It turns out that if you're miserable in your life and a bitch to be around, you tend to attract other miserables bitches and you all wallow together in your wretchedness. I am grateful for the friends I have who supported and tolerated me when I was at my lowest and helped to guide me out of my distress. Receiving kindness and choosing to separate myself from people whose energy I didn't want to share any longer (or having The Universe force that separation,) allowed me to start from the ground up, so to speak. I was able to rebuild my life with a foundation of my own choosing.
My life lesson here is that kindness is a cycle; you dole it out, it makes the receiver feel good, they dole more out and so on until you are the receiver and the circle continues.
I've spent the majority of my adult life working with the public, mostly in the field of veterinary medicine. If you've ever worked with the public, you know some days just suck, no matter what you do. And when there's a full moon? Forget about normal. Crazy stuff happens then! Over the years, I came to realize that people tend to act out when they are upset. A client who is rude to me about their bill is most likely distraught about their beloved pet, facing financial hardships or any combination of the emotions and challenges in life. I've witnessed first hand how being kind to a rude person will disarm him. He'll tilt his head or take a step back as if he's thinking "Oh, I'm not going to get a fight here so I guess I'll be nice!" I do believe that some people simply like to complain. They call or come in looking for an argument. When they don't get one, they don't know what to do so they retreat. Although occasionally a person will continue to lash out and there's nothing I can do to help. I just smile and say "Thank you, have a nice day!" These situations are challenging. I cannot say I'm always able to keep my cool. Every once in a while there's a person who is just down right out of line.
Plato said "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle." I can't think of a better way to advocate for kindness. You never know the stories of the people you pass each day. Think about your worst struggle and imagine a stranger facing it, then give that person the treatment you would have wanted when you were struggling.
|My boyfriend taking a photo for strangers in NYC Aug. 2010|