Life is difficult. Some of us navigate it more easily than others. Some of us had bad parents or no parents. Others of us live with illness or someone close to us has illness. Mental health problems may linger, grief may overwhelm us.
Hopefully, we have people who love us to make life easier. Being loved helps us to thrive and do well. We don’t need to have powerful jobs to do well in life. Whatever it is we do, if we live with gratitude and look for joy in everyday things, we can be happy.
Love or kindness is not always what we think it should be. Someone I care about says she is an empath so when I wrote about empathy, she cut me out of her life. You see, being an empath is of no use to anyone. I make no apology for letting her read the truth. I owed it to her.
I just saw the title of a piece here on Medium. It was ungrammatical so I let the author know of his error. I was horrified to see that lots had read the article but had not been kind enough to point out the mistake.
When we allow someone to inadvertently look stupid and say nothing we are unkind.
We teach our children to do things right to the best of our parenting ability. Often their abilities will far exceed our own, like my daughter who can dance beautifully and gracefully in three disciplines, can do all sorts of water sports, and runs distance for her school. While she was growing up I always admired her ability before I pointed out an error. Whether it was playing the piano or almost setting the kitchen alight. Yes, really. Fourteen year olds tell each other daft things and then carry them out. “Warmed nail polish remover” is not a thing.
Not long ago, I visited my godmother on the spur of the moment. I bought some sandwiches on my way in case it would not be convenient. On arrival, I checked to make sure it was OK to arrive unannounced. It seemed it was. However, after her son arrived for lunch he came and told me how tired she gets. I already know this and thought it odd. I gradually realised that while I had been welcomed with smiles and hugs, my godmother had privately complained to her son. That was unkind to me and caused me to trust her less.
If she had said that it was not a good day, her kindness would have made us both happy.
Yesterday, I commented to someone on the status of Northern Ireland. Instead of listening to my point of view and addressing it, they just left. I was taken aback as we have spoken about it before. I did not learn anything new, and they remain entrenched in a false belief.
Yesterday I wrote about Deep Listening. We cannot go through life without listening, not just waiting for your turn, or we will be lonely and headstrong. We need humility to listen to those who speak to us. How else can we repair a relationship?
Point out the errors of others with grace and kindness. Even if they are a stranger. You may save their life, or just their dignity.
Published by The Good Men Project