One more year is nearly in the books and New Year resolutions are starting to be made. I wrote down some yesterday, and I’m already thinking about amending some of them. A few just seem a bit too daunting, and 2019 has not yet begun.
There is one resolution that I do intend to hold steadfast. I plan to be a more kind person. This resolution, notion or goal, call it what you wish, came to me for three reasons.
My grandmother was the most kind and content person I’ve ever met. I don’t know if there is a direct correlation between kindness and contentment, but I suspect there might be. My Granny lived to be 103 years old and I never heard her say an unkind word about anyone. I’m not sure I want to live that long, but I am sure I want to have the peace and contentment she held. Perhaps of all the things she taught me, kindness was the most important. Every person that ever knew her was a better person for having that honor.
I recently read a story that told of a lesson given by a teacher to his fifth and sixth graders. These are his words, “What if every single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary – the world would really be a better place.” Simple words given to children. And so I thought about that lesson and I realized I believe it to be true. It costs nothing to be kind. Should we need a reason to be kind? A reason anymore important than kind is the “Right” way to be? I think kindness is enough.
My last reason for my desire to be kinder is a bit more mundane and yet still vital for me. In 2018, I’ve gotten into some heated and in the end, very nasty online fights with people in which I disagree. And yes, it is almost always political disagreements. I’ve written some very snarky things and I’ve received the same written back to me. In a few cases I felt some initial satisfaction with my, “I guess I told you” postings. But then, my thoughts and feelings always seemed to change. Maybe guilt, maybe embarrassment or shame started to creep in. Somehow, later I always felt regret.
I’m holding steadfast to my beliefs about justice, compassion and what I believe the moral compass of our country should be pointing towards. I will still disagree with some other points of view, but I have learned two things. My ranting, name calling and insulting remarks have changed no one’s mind. I’ve also learned that it’s been a waste of my mental and physical energy and in the end I feel worse rather than better.
I wish everyone a safe and peaceful New Year. I end this post with two quotes.
“You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.” Gautama Buddha
“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” Dalai Lama