I haven’t written in a while and to be honest I don’t feel motivated at all to write words, lyrics or music. Ive been told in moments like these, to just start writing and see what comes out. Here goes!
Hm what do you guys want to talk about? We can talk about leaving your legacy, kindness, politics (just kidding).
Oo ok that just reminded me about a friend of mines who asked what was the difference between being kind versus being nice. But wait a minute, isn't nice is another synonym for kind? Technically yes, but when I think of the word nice, I think of someone being cordial, polite or saying 'excuse me'. When I think of the word kind, I think of someone giving you the jacket off their back for someone in need or someone who goes out of their way to make your day a little brighter. Is 'niceness' expected of us? For example, when we're walking in Safeway in the middle of aisle 8 (tryin to get those Bugles) and someone has their cart in the middle of the aisle with their 3 kids blocking the rest of the aisle; we're 'nice' and polite (at least some of us) and we say excuse me. We roll our eyes but we move on with the rest of the grocery trip because cussing them out in the middle of aisle 8 is not socially acceptable.
Now let's change up the situation a bit. Imagine that cart is someone's car blocking the middle of the road we're driving on. We're not so nice anymore as we shout out, 'get out of the road stupid!'. Why do we not feel the need to be 'nice' anymore? It's because no one can hear us or really see us - we're behind the protection of our cars. The same concept applies to how so many people hide behind their keyboards to say hateful things they don't really understand. So are you kind or are you nice just to be nice because that's how you want the world to view you?
Kindness is defined as someone who is altruistic, good-hearted, good-natured, accommodating and pleasant. Have you heard that saying, "don't mistake my kindness for weakness?" You can be a kind person who doesn't let people walk all over you (we'll get into that some other time). Kindness is thinking of others and doing the right thing even when it's not expected of you or when no one is looking. Kindness is having an open mind, an open heart and truly being able to empathize with someone. If we take that grocery cart example, maybe instead of rolling our eyes we think to ourselves, 'wow this mom is out here probably after a long's day of work trying to get groceries for her family while trying to control 3 kids' OR if we take that car stranded in the middle of the road, we can think to ourselves, 'this person is probably feeling stressed and embarrassed, let me see how I can help.'
I'm not naive, I know there are plenty of inconsiderate people in this world - but the point I'm trying to make is to give people the benefit of the doubt. I used to think that people who didn't open the door for others or smile back when I smiled, were absolute jerks. I wanted to push them out the door and slam it in their face, but then I remember being in a really bad place myself. I remember the day we found out our first child's heart stopped beating in my belly - we were devastated and the rest of the world just didn't exist anymore. I just remember just wanting to run to my car and get home as fast a possible so I could cry it out for months. Being nice and cordial didn't fit in my mind at the time and I'm sure I shut the door on many people on the way to my car. There is so much truth to being kind to someone because we really don't know the battles they're struggling with.
In 2007, I was on a mission to feed the homeless in downtown Las Vegas. As I handed out food, some guy who wasn't skinny by any means asked for two sandwiches (one for him and one for his wife). I was a little hesitant because there were a lot of people to feed on that street and I definitely didn't see a wifey around. My first thought - wow this guy just wants two for himself! I probably showed my thoughts on my face because he asked if I could come bring it to her instead. My cousin and I walked over to their tent and there in the tent was his wife who was crippled. They proceeded to tell us their story about how this guy was a chef at one of the nicer hotels in the area and that he was let go because he had to miss so much work due to his wife's condition. She showed me her personal training card and started to cry. She had traveled to America from the Philippines for a better opportunity. Something happened and she became crippled and couldn't work anymore. The medical bills added up and eventually they ended up on the streets of downtown LV. She cried as she thanked us for the food and as we were leaving she said, "how did this happen to me?"
So I stand here (actually I'm sitting) today to urge you to not be just nice but to be genuinely kind. When you find yourself angry at Suzy your Starbucks barista for not adding that third pump of white chocolate mocha, just remember that maybe you shouldn't be having that much sugar (haha jk!) but in all seriousness, just think about what she might be distracted by and give her the benefit of the doubt today. I'm writing this today because I constantly need to remind myself of this. I talk like a sailor in my car! Ok this blog post has gone long enough - enjoy your day and be KIND...even if it's just on your way to work today :)
I'll leave with this:
"As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."