Stop being nice. Be Kind.
Yesterday, November 13th, was World Kindness Day. This day (which should be celebrated everyday) inspired me to write this blog post and speak to kindness. I know I haven't written a blog post in a little while and yesterday inspired me to write this one now!
I believe that in today's society, with how hectic everyone's lives are nowadays, we have lost touch with the differences between “nice” and “kind.” These words may sound similar but they have very different meanings to me. The best way to look at the differences between these two words is how they motivate people. The nice person is externally motivated and the kind person is internally motivated.
If you think about the reason you are being nice or kind to someone, you will truly find out where your motivation really lies. Are you being nice to make yourself feel good or for someone else’s approval? Or are you being kind to someone because you are more interested in doing the right thing and making someone else feel good.
Typically, a truly kind person is confident in themselves, compassionate towards others and comfortable in their own skin. They give to others from the goodness of their heart and have no expectation of something in return. Someone who is being nice to others is still doing something good, but sometimes is only doing so to get the attention they desire. Sometimes they are people who may lack confidence and overcompensate to get people to like them. I am sure we all know both kinds of people.
I know it has taken me some time to transition from “nice” to “kind" and I continue to work on this everyday. Growing up, and dealing with bullies, my mom always told me to “kill them with kindness.” By being “nice” to the mean girls, I would make myself feel better by not sinking to their level and that was empowering for me. I don't think I truly believed that they deserved kindness at the time, but looking back, you come to realize that unkind people just need love.
No one is born hating another person, people learn to hate. People, especially girls, tend to turn to bullying and meanness as an outlet to deal with the emptiness they feel in their soul. When someone is so unhappy with their life, they tend to take it out on others.
My message to all girls out there is don't take anything personally! If someone is being unkind to you, it is typically a projection/reflection of how they feel about themselves. If you are being bullied at school or a work colleague is being mean to you, just remember that if you are being authentically you, there is nothing they can say or do to hurt you. They are only hurting themselves by being a mean person. Wake up every morning and be the truest, most authentic version of yourself. Being authentically you is where true happiness emerges. Knowing yourself and loving yourself is how you truly shine.
I will end with a quote from Plato: “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” This is so true. None of us truly know what someone else is going though. Even if you think you know them, you probably don’t. In an era of social media, people think they know everyone. You think you know someone because you see their lives all over Instagram. But Instagram is not the whole picture and there is so much more to a person. We need to stop judging others for things we know nothing about. All we can control is how we treat other people. Be responsible for your own actions and try your best to treat people with love, respect, compassion, and most importantly, kindness.
How do you spread kindness? Join me in my effort to spread kindness and post about it on social media! Use the hashtag #mjXkindness so I can find you! :) Let's make this world a better place!