The Courage to Be Kind

My friend Betsy posted that it takes courage to be kind.  I really felt that.  Being kind, for me at least, is an act of vulnerability.  Will I be misunderstood? Will she accept my help? Or will he brush me off? So many of us live behind masks we don’t even know we are wearing.  The mask says “stay away” but the face underneath is calling out for connection. We have to step outside our comfort zone and risk not being met with kindness in return.  I for one, am far more identified with my mask and amour than I am with my soft heart.  My heart is fragile, after all. Perhaps the way to strengthen the heart is by being brave with it, risking injury for the prize of joy.


4 thoughts on “The Courage to Be Kind

  1. The good old days, yes indeed, they were the good old days, when people didn’t hesitate to help one another. Funny thing, everyone lived very meagerly and yet would give what they could to help out, knowing that someday they may be in that same position. Charity and kindness go together, and don not necessarily cost anything. It could be a kind word, a hug, a smile an acknowlegement. Sometimes, these simple acts are just the right kind of common kindness.

    • Hello Phyllis! Welcome to our little kindness lounge. I am so happy you shared your comment. I hear about “the good old days” and long to bring them back. That is really what CommonKindness is ultimately all about. The sole purpose for this blog is to bring people together to share and think about kindness in all its forms and manifestations and spread it like a life-saving cure to as many ills as possible. Your comment strikes a chord in me. My daughter and I used to live in one small town in our county where people had less money and cared less about the outside stuff. We moved to the other end of the county for her education to another small town where it was all about the outside stuff; the clothes, the hair, the car. The first thing my 8-year-old daughter (at the time) said to me was, “people don’t smile at each other here like they did in our old town.” Now stuff DOES NOT mean lack of kindness. But it is interesting that when we have more, sometimes we give less. Have you ever noticed that in your life?

  2. …and sometimes omission is kind That is, as some of the older generation taught us, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Sometimes holding your tongue is kinder than trying to give what you think is constructive criticism. Sometimes it’s just kinder to pass on certain conversations. If you have an urge to tell your friend, “You look very tired today,” just keep it to yourself; she knows she looks tired. Or if you feel compelled to say, “Wouldn’t it be easier to (your solution to a problem),” perhaps you could let it ride and allow the person to try his/her way. Then kinder would be, “Hey, not a bad idea; give it a try.”

    • That was just what I needed to hear this morning Evelyn. Restraint of pen and tongue is a tough one for me as a truth seeker and speaker. It is not always a good thing. The truth is often painful and it is an art to communicate hard truths kindly. I am blessed to have friends in my life who are willing to risk hurting my feelings to tell me the truth. For me, this is one of the rarest and most valuable gifts in my life. However, I would not want to have everyone in my life all the time telling me exactly what was on their minds all the time. Which points back to your wise and invaluably simple adage, “If you can’t sat something nice…….

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