The truth is- life can take a lot out of a person. Whether it involves work, family, relationships of all types, etc., being kind can sometimes be the last thing that comes to mind. We all strive to be a good person, with good morals, true character, integrity, and respect. Doesn’t it seem like one or all of these tend to be brushed aside when confronted with a difficult or frustrating situation? When you see KAE, you probably think, “they’ve perfected the art of kindness.” Trust us. The struggle is real.
Perfect example: I was at the nail salon, having a GREAT day of pampering when I decided to change the color that I had previously chosen for my pedicure. I told the technician that I would like a different color. I said this very politely. She responded by throwing the original polish on the table….followed by a long sigh. Now, my first reaction was to ask for a different technician to complete the job however, something inside of me told me to ignore her reaction. I began thinking about the day she may be having. Long day? Tired? Received bad news? Rude customer? Problems with her boss? Personal issues? The list could go on. This allowed me to soften my approach, ask her if she was ok, and continue with a light joke to clear the air. In a few minutes, we were conversing as if nothing had happened and all was forgotten.
If I had responded negatively, many would have agreed that the woman’s response deserved it however, these types of situations arise daily and it is up to each of us to be the ones to react in a way that is in line with the image we are creating of ourselves. In my case, it is to radiate kindness in every circumstance. Now, I hope this doesn’t come off as a cliché remark because everything in me knows it’s difficult to respond with kindness in the heat of the moment however, everything in me also knows that responding with kindness will achieve the best outcome.
A more universal example of someone who knew the importance of responding with kindness during a traumatic period was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tomorrow we will be celebrating MLK Jr. day. We all know (or should know) his impact on achieving a positive outcome using unconventional methods. We won’t say he was perfect, because no one is however, we will say that when others would have responded in a violent way that seemed justified at that time, King’s actions and message focused on unity and spreading love despite difference. In thinking about Dr. King, we should not only celebrate him on his day- simply with a tweet, repost, or catchy King quote- but everyday, by following his example of “walking the talk” and understanding how possible that truly is.
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!
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