We’ve given it up. We used to effort ourselves to “kill people with kindness,” and now we’ve reverted to killing people with bitterness, snarkiness, anger, and behind-closed-doors-cursing. We’re a bunch of smart-asses, waiting for the opportunity to roll our eyes and make the other person feel the angry shadow we cast as we loom above them, glowering in our headiness.
We can feel this like a thickness in the air, weighing everyone down, our shoulders drooping forward and our eyes downcast.
I see this often. I see it in the way we handle conflict, in our demeanor towards co-workers, strangers on the street, on our oh-so-beloved social medias where we turn into sharks, safe behind our plastic keyboards.
I’ve been a victim, but I’ve also been the antagonist, though it breaks my heart to admit. I’ve responded to harmless questions with sharp words, sarcastic and dry – sandpaper to a baby’s soft skin.
What happened to our effort for kindness?
Putting ourselves above others seems to come naturally. Quickly defensive and slow to take blame, we are becoming a society where we are never wrong and the other person is always the idiot. Throw them under that roaring, angry, hateful bus.
It’s slowly, but visibly, wearing us down.
It has to change. If we ever want to see better, to do better, to be better, we have to change. Change our mindset, our vocabulary, tone of voice. Change our pedestal…lower it a few levels. There isn’t one of us who has it all together, with all the answers and the perfect plan. You will make mistakes today, and so will others. So what if we decided to take a deep breath and be kind?
I’ve worked in the service industry for nearly ten years and I cannot tell you how many times I have wanted to scream at a guest an unpleasant reminder that although I am waiting on them, I am still, in fact, a human. Their rudeness is a baseball to the head, shouldn’t I return the favor? But I smile (no, it may not be a genuine smile) and continue on. I want to keep my job. I want to be professional. I want to KILL THAT PERSON with kindness. More often than not, they notice how big of a jerk they’re being, and take it down a notch (though, not always).
What if we took the extra effort in our every day lives? A deep breath and clenched smile and a genuine effort to not become a jerk could go a long way. There’s one world and we all have to live in it, we may as well try.
I like you all, in my most sincerest way of liking,