It is true that everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about.
That frazzled woman at the grocery store whose child is screaming.
That old, slow man driving 10 miles an hour under the speed limit.
Your boss, your neighbor, the smiley woman at the drive-through who makes your coffee every morning.
We see them at face value, based on the actions presented before us. We often go day to day so wrapped up in how we feel; how we are inconvenienced. How you just want to check out your groceries in peace, or get to work on time. It takes strength to hold back the eye roll, bite the lip, and smile. It takes strength to remain kind in stressful situations.
We are human after all; selfishness runs in the blood of what makes us just that. What also makes us human is the desire and longing to be loved; to be cared for, and appreciated. Kindness is the foundation of genuine human connection.
Just imagine how miserable this world would be if kindness didn’t exist. Imagine the touch from your spouse, a hug from your mother, a deep conversation with your best friend. Imagine shopping during Christmas, Easter egg hunting in the Spring, and dressing up like a Princess in the Fall. Imagine cradling your first-born child; play dates with the cousins and family outings to the beach. Without kindness, what do we have to take from life’s greatest experiences?
It’s easy to live day by day, our thoughts directed toward surface-level objectives. It’s easy to direct our goals toward making more money, or losing an extra 10 pounds. Yes, those are incredible achievements that we should aim for; but what if we pushed it one step further? What if we made more money without stepping on the man below us? What if we could lose those 10 exhausting pounds without smirking at the girl at the gym 10 pounds heavier? What a different, extraordinary world we would live in if we all practiced kindness in life’s daily routines.
It’s easy to be unkind. Compassion takes strength. In the end, when your heart has gifted its final beat and your bones are returned to dust, the ones you leave behind won’t be commending your job, your house, or your bank account; they will reflect on how you made them feel. How well you loved. How well you were loved.
Make kindness your legacy.