Why aren’t people inclined to be kind?
What strain does it put on you to help the old lady at the grocery store put her bags in her car? Does it really hurt your budget so much to tip your server a dollar more than your first instinct suggests? Does is cost you anything to help your coworker out just a little more than might be expected of you?
We run tired, we run short-tempered, we constantly are in a hurry, oblivious to our surroundings, and so focused on the future that we forget to be present in our present. And bit by bit, I believe, that has worn away our humanity as a group, as a culture... as a people. With the safety of a screen between us and reality, we say things we might otherwise have kept to ourselves. With instant gratification on an IV into our veins, we forget that some things are worth doing out of kindness and care rather than gain or success. We are dehumanizing ourselves and it’s showing by intolerance, prejudice, dismissive attitudes, and unforgiving, ungiving tendencies.
It’s made us ill.
We’re so focused on quick fixes and instant cures that we’ve forgotten to listen to our minds and bodies, pay attention to our earth and our nourishment, and believe that time can indeed be healing. We dismiss alternative medicines even though they’re natural forms of aid and immunity. We neglect to take time for ourselves in peace whether that be in the form of meditation, a bath, or even just a quiet moment of self reflection before we get up and face the day. We need to love ourselves. That’s not selfishness, that’s not pride or greed, or ego. It’s care. Necessary care.
I encourage you to quiet your pride for a moment and ask for help, do yourself a small justice and say no to the plans you don’t actually want to follow through with, but most of all, I ask you please, next time you ask someone “how are you?” listen - for real - to the answer they give you. Give some love today, this week, make into a habit! Give that love to others
and to yourself. Share light, share love, share kindness. You may be surprised at just how well and whole and happy it will make you feel.