Just a quick PSA today as I have been thinking about the importance of kindness. It’s never what you say, but always how you say it. This is not exciting news, but it has been taking up space in my head this week and I think it is a good reminder for us all (and one of my biggest pet peeves, other than chewing loudly – so gross!).
In my line of work, one singular interaction with a client represents our entire company, and is often the only impression that client will get of our organization. Wow. What an opportunity to either really create an amazing experience, or ignite a negative response that will not so easily be erased.
In more personal social affairs, I notice often that people do not apply this seemingly common courtesy to everyday interactions. I frequently observe negative, emotionally charged, or inappropriate responses to questions or conversation topics that are really unnecessary. Drives me bonkers.
I feel like it is possible to be truthful… but kind. Compassion and kindness are always an option, always a choice. In any given moment, any situation, the other people you are interacting with have something going on that you know absolutely nothing about. Divorce. Death. Loss. Debt. Addiction. Miscarriage. Health crises. Shame. Loneliness. Guilt. Failures. The list of true shit storms people are wading through every single day of their lives goes on and on. Knowing that we are human, we will not always think of this when interacting with others. After all, we have our own personal storms to weather. Reminders now and then about the fact that we are not alone in our struggles are important.
Remember today that you are not fighting your battles alone. We are all dealing with our own stuff the best way we know how, each day. Remember that you can choose how you deal with that annoying co-worker. You can choose how you treat that kid bagging your groceries. You can choose your response to an angry, demanding customer. You. Can. Choose.
Be kind, people. How you speak to others is important. The words you choose are important. What behavior your children see, they will emulate. I tell my oldest, “You do not have to be perfect. But you MUST be kind.” When you do screw up, apologize… sincerely. Own your mistakes and ask for forgiveness. You just never know what the person beside you is going through at the present moment, and it is easy to forget. Try not to.
We are all in this together, you guys. Be kind, be compassionate, be generous. As Michelle Obama once said, “When they go low, we go high.” Political beliefs aside, take this tidbit and apply it to your day. Be conscientious with how you handle yourself. It is not what you say, but how you say it. Speak kindly, always.