Kindness

Kindness

Everything changes (well, according to Fallout war never changes, but I digress).  Some of us embrace the change.  Most resist.  For those that resist the change it is because they fear what change will bring them.  If they believe everything they know has always been good then the change, whatever the change may be, threatens what they know so they resist it.

I first became aware of how resistant people are to change as early as high school.  I remember some of the popular kids in high school couldn’t handle the change when they went to college.  In high school, they were a big deal.  In college they discovered they were just like everyone else.  For a few of those folks it was such a blow to their ego that they dropped out, went back home and relished in the popularity they already knew.  I still see that resistance to change even today when my peers from high school and college insist that the only good music came before 1990 and nothing good has been released since then.
Rather than resist change I embrace it or, in the case of something bad happening, adapt to it.  It wasn’t an “Eureka” moment that I had overnight.  It was a gradual process of learning things about myself as well as the people around me.  For the longest time in life I was angry and felt I had been treated unfairly.  Then I let it all go.  If I were to put a date on this I would say this happened when I turned forty.  Once I let go of all the anger I had more confidence in myself and the opinions of others didn’t matter.  That is not to say I stopped putting value in the opinions of friends.  I took stock in who those friends were (and who they were not) and placed value accordingly.  That is a very elaborate way of saying the opinions of most people don’t matter.
One of the things I have learned since I turned forty and especially in the past year is the value of kindness.  When I was hospitalized last summer I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that I received.  And “overwhelmed” is an understatement.  It was a very confusing time and I didn’t fully comprehend everything that was going on with me.  Everyone was kind and generous with me and it reinforced the value of kindness to give to people in return.  It costs you nothing to be kind to other people.  I strive to be kind in some way everyday.  If people want to resist that is on them, you have done your part.
That is not to say that you have to be a pushover.  There are always going to be people who will take advantage of kindness.  Sometimes you will have to cut those people out of your life or hold your ground with them.
But for the most part kindness will be met with kindness.

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