Thursday, October 18, 2012
The Art of Kindness
The Art of Kindness
I had the most puzzling encounter this morning. I was on fb, go figure, and someone posted something that intrigued me. Now I am a naturally inquisitive person. When I see something I may not fully understand, I ask questions. Unfortunately, this morning, that was seen as a bad thing. There was a post, one of those pictures with graphs and numbers. It gave up knowledge which I did not previously have. In fact, I was skeptical that it was knowledge at all. And so, being me, I mistakenly asked the poster a question. Simply wishing to know where these facts came from. They did not jive with the world as I knew it. Things went down hill rapidly from there. My question was seen as an attack. I puzzled this and explained I merely wanted to see their point of view. They were having none of it. I had committed the ultimate sin of fb. I had dared to question someone's thoughts. Now, things went along and the more they explained the less logical their position became. That really angered them. I did not call them out. I never said they were wrong. I simply let it lay there between us. And then the personal assault came. Having nothing to do with the topic at hand, nor having anything to do with me. It was a general, if you do not see the world as I do STFU. I am not adding that, that was their exact statement. Well, sadly I unfriended them. The second time in a week I have had to let someone go because they simply can not be kind or respectful. They are unable to see that there are other valid opinions in this whole wide world.
What both these instances have in common were that there was no tolerance, no room for other thoughts. Very sad really. I learn everyday. I am wrong everyday. On good days, I realize I am wrong and I get the opportunity to change. I truly hope that I never get so rigid that I cannot bend. There is a danger in becoming so set in our ways, so brittle that we break. And all of this to bring me to what I want to say. When given the choice, be kind. We all struggle. We all feed understanding and love. I wrote that down somewhere and it got mixed reviews. Some agreed, our journey is long and a kind word or a smile can lighten a load. But some others would have none of it. They had been hurt. They had loved and lost. Their nature abused and they wanted the world to be on notice. They were not going to put up with it. Unfortunately, they are predestine to fail. I promise you I have been there. I have been that untrusting, shut off person. Oh, I had reasons. I had a binder full (sorry couldn't help it). I had received my platinum card of victim years ago. If you think like a victim, behave like a victim, you will always be a victim.
I tried to share this hard won fact and the message back was that they had been kind and been abused for it. Here is the remedy, remove yourself from the equation. If you do not like the way you are treated, instead of becoming indignant and arguing, leave the situation. If you argue, you feed the rats. You have nothing to gain and are destine to fail. I am not responsible for what others do in reaction to my kindness. I am responsible to be kind. That is the point. It is very easy to be nice to people who are nice to you first. There is no challenge in that at all. However, to be gracious when it is not warranted, that is an art. I try every day to practice it. To make myself grow past my knee jerk reaction to negativity. That is a goal I hope to attain. To remove myself enough from someone else's aggression is truly not an easy thing. It goes against my nature. I have fought many a battle. letting loose my dark anger on the innocent and the guilty with equal impunity. Never looking back. Raging. How wrong I was. How profoundly sad it makes me to acknowledge my own lack of control of self.
It is not my concern if I give of my money or time to someone who may not be deserving. It is no matter if my gifts are sold off or kept. It is only my duty to give with an open heart. To be loving and uplifting. There is no great talent in finding the flaws in others. Not when there are so many to work on in ourselves. As much as I try not to, I still water rocks sometimes. I never want to give up on a person. I hold out hope that if I explain it right, if I have the right words, they will see. See that the world is not always dark. That most hurt comes from misunderstanding and is not intentional. We are all imperfect. I know that everyone is not good. I know that there are those who allow their beast off the leach. I do. And now, when I bump into one, I simply cross the street. I walk away without a second thought. I have worked too hard for my own peace of mind. I have restrained my own anger at the unfairness of this life to ever take that path again. It is a stronger thing, a mighty thing to be able to destroy your opponent and to choose not to. It does not matter that they know not a thing of my sharp tongue and slicing words. No, I do not wish to cast words. It is enough that I know. There is a great satisfaction that comes from pardoning someone who is undeserving. I feel as if I have passed a test. I am in control of my thoughts, my deeds I take full responsibility for and no one. No one. Will change me. I will not go backwards. So if you can, when you see those jagged rocks just under the surface, steer clear. Let your heart be the beacon which warns your words. Tread lightly. Go around. We do not always have to go through the chop.
I still get caught up. I get fooled into believing someone wants help or a positive support system. When, really all they want is someone to say that their cruelty, their ungenerous spirit is fine. Someone to revel with them in their misery and to join in to their mean season. I cannot go. Not that I do not know the way. I pioneered the path. I simply will not so coddle myself. I will not be so self indulgent that I will cause another to suffer to make myself feel powerful or superior. Because it is a false reflection. There is nothing great in any of it. This is the reason that the feelings wear off so soon. It is a counterfeit emotion. it took me so long to learn this. Such a simple lesson, but so hard to take in. So one more time I say, when given the choice be kind. And when someone else churns up the surf, sail on. Simply sail on.
Posted by Chele at 3:34 PM