I am a big fan of reading quotes. I will just go to my trusty Pinterest app, type in the word quote and just start reading. I was scrolling through yesterday and saw this one by Anne Frank. I read it and kept on going. I was way down on the feed before the quote really hit me and I had to go look for it again. I read it again and knew I had to write about it.
When you read the quote, what does it mean to you? Does it mean going out and setting the world on fire with big change? Do you think of policy changes and big organizations working for the greater good? I saw that too, at first, that’s why I kept scrolling, but then it hit me…improvement on a smaller scale…in my little corner of the world.
What can I do day in and day out to improve my part of the world? What can I start to do today, in a single moment? Something that if I start, then maybe it will catch on and grow bigger and spread out across my state, then my country, then my world? The answer is simple, and the answer is hard at the same time. It’s something that I try to do already, but don’t always succeed. It’s something that’s talked about all the time, but not always shown to people that think differently or have other opinions. What is it? What am I thinking about? The answer is kindness…
Yup, I said it was simple and hard all at the same time. People throw around the word kindness a lot, but do we really know what it means and all it entails? I looked up the word and here are some synonyms for kindness: goodwill, gentleness, consideration, thoughtfulness, understanding, friendliness, hospitality, generosity, patience, tolerance, decency. Woah, it’s a little bit more than just being nice, right?
It’s so easy to be kind to people who line up with our way of thinking, but what about the others? We are supposed to be kind to them too. It’s kinda like the Golden Rule: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. This idea dates back to about 551 BCE and is talked about in just about all religious beliefs and areas of thought, like the humanists and the existentialism. The concept of kindness applies to all of us.
I am not saying you have to agree with everybody and not have you own beliefs, all I am saying is, even if you don’t agree, you should still be kind. I don’t agree with a lot of people, even people in my own belief structure, but that doesn’t give me the right to treat them badly or be a complete ass.
I believe kindness can spread and become a movement that can change the world, if people are willing to try. You may be sitting there thinking my hippie side is shining through, and you would be right, but what’s wrong with that? If they could try to change the world by saying “give peace a chance”, then why can’t we try with saying “be kind”? Will it always work? Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give it a shot. Remember the next time somebody cuts you off or is rude to you or spouts some kind of junk on social media…be kind and see how you feel. All it could take is one act of kindness to improve the world.
***Question for the comments…What did you think of when you read the Anne Frank quote in the photo collage? Did you think on a big scale or smaller one like I did?
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