Kindness is easy for the most part, especially when we are reminded at certain times of the year to be kind to one another. It’s easy to open a door for a stranger, or help someone with their groceries, to say a good word at the checkout.
The hard part of kindness is practicing it with those who are closest to us. To those we love. I admit, I have been accused of being critical of my hubby. You know there is that one, or two, or many things that the one you love does which isn’t quite right in your eyes. I have different ways of doing certain things, I’m an individual, but what I tend to forget is that the one I love is individual too. As an example, we don’t all cut a banana exactly the same way. And why should it really matter or become a funny topic around the dinner table.
Is it easier to be kind to a stranger than with the ones we love? Do we point out faults far more than positive aspects of the loving person in front of us? In a group setting it is easy to point out that ‘one thing’ that is annoying. While we jest about it – hey it’s all in fun right – to the recipient or even to those listening, it may feel uncomfortable. Everyone laughs or joins in with their own reminiscing of said individual’s quirkiness. I call it ‘picking’. It seems that around times of stress, a family get-together, Christmas and holiday seasons, I see more ‘picking’ between those in love and relationships. I say (and I am guilty of it) let’s quit it already!
What if we were simply kind to those in our loving circle? If we jested and laughed about all the good a person does or is, rather than saving it for ‘the funeral’. I’ve never been to a funeral where someone has gone on about the faults of a person. So why is it okay when they are sitting right there in front of us to jest about a flaw or something quirky that might be different, maybe it’s just simple everyday stuff that earns a laugh. Simply being what makes that person unique and loved in the first place.
While we are kind to strangers, maybe we need to look at our own relationships and throw some kindness into the mix. It’s easy to be drawn into ‘the picking’ conversations, it seems funny, right. Hmm, I am not so sure, because before long, all the faults come to the forefront and before long, the goodness fades away, and what kind of a relationship is left when no more good resides?
Something to think about this holiday season when all parts are being worked on from the purchasing and wrapping of gifts, to trimming the tree, baking and cooking a festive meal. In sharing the tasks, not everyone will do things the same way, but in the end we all arrive at the same place don’t we? The gifts are still wrapped, the meals taste awesome and the baking, yum!
Something to think about… For the love of all that brought that special person into your life, practice kindness with them not only in this moment, but in all moments to come as you share your lives together. I promise to do better too in spreading kindness not only with strangers, but especially to the ones I love. For me it’s a work in progress, something to strive for one hundred percent of the time, not just when I think of it. Join me will you.