It is no secret that our world is divided than ever. Politically, socially, even medically while the pandemic rages on, things have become contentious. It is hard to escape the deep divisions and accompanying rhetoric and disagreements perpetuated by the news, in social media and in just passing conversation at times.
While disengaging or simply unsubscribing to the news, headlines or even social media disagreements may just be the highest, best, most reasonable option, another mindset that the worlds needs a whole lot more of is kindness.
Kindness over contentious. These two words beg the question, “What does kindness look like in this situation?” A few ideas from way back in our kindergarten days are;
- Do unto others as you would have done to you,
- If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,
- Love your neighbor as yourself
A mindset and heartspace set to ‘kindness’ may choose to be curious, rather than to assume the worst, pass judgement or become contentious. It would also come to a place of knowing that your energy of kindness may be better served with a different audience, or in a different atmosphere completely that is more open or willing to engage with your kindness setting.
Kindness inspires you to ask; ‘What are some kind things I can do to help myself, or the world just feel better right now?’ It may be to unfollow, disengage, unsubscribe and to have boundaries about putting your energies where they are welcomed, needed and appreciated so that your kindness has more of an effect.
The contentious tone everywhere we turn today comes from so many sources. The greatest of which currently seems to arise of stress, a lack of healthy expression or processing of challenging emotions of people or groups, the perception of unmet needs, loss, grief, fear. Essentially, an attitude or setting of contention often comes from insecurity and a perceived threat to someone’s sense of power or importance. We see needs of others right now to feel superior, like a ‘know-it-all’ or to simply blow off steam. Projection is involved.
This is a setting and an egoic interpretation of a need that simply is not a real need, it just feels like it. People quickly going to being contentious are not aligned with their consciousness, their highest self or their own well being. It may just be a fleeting moment, it may be a pattern, or it may be their status quo default place of operating. They may be injured in some way themselves.
Remember that it is not your job or obligation to interpret what has caused another person or groups choice to be contentious. The only responsibility you have is to choose how to use your time, words or energy in a way that you want to, or that benefits you most. And one that keeps you safe in your whole well being.
In today’s world, more than ever, I hope to inspire you to choose kindness over contentious as often as possible. It will pay dividends to your mind, body, spirit wellness and balance, and it boosts the wellness of the collective as well. With heart and kindness as your guide, your lead, your default setting; you can still be strong in your boundaries and know when to hold ’em, fold ’em or walk away.
Some tips to remember more kindness throughout your day;
- Post-it notes! On your computer, workplace area, anywhere in your home where you will see them,
- Ask yourself ‘Am I being kind?’ ‘Is what I am about to say kind?’
- When you ask that question, remember yourself in the equation! Is it kind to yourself as well?
- Will my kindness have an effect here? If the answer is a hard no, move on.
In a current culture currently breeding more meanness than usual, remember, too, this quote; “In a world where you can be anything – be kind.”