PBP12: K is for Kindness
Many religions have codes of appropriate conduct, be it law or general advice; Christians have their Commandments (Jews had them first, but they’ve got a lot more besides), Heathens have their Nine Noble Virtues, Wiccans have their Rede. I don’t know of any offhand that explicitly list “be kind” but it’s something that I think a lot of people would include it, when giving a casual overview of how their religion expects them to behave.
My parents taught me that kindness is important, and I agree; and yet, I struggle. When I feel insecure or emotionally vulnerable, my instinct is not to be kind- it is to lash out, to hurt others before they hurt me. When others are being stupid or intolerant or hurtful, I don’t know how to ‘kill them with kindness’, as the saying goes. I struggle to find the high road, much less take it.
Obviously, this is not the kind of person I want to be.
On the flip side, though, I don’t want to make myself into a doormat. I don’t want to smile as someone walks all over me. I am not strong enough to be mistreated and brush it off with a laugh and a shrug.
So how do I cultivate kindness in my heart, without inviting a world of hurt onto my doorstep? How do I retrain my self-preservation instincts to stop hurting others?