The kindness challenge

August 3, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

My wife Terri has on her small kitchen table blackboard a handwritten note:

"Every person you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Treat them with kindness and understanding."

What amazing advice for each and every one of us.

It doesn't mean we can't get upset or object to the thoughts of others.

It just suggests we do so with a bit of kindness and understanding. That despite the bluster and cloaks each of us throws up as a smokescreen hiding what lies below, even a little effort at being kind has its own rewards.

And just imagine if it was you at the receiving end of the kind act or smile.

It matters.

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22 comments on “The kindness challenge”

  1. Often it depends on how you were raised (what you experienced in your childhood)
    as to how effortful the battle can be in finding your way back to kindness as an adult.
    And now the concept of kindness is challenged further by the me, Me, ME, ME! generation.

  2. Paul, I can definitely vote for kindness. It is hard at times, but if you can manage a deep breath before you launch the missiles at someone you may be able to stop before you start a war.

    And, while bullies must never be tolerated, a little kindness can't hurt. Remember, bullies are made not born.

    1. RR, I cannot say that there may not be some exceptions to my statement, but from what I have read and seen reported it appears that bullies have either been bullied themselves or have had parental examples of bullying.

    2. I can say its true with roosters as well. My dad use to tease them and get them to chase him (when the rooster was on the other side of the fence of dad). If they got out you could not turn your back to one or it would be up your back spurring you. Most roosters would not attack you face on (typical bully-they were chicken). If they did attack you face on they were typically chosen for cockfighting which was entertainment for poor farm boys during the great depression.
      BTW - I had a Golden Retriever. What a lovable dog... a helper and friend to all.

  3. People who sincerely accept your kindness is a good thing but their are those who are kindness accepting predators who see it as weakness to take advantage of you perhaps in a dangerous way. Do it cautiously. There was a kind Family who took in an illegal alien who killed the Father. Just one example.

    1. I once knew a kind realtor who was having trouble getting an equally kind client to pay his finder's fee. I laughed when I overheard him telling the client, "I love you, but I have to sue you."

  4. I live by certain words of which are related to kindness that I certainly try to practice every day.

    Sympathy, Empathy, Compassion, Gratitude and Acceptance.

    It’s the way I was brought up and the way I’ve tried to live my life. This doesn’t mean that I don’t get angry or complain on occasion but I have certainly not bullied anyone that I can recall, ever.

    For most of my life being in nature tends to ground my feelings of being connected to the world around me that are filled with wonder. It makes a difference in learning how to be kind to others.

  5. I don't agree Bullies are made not born (of dogs) but I sincerely believe that of people. Most animals have a reason for aggression or protecting their food Humans are just selfish creatures. We could all learn a lot from animals. As FR stated so truthfully me me me. As a test everyone should try to go out of their way to do something for someone unconditionally. I have an old man who lives next to me and I shoveled his walks and driveway this winter about 4 or 5 times was a big job since I had to do my own also. No money or rewards involved. I guess perhaps subconsciously I hope someone will do for me when I am too old.

  6. Thanks Terry (& Paul) for the kind reminder!

    Treating others as you would have them treat yourself goes a long way to a happier life for everyone!!

    PSA certainly has a model business philosophy of treating all customers with due respect, interest and helpfulness...Has to come from the TOP! 😉

  7. The Golden Rule goes way back. The center of the book of Leviticus is also the center of the entire Torah (first five books of the Hebrew Bible, the textual source for the Christian Old Testament), and contains the verse: “…you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:18). It's too bad the world largely ignores that rule, even though virtually all religions teach it.

    1. Joseph,
      Aah, but not everyone loves themselves; in fact some people downright despise themselves.
      So if you hate yourself, or at least you don't love yourself, does that mean that you don't have to love your neighbour? (by the exact words of Leviticus, "love your neighbour as yourself")
      Some people have no concept of what 'love' is.

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