and I hope that you are having a wonderful weekend.

    • catherine
      Author
      June 12, 2018 / 7:18 pm

      My new phrase at the moment (to everyone, but especially to myself and to my husband) is, “Be nice!” 😉 thanks Patrick x

  3. June 10, 2018 / 5:34 pm

    Blimey, Catherine… I couldn’t agree more!!
    Bad things happen to people (and the people they know) all of the time.
    We have to choose to keep going and try to be there for those who need us.
    Wouldn’t life be easier if we dealt with problems according to the text-book-healthy way?
    Instead of often making matters worse with our personal issues, baggage and misguided good intentions.
    I try to be kind and keep an eye on people who seem to be struggling… however, it’s often the seemingly super-happy-have-it-all people who fail.
    Suicide leaves us wondering why we didn’t do something. What we missed. Why were we so crap/selfish/useless at stopping it happening?
    It’s tragic all round.
    Love to anyone going through this terrible situation.
    Another great post…. so moving I’ve forgotten to link up…again!!!
    XXX
    Samantha

    • catherine
      Author
      June 12, 2018 / 7:13 pm

      You’re absolutely right about the fact that it’s often the seemingly super-happy-have-it-all people who fail, Samantha… goes to show we NEVER know what’s going on in others’ lives a lot of the time! xoxo

  4. June 10, 2018 / 8:19 am

    This is a great post Catherine. I have to admit, I have the same way of being kind until someone crosses me, then it’s on! I’ve tried to stop that and be better. I sure can feel my blood boil though. We are definitely going through a crisis in this world right now.

    • catherine
      Author
      June 12, 2018 / 7:12 pm

      It’s a hard thing to stop, isn’t it Julie?! I’ve not considered in the past that someone is merely taking out their frustration and anger on me, and that they’re actually hurting inside. Must. Do. Better. xx

  5. June 9, 2018 / 5:49 pm

    This is such a nice post Catherine.

    I lost a very dear friend of mine due to suicide just two weeks after my Father died, and was the one to help tell his 3 children 9, 11, 14 what had happened.

    This was so so sad and I always wished I had spoken to him before about things as I could see he was going through a tough time…

    It taught me that when I feel I need to speak to someone I will simply do so!

    xxx Yvonne aka FukyForty

    • catherine
      Author
      June 12, 2018 / 7:09 pm

      Oh my goodness Yvonne… I can’t imagine what that must have been like for you. Telling adults is one thing, telling children is another 🙁

      And yes you’re right, we need to all talk to others more. And make ourselves open to others for them to talk to us too. x

  6. June 9, 2018 / 12:59 pm

    Also the sister of our queen took her own life last week. A sad week.

    • Gertrude
      June 9, 2018 / 1:22 pm

      The Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, died several years ago??

      • catherine
        Author
        June 9, 2018 / 1:39 pm

        Nancy is Dutch, Gertrude – she’s referring to the Dutch queen x

        • Gertrude
          June 9, 2018 / 4:49 pm

          My apologies.

    • catherine
      Author
      June 9, 2018 / 1:51 pm

      Nancy I found that out just after writing the post… so very, very sad 🙁 x

  7. June 9, 2018 / 11:21 am

    That was meant to be a main comment, not a reply!

  8. June 9, 2018 / 11:20 am

    Very sad to read this news this week. I remember my mum, God bless her, saying she didn’t understand why Kurt Cobain had taken his life as he was a successful musician. But that had come to be meaningless to him – not even being a dad could keep him alive, so something wasn’t right.

    On the subject of my mum though, she always told me to be kind to kids in my class and not join in with the bullies. And she told me a story from the 60s when her ex and his friend were picking on another guy. She could see he was upset by their unpleasantness, plus he was a young guy who was always kind to her. Without saying a thing, my introverted mother stubbed her cigarette out on one of the mean guy’s plates – he was still eating! – and the room went silent. Disclaimer: That ex was my father and he still has that mean humour.

    • catherine
      Author
      June 9, 2018 / 1:53 pm

      Wow your mum sounds like a formidable woman, Emerald… how wonderful that she taught you at a young age to be kind to everyone!

  9. June 9, 2018 / 11:18 am

    Very sad to read this news this week. I remember my mum, God bless her, saying she didn’t understand why Kurt Cobain had taken his life as he was a successful musician. But that had come to be meaningless to him – not even being a dad could keep him alive, so something wasn’t right.

