Wait a minute! Isn’t this blog supposed to be about health and wellness? Yes, it is – but, sometimes you are required to take a detour in order to make progress. Plus that, I hope that at the end of this – you will see how this does impact your health and wellbeing.
So, my question: When did kindness become unfashionable? When did Goofus win over Gallant?
I see so many examples of people being not only unkind but downright mean. Perhaps it is the anonymous nature of the internet, reality TV, the hurry and stress of daily life, our partisan politics, or the divisive talking heads on TV. Social pecking order is another possibility. I don’t know the exact cause, and there may be many – but, I have seen too much of it lately.
It really struck me last week when our US Congress had to be told to be ‘nice’ when the Pope addressed the joint session. Really? Grown people can’t show respect unless reminded of it! I’ve been ruminating since then.
It just seems that we think that everyone’s an idiot if they don’t hold the same political or social views, religious views, or any other dogma or ideology that we hold sacred. We can run the gamut of rude behavior to – unkind name calling to – demonization.
Guess what – introspection told me to look in the mirror.
Guilty as charged!
I have had a tendency to be very ardent in what I believe. I often shut people off because I didn’t want to listen to their arguments or rebuttals. Why? If I dug down deep – I think it was because my ego didn’t want to be tested. If I didn’t listen – there was no threat to what I believed. Furthermore, if I tried to win the argument (and, I often tried) – I felt that little ‘boost’ saying that I was right.
Except, the other person probably had another thought which was that I was being an ass. And, they would probably be right. Is my ego that fragile that it can’t take on another idea, another way of looking at life, another way of living? Sadly, I think the answer has been ‘yes’. And, it cost me a lot.
While I made a few acquaintances that shared my opinions, I alienated close friends and family. No one likes being around a ‘know it all’ who interrupts and tells them of the error of their ways. I needed to find a way to be more welcoming of other ideas and not have a personality that won’t even entertain another option. I am a work in progress! But, I am trying to be more mindful of myself in numerous situations.
So, back to kindness – and, to the Golden Rule. If I was on the receiving end of what I gave to others – I would not have nice things to say about me. And, although I truly believed that I was living the Golden Rule – truth be told, perhaps I was, to those people who agreed with me. The others, maybe less so.
So, here is my challenge. I would like all of us to strive to be more kind in the next 21 days. Doesn’t sound hard, does it? (Well, I tried to start this morning – then someone cut me off in traffic! I am sorry, but this isn’t easy.)
So, let’s start.
- Rather than being cold to the person behind the checkout lane (who seems to have been going so slow) – let’s give that person a smile and ask how they are doing.
- Rather than look to give the ‘bird’ to the person who just cut you off – just think that they must be in such a rush and you hope that they get where they need to go safely and on time. (I needed that this morning).
- When you are put ‘on hold’, know that the person is either multitasking with numerous calls or – needs to find the appropriate information. When the phone call is over – thank them for their customer service.
- Here is a tough one – when someone is genuinely unkind to you. Shake it off! Trying to get the upper hand is a sure sign that your ego wants to protect itself. And, from what? Let it go, and move on. No need to sink to that person’s level.
- But, the hardest one of all – be kind to yourself. We have all sorts of negative self-talk going through our minds. Would you talk to another person like you talk to yourself? If yes – you need some therapy! If no – then STOP it.
Being kind is the right thing to do. It stops the silly ‘me first’ mentality that our culture seems to hold in such high esteem. It will sometimes cause others to pay it forward – what a wonderful concept.
But, as far as our health and wellbeing – it releases endorphins and other biochemical messengers that reduce stress, make us content, and helps us to move forward as fully-realized human beings.
Not everything about health and wellness is about nutrition, exercise and weight loss.
I am here and would love to see how you are doing!!!
The Cave Woman Diva