Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Have You Tried Kindness?

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It seems like everybody is trying desperately to get others to change their opinions to match theirs.  There are many ways to go about this but it often ends in contention, hurt feelings, and rudeness.  It is a sad state and dismal testament to our virtual friendships and literal removal from one another.  

My children have a kindergarten teacher.  They go to a somewhat funky school where kindergarten isn't about letters or numbers, instead it is about play.  Their teacher says that the purpose of kindergarten is this:

To learn to be kind.

Yes, they do eventually need to learn letters and numbers and all that jazz.  But first, and most importantly, children must learn kindness.  

Sometimes I feel like this- the virtue of kindness- is a lost art and one which many of us haven't bothered to learn or which we have conveniently forgotten in our current social media heavy existence.  We all (yes, myself included) seem to think that our opinion matters and it is perfectly OK to slam on somebody else.  After all, I was just stating my opinion, blah, blah, blah...

I wholeheartedly agree that we are all entitled to our own opinions.  I also cannot fathom why anybody thinks that having an opinion and speaking it excuses them from the courtesy of kindness.  Really?  You think that so you are automatically allowed to bash, ridicule, make fun of, insult and mock me because I think differently? Do you really think that you can excuse that because you were just sharing your opinion or pointing out the "evidence"?

I don't care if my friends agree with me, but I do care if they are kind to me.  And they won't be considered a friend if they are simply mean.  I don't have time for that.  I am too old and too tired to bother with meanies and so is everybody else.

And of course this applies to natural birth and parenting.  How many of us are passionate about something?  Maybe to the point where we are quite sure that doing otherwise is in fact cruel and/or abusive?  

Even if what somebody else is doing is stupid and mean or even "not evidence based" or not backed by the research, does that excuse our own cruelty?  I think not.  

Frankly, I will never be convinced of the merits of gentle parenting by somebody who is a grade-A jerk, nor will anyone else.  

I will not change my opinion to align with yours after your thoroughly insult and degrade my thinking.  I will just wonder why you are so offensive.  

Have you seriously EVER (and I mean EVER) convinced somebody of something by arguing with them?  I can honestly say that I have been arguing with people for decades and it has yet to work.  Just ask my husband!    (And yet, I keep trying...)

Want to grow your business?  Be polite.  Want to win somebody over?  Be respectful even if you disagree.  Want somebody to agree with you?  Love them even when they don't.  

I know I am the wrong person to give this silly advice because I suck at it myself.  But lately I have been really saddened and somewhat shocked at the way adults feel they can freely act simply because they disagree with somebody.

Have you tried kindness?  It just might work.  But even if it doesn't, at least you were not in the wrong.

1 comment:

Georgina Dowden said...

Oh my goodness, I love this post.

I think that most of the time when people are mean and shove their way of doing things into other people faces, they do it because they themselves are insecure about their decisions and feel the need to defend them.

I think those people who are happy and secure in themselves are usually the ones who are kind to others about their choices :)

THANK YOU!

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