    On the subject of my mum though, she always told me to be kind to kids in my class and not join in with the bullies. And she told me a story from the 60s when her ex and his friend were picking on another guy. She could see he was upset by their unpleasantness, plus he was a young guy who was always kind to her. Without saying a thing, my introverted mother stubbed her cigarette out on one of the mean guy’s plates – he was still eating! – and the room went silent. Disclaimer: That ex was my father and he still has that mean humour.

  10. Mona
    June 9, 2018 / 10:44 am

    Thank you for this thoughtful post. It was a very sad week and I shall really miss Anthony Bourdain and his lovely take on meeting all sorts of people in all sorts of places that I could never even hope to visit. My world has become smaller and sadder. I shall try even harder to sprinkle kindness.

    • catherine
      Author
      June 12, 2018 / 7:07 pm

      There’s no end of it to sprinkle round, is there Mona?!! x

  11. June 9, 2018 / 9:48 am

    Such wise words hun in a very difficult week for so many of us, myself included. Devastated to hear of two creative heroes’ passing. Kindness is the only way x

    • catherine
      Author
      June 12, 2018 / 7:07 pm

      You’ve been through your fair share of heartbreak and tough times Vicki – but my goodness I’ve not met someone kinder than you!! Thank you hon, hope you’re feeling better x

  12. Lena G
    June 9, 2018 / 9:39 am

    Thanks for this thoughtful blog.

    I agree with you, if we all applied this a little more in our lives the world would be a better place.

    Another one I like is. “Kindness is free. Sprinkle that stuff everywhere”.

    Generally if we are kind to others we feel better in ourselves. It’s a win win situation.

    • catherine
      Author
      June 12, 2018 / 7:05 pm

      Or as I’ve seen people quote, “sprinkle that sh*t everywhere”…!! And you’re right, it IS a win win situation! It makes perfect sense 🙂 x

  13. My brother tried suicide several times when we were younger and as a teenager I had anorexia and my state of mind was to shrug at the thought of dying – what did it matter? Now I see both my brother and me with happy and loving families, feeling fulfilled and loved. But how different it could have been. I’m so sad whenever I hear about suicide but pleased that finally it’s not the secret it used to be xx

    • catherine
      Author
      June 12, 2018 / 7:04 pm

      Oh gosh Maria what a lot of heartbreak you’ve gone through – but how wonderful that your brother AND you have turned it all around. So glad to hear you’ve come through it, stronger I’m sure xx

  14. June 8, 2018 / 11:45 pm

    it’s been a sad week. Yes to all the above but I can’t promise about the cold callers! xx

    • catherine
      Author
      June 12, 2018 / 7:03 pm

      They’re tough to deal with, aren’t they Laurie…?! 😉

  15. June 8, 2018 / 11:32 pm

    Amazing and timely post, Catherine. I also addressed the issue on my blog today because it is one that is very near and dear to my heart as a “survivor of bipolar disorder and suicide attempts”. I am grateful to be alive today and have made it my mission to keep this conversation open, honest, and raw at all times. And spreading kindness is another huge mission of mine as well. In fact, my weekly #SpreadTheKindness Link Up that began over a year ago was in response to awful trolls whom I decided to handle with all the kindness in my heart. Keep talking about it, my friend. It is the best way that people with mental illness can find a safe community in which they can finally heal. Thank you for participating in this very important conversation.

    Shelbee

    • catherine
      Author
      June 12, 2018 / 7:02 pm

      Gosh Shelbee – how honest and open you’ve been… I’m so glad you’re still with us and able to write about these issues! I’m so sorry you’ve been trolled, but I’m so impressed with the way you’ve handled it. You’re an inspiration 😀

      • June 24, 2018 / 4:04 pm

        Aw, Catherine, thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words. You are always an inspiration as well!

        Shelbee

  16. June 8, 2018 / 11:02 pm

    This makes me so teary Catherine…I can’t bear that mental health is still so maligned. Coming from a family with generations of mental health issues, including my sister, it always hits me hard to hear of another sad loss.
    The press has reported that Kate Spades sister said her suicide came as no surprise yet her Mother was appalled to hear this. I think this is a very common situation within families & the hurt goes very deep. It’s difficult to to come to terms with any suicide but a Mother? Well that is unthinkable right? In my experience being a Mother has little bearing on the issue – Again, mental health does not discriminate. I’m afraid it is untouchable even by a Mother’s love…

    • catherine
      Author
      June 12, 2018 / 7:00 pm

      I know how hard it is for you having a sister with mental health issues, MT – and you’re right, it IS maligned. And it doesn’t discriminate. It’s been a sad week x

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