It’s almost election day, which is bound to be a tense day for so many people, myself included. While I might normally not consider myself political, I have become more and more political as everything around us has gotten more and more polarizing (I am well aware that my privilege has allowed me to maintain a level of indifference, and I’m learning). I’ve developed stronger opinions, begun to ask hard questions, and hoped for the future of our country.
I am the first to admit that I like a spirited conversation — I like to solve problems, I like to know what makes people tick, and I like to see someone’s perspective. I’ve learned (I think) to proceed with caution, but I think I also need to learn to proceed with kindness. Maybe I’m not the only one.
We often assume kindness is weak or passive, or that kindness shows indifference. I’m choosing to see kindness as action. I think kindness can be corrective, should be moving toward something, and should bring about justice and goodness.
We have the ability to move forward in kindness, and all of us will have to move somewhere by the end of the day tomorrow. Some people will be satisfied, happy, and feel justified even. Others will feel let down and despondent. What happens next is what I fear most. For as divided as we are, we are often quick to approach others with self-righteous feelings or anger, when we should be looking for opportunities to extend kindness. Some of us will be licking our wounds and others will be shouting victoriously. Some will sling words of hate and anger and some will weep with sadness. Some will be mouthy and be quick to claim victory, while others worry about the future of this country.
I urge you to spend some time trying to choose kindness and sometimes, it has to be a choice.
This time around, it’s going to have to be a choice and it’s not going to be easy, but choose it anyway. Choose kindness when it would be easier to rub someone’s nose in your victory. Choose kindness when you feel angry, hurt or disappointed. Those people you hurl insults at, wish bad things upon, or gloat in front of are deserving of your kindness because you deserve kindness.
One of my favorite quotes is this: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” Be is an action this time, not just a state of mind. Put on kindness like you put on your socks and shoes. Wear it as a badge, proudly. Wear it out front like you hopefully wore that “I Voted” sticker and extend kindness to those around you, even through your disagreements. There are tender days ahead and kindness is what will make or break us.