Just. Be. Kind.
Be kind to yourself:
Unplug from social media (the internet and/or your television news program of choice) –
the endless scrolling through
what are probably not positive,
motivational posts, is leaching your soul
of all that is beneficial and good,
unconsciously nurturing a you
that is ever more rigid,
of seeing the world
except through the prism
of your chosen lens;
the algorithms of the various sites
(or your favorite television news program)
will keep you buried in the voices
of your chosen choir
with no room for differing views
effectively eliminating any possibility of
a meeting of minds,
your “click” history will ensure
you get only more
of the same.
The world is so much more kaleidoscopic
than that narrow vision
we allow ourselves to see
in the rabbit hole
that is social media (the internet, tv news programs…)
So, give yourself a break: Unplug.
Read a novel. Or a poem.
Take a walk, Go on a hike.
Watch the sunrise…or set.
Cook something new. Bake something,
Share your creation.
Play with a child and really pay attention.
Listen to them tell a story.
Look at your teenager (friend, spouse, neighbor) in the eyes
when they speak so that
you can hear what they do not say.
Rub a dog’s belly. Make a cat purr.
All of these are good for your mind and spirit…and possibly someone else’s.
Be kind to others:
Instead of scrolling -
Call a good friend whose voice you have not heard in a long time. Catch up on YOUR lives, not the present sociopolitical situation.
Call a parent or a sibling – or any family member (family by blood or by choice). Tell them you love them. (Tell them every day.)
Handwrite a letter to a grandparent...or anyone else, really. Most would appreciate the time and thought that goes into handwriting a personal letter...and receiving something not a bill or advertisement in the mail. Ask them to write you back - maybe start a correspondence.
Do something good for someone in need. Don't tell anyone you've done it.
Smile at everyone you meet. Don't wait for someone else to be kind and friendly first. You may make someone's day.
And therefore your own...
It feels good when you lighten someone else's load.
Don't assume an off putting face is aimed at you. Everyone is going through something you know nothing about. That crazy driver honking and cursing at you? Respond with a wave and a smile and keep going. That anger has nothing to do with you. Don't let it ruin your day. And don't help make their day worse. Let it go. How you treat others is about who you are, not who they are.
Chat pleasantly with cashiers, counter people, waitstaff, receptionists, DMV and postal workers... and others with whom you come into contact. You may turn what seems a permanent frown into a smile. Be the friendly face you want to see.
When you look out at the world around you, stop labeling, judging, everyone you see based on preconceived notions of who you think they are and, therefore, what you think they must believe. You are probably wrong. People are much more complicated than the boxes we try to put them in. They, like you and I, are the sum total of myriad experiences we know nothing about.
Every major world religion has a version of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
What a world it would be if we could all do that.
Just. Be. Kind.