This week’s Discover Challenge at The Daily Post is to write: The Greatest _____ in the World. I know that I have not exactly responded to the prompt as expected. Truthfully, however, the moment I saw the prompt the words “The greatest reason in the world for kindness” popped into my head. Usually not one to silence that inner voice, I have decided to take this in a different direction. If you know me – you will not be surprised at all by that decision 🙂
There are moments that we all can recall from our own histories, no matter how long or small they might be, that we have known extraordinary kindness. It matters not, if we were fortunate to have loving parents, doting grandparents, a wonderfully inspiring teacher, or even just a stranger who passed us by one day and we have never been able to forget their kindness. We all know what it feels like. We could even have been in the most harrowing of moments when this kindness appeared; in moments when we thought there was absolutely no hope. However, kindness filled the hearts of another and they chose that very moment to share it with us.
There are certainly moments we can all recall from our own lives where people have been horribly unkind, unfair, prejudiced, or hateful. I doubt that anyone has been spared these moments, but if they have – they better be thankful for it. Some are not raised in loving homes, some are treated poorly by family, their peers, or teachers. Yet others are bullied or treated with prejudice for whatever the reason. I think we all know what it feels like to be uncomfortable in our own skin. We may know the shame and fear that comes along with bullying, prejudice, or abuse. Whether we have known it for ourselves or we have been witness to it in others, we know.
In moments when we may be learning who we are, at moments when we should be learning to celebrate who we are, we are often overburdened with guilt, uncertainty, and pain. Think about the effects of bullying on children. Think about the child that grow up in an unstable, abusive home. What about those who are day in and day out being treated poorly based on the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, their gender, or their lifestyle choices. This, unfortunately, is a reality for many. And sadly – while many people may not realize it, these are wounds they carry with them indefinitely.
To me, as a parent, I see the effects of an encouraging word, of unconditional love, of acceptance. I grew up in an abusive home, so I also know its polar opposite. I have known people who have suffered and struggled on so many fronts, it is amazing to know the resilience people have shown. Our country’s history is riddled with such bravery. However, those moments are not without their scars. Were we to truly think of this, we should reconsider the way in which we treat others. For every person that we meet – we never know the burdens they may have carried, or perhaps they still carry them now. We are truly blind to their situation and never know how incredibly important our kindness might be at that moment, at that exact time.
I just think that we all know how important it is for us to have someone to believe in us, to believe in our talents, in our dreams, in who we are as a person. We all seek acceptance in some way, even those of us who think it strong to refuse to admit it. It is not that we seek to always “fit in”, but we seek to be accepted for who we are. We all ache to have someone tell us we matter.
Yet strangely enough, we forget that despite our differences, or the towering walls between us, or even the distance between us – that we are rather alike. When we meet others, we may forget to smile (or choose not to), we may forget to help someone in need, despite the fact that we have known suffering. We turn our heads when someone is bullied and remain silent, despite the fact that we know how horribly cruel it can be. Were we to sit and imagine that situation for ourselves – perhaps we would step in, but something holds us back.
If I could convince you of anything, it would be our very need for kindness is the greatest reason in the world for kindness. We must try to consider things for a different view than we are accustomed to. When someone suffers, we do not wonder if they are like us, think like us, live like us – but we ask, do they suffer like us? And if the answer is “yes” then we must act, in kindness. We must act because, I am certain that if we were ever in the same situation – it would be then that we would finally realize the importance of kindness. If we do not act, then how can we expect others to do the same? It must start with us, and it must start now. We are already seeing the effects of too little kindness in the world, and now is the time that we must get up and do something about it.
And for anyone at this very moment who needs to know that they matter, I am undoubtedly telling you that you matter very much.
© Sumyanna 2017
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Other posts for the prompt that I enjoyed: