Week in Review: Kindness is Hard

I had an epiphany at work on Friday.

At my sandwich making station, people watching as I usually do, it hit me.

Being friendly is actually really hard. You’ve heard the good old adage, “Kindness is free.” Well, yes. It’s free. Heading out your door and running 50 miles is free too, but that doesn’t make it easy.

Anyway, my point is this. Kindness is really hard for two reasons. First, it forces us to be vulnerable, which doesn’t feel comfortable. When we smile or greet someone, there is always a chance that the person will return it with a scowl or not even acknowledge you. That feels crappy. Second, kindness goes against an ingrained nature that says, “It’s not my responsibility to be kind, thoughtful, etc. She can fend for herself.” That kind of mentality stems from our(America’s) fiercely individualistic culture and generational apathy.

But I digress.

To those of you who show kindness even though it’s hard, know that you all make the world a brighter place. It might be difficult, but its difficulty makes the practice of kindness even more meaningful.

…speaking of kindness, it’s time for some self directed kindness in the form of Week in Review. Reflection and celebration of past weeks can be an excellent way to give yourself a mini pat on the back for accomplished tasks. Many thanks to Meg for hosting.
Week-In-Review-Button-Final

  • Made some headway in Outlier, by Malcolm Gladwell.
  • Jumped back aboard the hot oatmeal train. bananaoats
  • Washed laundry, cleaned my bathroom, and mopped floors. Cleaning is hugely satisfying for me…probably because you can see all of your progress immediately. I like that.
  • Soaked up a warm sunrise on my way to school.sunrise
  • Filled out several scholarship applications. Free money pleeease.
  • Set up a visit to Simmons College that will take place on Thursday and Friday.
  • Finished my longest run for my half marathon training. In 70° F weather. Probably a sign of global warming, but I’ll take it for now. (The half is only three weeks away. Whoop.)
  • Made these vegan muffins and posted the recipe on the blog.img_0965
  • Finally finished editing a series of posts that will come next week. I’m excited and anxious to share them with you all. I’ve been working on them for a long time.

So tell me…

Is kindness hard for you? 

What did you do last week?

Current feelings about hot oatmeal?

 

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16 thoughts on “Week in Review: Kindness is Hard

  1. YES. Kindness is so hard; only by God’s grace and kindness to me can I be kind to anybody else. Ephesians 4:32 is a verse we’ve sang since I was little, but I don’t think I realized how hard kindness is until I got older.

    One of the way’s I’ve realized kindness this week is just how God provides; He provides in ways that are ABOVE all we can imagine. It’s humbling.

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  2. Kindness can be so rewarding though once you get past the initial vulnerability. Try to compliment one stranger a day and you’ll see. It’s magical and helps us get past that apathy and develop some empathy.

    Speaking of which, those muffins look wonderful.

    Also yes to cleaning. I don’t necessarily love doing it but the end result gives me the warm and fuzzies.

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    1. Hmm…I like the sound of that challenge. It’s funny (well, interesting I guess) how kindness toward others changes who we are too and how we look at ourselves. I guess after a while, vulnerability doesn’t feel so scary anymore. I’m working on getting there, but I’ve got a long way to go.

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  3. I think I’m making a conscious decision to start believing more and more in Karma. I want to believe that if I put kindness into the world – both to others and myself – that good things will come as a result. That makes kindness a little easier for me.
    What a sunset!! Oh I can’t wait for those kind of temperatures and those skies. Congrats on finishing those posts! I know that takes a loooottt of time and work. Can’t wait for them 🙂

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    1. It does kind of work that way, doesn’t it. Maybe it’s not a direct relationship, but putting yourself out there and showing kindness seems to attract other people who are kind to you, or at least cause unkind people to think twice about how they treat you or others.

      Oye vey did they take some time. Thanks, Cora.

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  4. Yep, kindness IS hard. Mostly because it makes me step out of my orbit for a minute. It’s also hard to do it and not be fake about it when you don’t feel it. Nobody likes fake smiles. But I usually find that it makes me kinder to be kind…so I get to the authenticity eventually. Oh, and I’m a big believer in hot oatmeal, no matter the weather.

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    1. I love that…”it makes me kinder to be kind.” I might have to steal that. I think authentic kindness stems from humility, which is difficult to practice when we feel wrapped up in all the responsibilities and concerns of life. Oooh and me too. Hot oatmeal is always a good bet.

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  5. Good luck on your half marathon! And on your scholarship applications!!! Yes, the weird weather makes me anxious, too, but it is convenient for outdoor activities, like marathon training.
    I think you’re really insightful about kindness being hard. We have a lot of politeness in our culture–at least the part of the midwest where I’m from–but genuine kindness, really understanding where another person is coming from and try to help them, that’s a different thing.
    Looking forward to your upcoming posts. 🙂

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  6. I really do believe that kindness starts with ourselves – if the overall aim is to be more kind to others then surely we have to treat ourselves fully with kindness and compassion first. It’s so hard to do, in fact I think it’s easier to be kind to a stranger rather than to ourselves, but it can have the biggest impact on our lives. I try and do a little kindness every morning when I wake up and look in the mirror – I give myself a compliment. It sets me up for a good day!

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  7. Hot oatmeal is life. I usually can’t do cold breakfast unless it’s cereal =P I like it when the peanut butter melts on top. I work in the service industry and kindness is a job requirement. I find I like it a lot and it’s only hard when I’m tired or having a rough day. Kindness becomes automatic for us, but that sucks when you want to be more engaged and forget how. Oh well, if my sometimes plastic niceties make someone’s day, it’s worth it.

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    1. Right?! And me too. That melted pool of nut butter is one of my favorite parts. You’re right. It is harder to be nice to others when you’re having a rough day. Sometimes though, that “put on” kindness can kind of make us feel better. Does that make sense? Even when it doesn’t start out as sincere kindness, it can transform into it.

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  8. I’ve been obsessed with hot oatmeal, baked oatmeal, and even overnight oats lately. I cant get enough of the oats for breakfast haha! Hope you have a lovely weekend–I could go for one of your muffins right about now.

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    1. Yes! Me too. If a cafe/diner has baked oatmeal on the menu, I always order it, no matter what meal it is. One day, I opened up my purse and pulled out five (FIVE!) receipts for baked oatmeal from various places. I have a problem. Hope your weekend is going wonderfully too!

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