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We live in a world where being kind can cost you your life. No surprise there.
However, we also live in a world where context matters; the simple act of kindness is not enough to bring your demise. Rather, it is how this kindness is exercised.
Let me give my theory.
Let’s start off by saying that you believe in God. I would say ‘The Universe’ to sound politically correct, but the truth is I’m not a huge believer in an abstract force directing the paths of my life, unless I’m saying that this force was created by God. Albeit, I too have a role to play in the karma I receive.
But, let’s say there’s God; and, let’s say there’s sin. What that means is up to you, but it’s essentially wrongdoing. We can debate any particular one at a later time. He sends his son to die for our sins, thereby granting eternal life for all who would have it. Ok.
Would you call this kindness?
Though we are not Jesus Christ Himself, we often feel as if we have been made to carry crosses that burden us down. We feel as if we pray in vain, just like him. We cry, we get mad, we express our entire emotional lexicon as he did here on earth. What then makes it possible for some people to suffer with joy, while others find it so hard to do?
My guess is: the amount of kindness you are able to consciously realize and use.
I’m not saying that you have to be soft and weak and allow people to use you for all intents and purposes; such traits usually arise from abusive circumstances and behaviours. The other end of the playing field would be to harden your heart and show mercy to none; this wears you down and lessens your ability to function healthily as a human being. The balance is in the middle.
One day you realize that people are living their own confusing lives. They’re all hurt, anxious, worried about something they won’t tell you because no one wants to be vulnerable. The aim is not to know their business (though you might), but to make them feel like their business isn’t as drastic as it feels in their head.
If people judge you, let them; it’s an addictive way for them to cope. If people hate you, love them; there’s a part of the big picture they can’t see. Learn to say no; you’re not required to prove yourself. If people don’t think you’re genuine, that’s ok too; trust is a funny concept we still don’t understand.
At the end of each day, we come to realize that life is fragile and accumulative – so many things come into play to make us who we are. Kindness is how you preserve yourself from the wear and tear of daily human living. It builds your discipline and generosity, and you can learn to see people (including yourself) as who they are and not the lesser versions that they generally project.
This will come with time, and we have as long as life allows.
Blessings in abundance!