(c) 2010 Christiana Lambert

(c) 2010 Christiana Lambert

Some themes I just keep returning to because they won’t be ignored. Oh, I know they represent personal themes for me, but some of them keep coming back because I really believe our society needs to value them more—for the sake of everyone.

The word for today (and every day) for me is kindness, boys and girls.

Yes, I know the more I rant about kindness, the more likely it is that you’re going to catch me not being kind—or at least not acting in a kind way in the moment. Because the truth is there are days when I am too frustrated, angry, sad, tired, sick, whatever to take the high road—I am sure I am not nearly as kind as I believe I should be—or even as think I am.

So, yes, I’m just going to start out by admitting my actions often fail to support my own belief in the value of kindness. But, hey, as Scarlett (O’Hara) said, tomorrow’s another day. I’ll admit that the how of showing kindness can by challenging from time to time, but not the why.

For me personally, I like being treated with kindness, so I’m going to make an assumption that treating others well helps them along their journeys, big and small. In many ways that’s reason enough for me.

The thing is, we often have no idea how something we do affects someone else—which is true for most of the good, bad, or indifferent actions we take in this life.

At the same time, we really don’t know all the burdens others carry.

In these days of increased awareness surrounding mental health, stories keep emerging of people who harm themselves or others—or both. Our kindnesses may or may not stop these people from destructive journeys but why does our society seem, in many ways, to promote actions that could help push a struggling person over the edge?

People in charge of others, such as bosses, teachers, and parents, particularly need to realize the power for good or evil they possess. Actions such as making unwarranted assumptions, playing games, shaming, and indulging in power trips are not just unkind—sometimes they can be deadly, especially when someone is already carrying quite a bit of baggage.

I’ve said it before and I guess I’m just going to keep saying it: be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of a battle.