We all go through hard times. All of us have come across people who might be jealous or sad, who try to break us down. Mean happens to all of us. It can be from strangers, acquaintances, or people we are close to. I try to keep in mind that these are mean moments, mean actions, not mean people. But honestly sometimes that thought leaves my mind entirely and I just think of them as the meanest person on the planet.
So how do you do it? How can you be kind in an unkind world? There are a few ways, unfortunately none are very easy in practice. But that’s just it – it’s a practice and it takes practice. Overtime you’re kind in the unkind world you get a little better at it.
Energy is like a snowball, the more you add to it the bigger it gets rolling down the hill. When someone comes at you with negative energy or a mean comment you can either add to it and get the ball rolling down the hill faster or you can counter it with a positive energy snowball and see if that can pick up some speed. Positivity may not stop the negative snowball but at least it isn’t adding to it. And more importantly it helps to keep yourself from getting dragged downhill with them.
But what you really need to do is take them out of it. Decide how you want to treat people and treat everyone that way – in a mean moment or a kind one. Create the integrity in yourself that you can be kind because you want to be kind and not base the decision on how you’re treated or if it will be reciprocated or if someone deserves it or not. Decide that everyone deserves your kindness.
It’s hard. This is something that challenges us all. It takes practice and patience with yourself. It’s unlikely that you’re going to be as kind as you want to be in every situation. But you can keep trying.
Try this – When you’re having a calm moment by yourself, think of something small that you can do that’s kind – looking people in the eyes, not complaining, complimenting, smiling, whatever it might be. Then write it down – “I am someone who _____.” and keep it with you, on your desk, your screensaver, in your wallet, etc. Challenge yourself to do that particular act of kindness everyday to everyone for 21 days. Strangers, friends, your boss, your kids, that person on the freeway that just cut you off, everyone. After 21 days write another note. You’ll find after awhile you won’t need the note, you won’t have to think about it. You will be someone who looks people in the eye. Personal kindness will become part of who you are instead of what you’re trying to do. And it will be a little bit easier to be kind.
Let me know what your note says in the comments!