Be Kind

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Plato

I first came across this quote as a tweet from Maria Shriver, not long after the news broke about the circumstances surrounding the breakdown of her marriage.   Her son had passed this quote on to her some time ago and she tweeted it not to draw attention to her plight but rather to highlight that everyone is in what can sometimes be a hard battle.  As they say Life Happens – and there are things just not in our power to control, only in our power to respond to.  I would say the public Maria Shriver has set a beautiful example of how to face a challenge  and a very public challenge with grace and dignity.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.  We so often have no idea what battles those we know well are fighting, let alone those we don’t know well.  Kindness is an underrated act – at face value it may not appear to  hold the same appeal as say an act of generosity, or encouragement, or a romantic gesture.  However, it is kindness that can soothe the rough edges of life and give the comfort and motivation needed to help make it possible to travel the rough roads and face the battles we encounter.

Kindness can incorporate so much more than just being nice. In fact sometimes being nice may not always be kind.  Kindness can take the form of  respect, honesty, care and tenderness. Kindness tells the truth even if the truth is difficult – because kindness means you care enough to be open, honest and transparent.  Kindness considers how the other person will receive the message.  Kindness can act as a soothing balm in any relationship, and is a very good base to build  relationships with trust and integrity.

A good measure of knowing what kindness is – ask yourself – how would I like to be treated –  how would I like one of my children to be treated –  a good measuring stick.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – the golden rule  – it is a pretty good summary of what kindness is.

I have a good friend who has been married for many years.  I always remember her saying that kindness goes a long way to making the relationship work.  That comment has stuck with me over the years – I have always remembered it.  One definition of kindness is simply “being considerate”.  Act with respect, understanding, gentleness, wisdom, and of course love.

 I would be more than honoured if I could be remembered as someone who was kind – I have a long way to go – but I do know that all it takes is careful thoughtfulness as we act and react to those around us.  I am a work in progress – but I do want to make progress daily .

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Plato

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