Many of us are already warriors for kindness. We watch out for people who are alone or need love. We help others learn to serve. We dive in with great vigor to right the wrongs against humanity. But do we do this on our own behalf? Do we advocate for ourselves? Do we let others know that we too expect to be treated with kindness?
I don’t believe that people are inherently mean or grouchy. I truly believe that life’s circumstances wear on people to the point that they become mentally jaded, physically exhausted, and emotionally void. At this point they turn inward in an effort to save themselves. They become more and more concerned with their own needs and less and less concerned with the needs of others. I have experienced many periods like this in my lifetime, but have managed to pull myself out. Others may remain stuck. They may speak unkindly to others, lose their gratitude and even push people away. I seriously think this is usually a mystery to the negative soul. I think it happens so slowly, like a lobster being boiled in a pot, that the individual cannot figure out why they are losing their friends and family.
Well, kindness is not always easy. Sometimes we have to be kind to people who are not kind back. Sometimes we have to give Grace. AND SOMETIMES we have to advocate for ourselves and remind our not-so-happy friends and family what it looks like to be kind to others. We have to get up the courage to re-teach them manners, set boundaries and relay our expectations. Perhaps we let them off the hook a little. Perhaps we don’t expect the same things of them as we do of ourselves and others. But regardless, it is our responsibility to help them get back to humanity.
We can start by reminding them of the Golden Rule….. please and thank you! Those words go a long way. We can help them begin to realize how their rude words, demands and lack of appreciation make us feel. We can empathize with them, but we must hold true to our needs as well. I know this can be tricky. I have been on the other side. I have gotten to dark places where I sat with a crappy attitude and was not easy to be around. I have had friends and family let me know that I don’t get to stay in that place. It is not easy to hear and it is not easy to say, but it is necessary.
No one truly wants to wallow in negativity forever. Everyone wants to be seen, appreciated and loved. No one wants to be all alone….. ALL ALONE! So let’s get out there. Let’s get the courage to advocate for ourselves. Let’s take that scary step toward pulling someone out of the abyss and back to the world of love and kindness.