It occurred to me the other day that there is an awful lot of exposure given to the unkindness in the world.
We live in an online world. That world seems, to me, to be full of negativity and tearing down. It is what fills our social media feeds, TV, news and blog comments – trolls and vitriol and the like. Our movies are becoming more and more violent. It is nothing these days to see people ripping heads off, or doing other unspeakable things, in all its gory detail in the name of entertainment. There is war, bad sportsmanship, people doing horrible things to other people, and on it goes. We are bombarded each and every day with images that leave us feeling that humans aren’t a very nice race at all. At times, it all feels so hopeless, don’t you find?
And yet, there is so much kindness in the world. As a race, we wouldn’t survive without it. Good vs evil and all that. You just need to look for it, find it. And then, once you have found it, you need to remind yourself of it, constantly.
So, this is a challenge. I am challenging you to aid me in tipping the scales. I want you to find the kindness.
You don’t have to go far. Look for it in your family, your friends, your local community. So often, kindness is reported where it occurs in a way that seems impossible for us to achieve, like any small acts of kindness don’t matter (let’s be honest, very few of us have the ability to abandon and our lives and families to set up orphanages and schools in remote, war torn countries). I’m here to tell you that it is the small acts of kindness that are the most important. They are the bread and butter of the kindness world. They are what sets us apart.
Let’s change how people see the world, let’s change what they see every day.
I am asking that people put up on their Facebook statuses, twitter feeds, instagram feeds or pinterest boards acts of kindness of which they have become aware. That person who knits tirelessly to make beanies for the homeless, let’s hear about them. Your child that has raised $7 for the local animal shelter, yep, we want to hear about it. Is your dad a member of Rotary and volunteers his time to raise money for charity, put it on up there. Your husband that is doing the dishes for you because you have the flu, we want to know. Any act of kindness, no matter how small, we definitely want to hear about it.
In short, look for the kindness. No longer dwell on the unkindness. Find the kindness and let us know about it. Tweet about it, take photos, put it out there. And to help us remind each other of the amazing acts of kindness out there, I suggest using #SHWfindthekindness.
But it isn’t to end there.
When we communicate, either through the written or spoken word, we have an opportunity. Our words or actions can either be used to build up the person or people to whom we are communicating, or they can tear them down. How incredible is that power? And the fact that we get the choice on how to use it.
I’m asking you to use it kindly. To be the kindness. No matter what, no matter how crappy your day is going, it takes nothing, costs nothing to show a bit of kindness. We all have times when we are so angry at the world that the last thing we feel like is showing compassion or kindness, but I’m asking you to do exactly that.
Before you communicate, ask yourself, is this going to build up or tear down. And then ask yourself what you choose to do. Because it is a choice. I believe we all would prefer to build up. Call it #mindfulkindness, if you like.
Again, I want to hear about your own acts of kindness. Too often we are told that we shouldn’t let the world know about the good we have done in the world for fear of sounding arrogant, un-altruistic (yes, I know, that’s not really a word). I say nonsense. Your light is amazing and as humans, we follow by example. How are we meant to follow it, if we don’t know it’s there. Shine a light on your kindness. Show us the way. Fill our social media feeds with your acts of kindness. Use #SHWbethekindness. I dare you.
Are you willing to take up the mantle? I hope you are. I believe you can do it. See you on the hashtags. Remember #SHWfindthekindess and #SHWbethekindness.
Let’s change the world!