Mark Twain said, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Honestly, I think there are no truer words.
Today I’m taking another departure from weddings and fashion and home to talk about something that, in my opinion, really does trump everything else. It’s a thing called kindness, and while I’ve been guided by it my entire life, I’m often surprised by how many people think nothing of it.
If you know me at all, you know I am a huge fan of The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. But it’s not only because they’re funny people, which of course they are. It’s because the kindness they have for ALL people radiates from them into their audiences and through our television sets like the warm sun after an exceptionally cold winter. Ellen and Jimmy are, simply put, kind people. And it shines through in everything they do, including their success.
Anyhow, the other day during a hectic time at work, I flipped Ellen on the TV knowing I wouldn’t be able to watch completely, but wanting to listen anyway. Good thing I did because her segment with Josh Radnor from How I Met Your Mother was the catalyst for this post. Rather, it was an article titled Kind Over Matter that Josh wrote for the Los Angeles Times that made me want to shout from the rooftop with my fist in the air, “Yeah, ditto to that!” Because you know what? Kindness really does matter.
Image from Zulily
In a snippet from his feature, Josh writes:
“It really shocks me when I encounter people who think kindness doesn’t matter. Because I think it’s pretty much the only thing that matters. This should not be mistaken as a call for humorlessness or some naive, fussy moralizing on my part. It’s not about being “good” (a loaded concept, to say the least) or “nice,” which is really just a social convention that often has to do with worrying about being liked (occasionally masking real deviousness). It’s ultimately about compassion, recognizing that all of us are going through it all in our own particular way, no matter our social status.”
Clearly the entire article spoke to me and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.
Like Radnor states in his article, I think a lot of people mistake being “nice” or “good” for kindness when anyone can be nice or do good things, but just as easily turn around and be mean spirited towards or about the very person they “thought” they were being kind to. That’s not kindness. Kindness comes from the heart and is given unconditionally without expectations from the giver for anything in return.
Being kind takes guts and strength because it often means extending kindness to those who don’t deserve any such favor. But that’s how kindness works. We are not to pick and choose who receives it and who doesn’t, we should simply give it out to everyone equally and with an open heart. That’s kindness.
So whether you’re dealing with difficult people during the planning of your wedding or maybe you’re having trouble with a challenging situation at work or perhaps the Barista at Starbucks got your order wrong, everyone deserves kindness. If we want more if it around, we need to lead by example.
In the famous end of show and oh-so appropriate words of Ellen DeGeneres, Be Kind To One Another.
Thanks for stopping by!