I have never been able to tell if it is a good or bad thing that we as humans are shocked by acts of kindness. To me that always meant that kindness was rare enough in our world for people to slow down to marvel in awe. Rubbernecking, if you will. Suggesting that kindness was the exception in an otherwise cruel world. The sad part is kindness was never meant to take a backseat.
In Mother Teresa’s Anyway poem she said, “If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.” I always found that odd growing up. Why should I be kind to someone who thinks I am selfish? No thanks, I’m good. However, as I have grown older, the meaning has shifted. It became less about my feelings and more about the unkind person’s feelings. There is always a reason someone is acting unkind, and it usually stems from a lack of kindness and love in their life. I was lucky enough to learn the meaning of kindness and love because it was a exemplified in my life from an early age. Not everyone is that lucky, and we must remember that. You have no idea the impact your kindness could have on a person. Similarly, we have no idea the inner battle someone else is fighting.
I’d love to sit here and tell you that it has become easy to be kind to those who are unkind. But I am human, and I fail sometimes. However, what I can tell you is this: Being unkind never makes me feel the way it does to rise above it and treat that person kinder than they treated me. It helps knowing that failure is part of the process, and it is never too late to make amends. It is actively choosing to be kind, as opposed to our innate “eye for an eye” human nature. I know my worth, and I am confident in that, so why not help someone else along in their journey?