There is always something or someone out there who will test you, that will make you react in a way that goes against your nature or the beliefs you have. I have been reading about the idea of free will recently and if we actually possess it.
If an object is thrown at us our body reacts before we have a chance to respond, we will either catch it or swat it away to protect us from getting hit, but if this is something that happens without needing to think about it (a genetic instinct), our we ever really in control?
I want to say I have free will, I will always say that because it is what I want, I would like to think that the choices that I have recently made support that, but when I really think about it, these efforts are something I am forcing myself into it, I am consciously responding, but when it comes to other parts of my life I am not so aware. I meet someone I like I have trouble forming words, I am angry and lash out in rage, I am worried and I turn my back and hope it will go away, these are not the responses I want to have but they happen, can the same be said for kindness?
Am I kind enough? Are you?
The world turns and we live, we wish things were simple, they are not, and most of the times
instead of responding in a way that we would like, we react because of what is happening in front of us. We haven’t had time to process our emotions or the emotions of another and when we don’t, we put into motion the consequences, and those consequences can change lives and take lives.
The idea of kindness has so many levels; understanding, forgiving, appreciation, patience, and support, all these responses we have access to, but without thinking about it we may use aggression, judgement, shame, and disregard instead, and nothing good can come from that, just more upset and angst. Think about how someone holds a door open for you and you’re more inclined to do it for another, someone smiles at you and you smile back, if kindness is given, it will be received, and then shared.
These last few years more than ever I have pushed myself to see all sides to life, not just the view that makes sense or benefits me, although I will always catch or swat something thrown at me because I am protecting myself (using as an allegory), I still want to use the free will I have to care, that is what reading For My Thoughts for myself taught me. In being kinder to ourselves, to one another, appreciating what we have, and taking the time to process the moment before reacting to it, changes the way we live, and this is something we can all do. If we put aside our pride and focus on being kind, if we listen to one another instead of waiting for our turn to talk, and when we realise we are living in a world where one size does not fit all, then maybe we can all start making room for one another.
Kindness shouldn’t be just an act, it’s a way of life.