It’s Monday. Wipe the sleep out of your eyes and get it together. Chop, chop. Time to go to work. Or to school. Time to put on your make up and smile, time to prove that you work harder, stronger, faster than anyone else. The rat race, right?
Lately, I have been thinking about the above phrase a lot. I suppose that is because a close family member is going through something horrible and awful and in my family, when one of us go through something, we all lock arms around one another. And I suppose some days it is harder for me to get my game face on.
Kindness goes such a long a way. I have been learning that well. And a lack of kindness…Well, for someone going through some type of battle, it can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
As my family walks through this, there are people who have been kind and people who have been unkind. Some of those people knew the battle and still chose to be unkind (that’s a whole other issue; ain’t nobody got time for an attitude like that!) but others, not knowing a thing, have been unkind.
It’s definitely got me thinking about what kind of person I am. Do I consider what the cab driver, the barista, a coworker I don’t know that well, a neighbor in my building, may be going through? No. I don’t. But I am trying to start. I really am.
I’ve seen how far a small kindness can go.
I’ve seen how painful an unkindness can be.
I don’t want to be that type of person. But I definitely am in process. I am definitely growing. I am definitely failing and asking for grace in this area. It makes me feel dumb that I had to experience other’s insensitivity (and this blog is not about calling anyone out at all) for me to work on my own. But I am working on it. And let me just kindly suggest that you think about the famous quote above too.
But we never know, do we? You never know who is fighting a battle. We don’t wear signs alerting the public. But let’s be honest. If we were to play the odds, everyone goes through something truly awful at least once in their life (a very conservative number) and how do you know that time is not now? Why not just try being a softer, kinder person in general? We don’t know what the cab driver goes home to at night or why the barista is working so slowly today. Take a moment and consider. Choose kindness and mean it.
“I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process. It needs not a map but a history…There is something new to be chronicled every day. Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape…Sometimes the surprise is the opposite one; you are presented with exactly the same sort of country you thought you had left behind miles ago. That is when you wonder whether the valley isn’t a circular trench. But it isn’t. There are partial recurrences, but the sequence doesn’t repeat” (C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed, 60).
The fact is, I don’t know what you are facing. And as for now, you don’t know what I’m facing. But we are all, somewhere in the process. Let’s choose kindness. It cannot be false kindness. Never that. I can smell a fake a mile awhile. Let’s be honest and kind. And let’s be kind to one another as we both stumble and fumble through trying to be kind more often, to more people.
I’m not perfect but if you’ll kindly give me some grace, I’m trying to be more kind.
Also, if someone wants to count how many times I used the word “kind” in this post, I will give you a dollar.