In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

I’ve heard that saying a lot. I think it is simple and yet very profound.

Kindness doesn’t cost us anything and it can make a big difference in our lives and the lives of others.

Being kind can change a situation drastically and cause a ripple effect felt by many others.

Earlier this week one of my favorite guests came into the salon and while they were waiting for me, they picked up a copy of my book in the front lobby and was reading my list of 60 things I’ve learned in my 60 years. He read my book and follows my blog posts, so he’s familiar with what I talk about, and we have the most wonderful, deep conversations.

As we walked back to my chair he said, quoting my book, “Hurt people hurt people, that’s really true and profound.”  I agreed and we delved into a great conversation. After our exchange, I felt like there was something I wanted to look at closer and commit to doing.

With the way things are in the world right now, it’s easy to lose heart and take things personally. I know for sure that hurt people do hurt people. When we are hurting, it’s painful and our natural reaction is to offload it, get rid of it onto anyone close to us. Many times, we project our pain onto our family and the ones we love, I’ve done plenty of that. We really don’t mean to, but in the moment the pain is so great that it must come out of our body, so we spew that pain on someone else.

I’m learning to pause and just feel the pain when I get my feelings hurt. The more I practice the pause, the better I get at it. Pausing also keeps me from having regret for reacting in a way that I didn’t want to.

I’m also committing to remembering that when someone is hurtful it is because they are hurting, and it really has nothing to do with me.

I am committing to responding to hurtful words and actions with kindness. Being kind defuses arguments and disagreements. If I don’t accept their ‘pain’, it is theirs. If I get upset and take it on, then it’s mine.

It is without a doubt challenging to be kind when others are unkind.

It is what will change hearts.

When we change the world changes.

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