You’ve Got To Be Kind

Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” ―God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut

I recently texted a friend about how her kindness added to the world.

She texted back, “I need to have a bigger impact than just being a kind person.”

I worry that people don’t understand the need for kindness in the world. Some people want to change the world in big ways, but we also need to see the value in changing the world one person at a time. Then that person can change the world for someone else. Kindness empowers others to change the world—it’s a gift.

Some days are accounted for when I wake up. I am committed to previous obligations. I give my time and energy to others. I go through the motions. These days are where I am the one in need of kindness.

These are the days where I need also to choose kindness.

Kindness serves two purposes in my life. It allows me to impact my personal interactions in the world. It also allows me to shrug off animosity and continue on in my day without bruising my mental state or someone else’s.

Aesop’s Fable

One day the wind and the sun were fighting over who was stronger. They agreed to have a contest. The sun looked down on the Earth and saw a traveler wearing a coat. The sun told the wind that the first one to cause the traveler to remove the coat would win. The sun went behind a cloud, allowing the wind to go first. The wind was confident in its strength and force. It began to blow with all of his might, but the harder the wind blew, the tighter the traveler held onto the coat. Finally, the wind gave up. That’s when the sun came out from behind its cloud. The sun shone down on the traveler and the light warmed the traveler. Finally, the traveler finally removed the coat.

In times of turmoil, people will call on me for a show of force and action. In those moments, I hope that I turn to them, smile like the sun, and show them the power of kindness.