In keeping with this month’s theme at SeeShell Consulting, I’m curious – are you surrounded by kind people? How do you show kindness to others? What does being kind or experiencing kindness mean to you?
I was blessed with a mom who modeled how to treat people with kindness, no matter their station in life. She would show empathy, compassion, and kindness even to those I didn’t believe deserved it. She rose above harsh words and treatment, knowing the other person’s actions said more about them than it did about her. She was stronger than many gave her credit for, often the case for those who live, eat, and breath kindness.
I love the saying, “don’t mistake my kindness for weakness”. It speaks to me and how I was raised. Kindness is truly a strength as it takes a mindful and disciplined ‘response’ to life to appreciate that everyone has a story that we don’t know about. Being kind is one of the greatest human traits we can share to help people feel seen, heard, and understood.
I facilitated a team skills workshop recently and covered the topic of ‘reacting’ vs ‘responding’. When we react, it’s often based on fear, embarrassment, or guilt. It is usually a knee-jerk reaction and doesn’t take into consideration the long-term effects of our words or actions. When we respond, it is an act of kindness and based on information from both the conscious and unconscious mind. A response keeps in mind the well-being of not only you but those around you. When we respond rather than react, we are intentionally weighing the long-term effects of what we say or do and are more apt to stay aligned with our core values.
What if, every time we come across a situation or person that has us wanting to ‘react’ in a negative way, we take a breath and think about a ‘response’ that has us showing up as the strong, kind person we are?
How would that change our world?