Filed under things that make me sad: Lately, I’ve noticed that people are suspicious of kindness.
They don’t know how to respond when someone is nice to them.
People. Really? This is not okay.
I found myself trying to justify/explain why I was offering to help someone, and so I said this:
I think that there are things you should do, if you can do them, and things you should not do, if you can avoid them. I think that as human beings, we often fail miserably at being kind to each other. I think that as a society, we sometimes shy away from doing things that might not be super convenient to us, even though they might be the right thing to do. And I think that's not who I want to be. I don't want to be the person who could reach out to a friend and doesn't do it. I don't want to be the woman ignores others because she's too busy to do something. I don't want to look past people because looking at them is too hard.
But it bothered me. It bothered me that people experience so much unkindness so regularly that being kind stresses them out, or that they’re so used to receiving a punch in the face that they don’t know what to do when they get a hug.
I believe what I said to my friend.
And I believe that you can make a difference in big ways. When I was a wee lass, I wanted to make a big difference – join the Peace Corps! Become a journalist! Save the world! – but, as you already know if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time? I didn’t do that. What I didn’t realize then, though, and what I’m understanding now, is that you can also make an equally profound difference in very small ways. They often don’t cost anything but time. Time, and a willingness to try.
I have those things. I suspect you do too
So let’s use them. Let’s make it a point to have a surplus of kindness, until it’s so commonplace that when you offer it to someone? It’s not unrecognizable or suspicious.