lookingbackandforth

Keeping it real and Keeping it positive.

KINDNESS…it matters

on March 5, 2012

For several days now I’ve been pondering on what to write as my next post on this blog. I really want to keep it positive and encouraging and yet honest. Over and over again the issue of KINDNESS has come up in my mind. Sadly it has come up because of observing LACK of KINDNESS.

I find as I lean into my 6th decade of life that there are fewer and fewer things that really upset me. I’m MUCH more laid back than I was in my 40’s and little things don’t bother me as much. I don’t make EVERYTHING an issue and I really do try to pick my battles, but I do have a very low tolerance for UNKIND.

Someone posted one of those ‘posters’ on their Facebook that said , ‘Being Kind is more important that being RIGHT’ I thought about that a while before I reposted. Isn’t it important to be RIGHT? I want to be right, don’t I? But then as I considered that statement the words from the Bible came to my memory…’Speak the truth in love’. Hmmmm that pretty much summed it up for me and I reposted the words. Being KIND and being RIGHT don’t have to be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Not to focus on the UNKIND things out there, but living here in a political town during an election season can sure bring out the worst in people. I’ll confess, I’m not very political. I believe in exercising my right to vote and I do. I read and consider and think and decide and then I vote. But I see no point in being MEAN about it. There is just so much meanness for meanness sake or for a sound bite, perhaps! I wonder if what people put on Facebook or comment in blogs they would actually SAY to that person face to face? I wonder……

Then this whole mess with Rush L. and his comments. Regardless of what we think about politics or policies I see no reason to be rude and unkind.

Years ago Barry was an aide to a wonderful Brigadier General. We were newly married and so this was the first time I’d even MET someone at that rank. The General and his wife were fabulous, kind and caring people. They had at the time 2 of their sons living at home. During this time the General had made a decision that was unpopular and the local newspapers as well as the media had a field day with it. They printed all manner of UNKINDNESS about this man. I was at their home one day when their young son in the 6th grade come home. He had apparently seen some of the press or someone had commented and he ran into the house, literally screaming…’They don’t know MY DAD’ and ran upstairs crying. I will never forget that moment and can’t help but think about the children of so many of our leaders in the public eye who have to hear, day in and day out mean comments about their parents.

I know over the years I’ve said many unkind things to and about people. I really regret that and want to do better. I want to be remembered as someone who is KIND. I want to leave a mark on people’s lives by my kindness. I want to surround myself with kind people.

I’m married to the KINDEST person on earth, or he is in my opinion. Barry rarely if ever says unkind things about people, even in the privacy of our home and our personal conversations. He always, always looks for the best in others and affirms that to them. When he was a young LT and had his first leadership job I noticed that he had these 3×5 cards on a ring. One for his of the men in his platoon. I asked him once that they were. He told me that on one side in pen he had all their contact information and their positive attributes. On the other side in pencil he had areas where they needed improvement. I asked why it was in pencil. He replied so that he could ERASE those areas once they improved! He always was looking for the best in others and he still does. I want to be like that!

I know what it’s like to be treated unkindly. It stings and hurts and doesn’t easily go away. I read somewhere that it takes 11 positive comments to equal one negative comment. I don’t know if that is scientific, but I do know that we tend to remember the ONE negative comment more than the ONE positive comment.

The real power of kindness comes when it’s shown to someone who may not seem to deserve it. I know I have been the recipient of that kind of kindness and it has had a great impact on my life.

In a world where being edgy and critical and unkind seems to get you attention I hope I can stand firm and in a small way bring KINDNESS into my sphere of influence. I would encourage you to join me. Kindness is powerful and can really make a difference in someone’s life. I’d love to hear your stories of someone showing YOU kindness. 


2 responses to “KINDNESS…it matters

  1. barry willey says:

    Beautiful, my dear…beautiful…

    Like

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