Cutting someone off in traffic. Flipping them the bird. Making an offhanded remark. Criticizing. Demeaning someone. Talking badly behind their back. Standing them up. Giving them a dirty look. Making them feel excluded. Calling them a name. Gossiping. Bullying. Emotional abuse. Taking your anger out on someone else.
Hurting people, hurt people.
I agree with that statement. I believe that people hurt others when they themselves are hurting. Whether they intend to hurt the other person or not.
I believe in the domino effect, the ripple effect. I believe that every action we take has a reaction, a consequence. But, I also believe we have the ability to choose. To control our actions.
This means that yes – hurting people, hurt people.
But we don’t have to.
Let’s get real for a moment. Everyone in this world is hurting in some way, shape or form. We all have scars. We all have wounds. We are all facing our own battles and our own mountains. No one’s life is perfect no matter what mask we put on for the world.
This being the case, we all have the tendency to resort to hurting others – taking out our anger and pain on them. But we have free will. We have the chance to change this cycle.
What would happen to this cycle of hurt if instead -we chose kindness.
What if instead of getting caught up in our situations, we took a look at the people around us and reached out to them. What if we opened the door for them, or gave them a genuine smile?
What kind of difference would that make for them? Or even for us?
I know that for me, when I am giving someone a genuine smile, it uplifts me too. Its hard to be in a bad mood when you are smiling.
Now I know that change doesn’t happen overnight, but why don’t we start today to develop a habit of being kind? What if we made it a goal to complete five random acts of kindness every day?
It doesn’t have to be anything big, it could be as simple as paying for someone else’s coffee or letting someone go in front of you in line. Opening the door for them or letting them merge in front of you in traffic.
We tell our children not to be bullies, to play nice with others – but how often do we do the exact opposite with our own peers?
Today, when given the choice – choose kindness.