One of the most obvious failings of Donald Trump is his utter and complete lack of kindness and empathy.
Not once has he expressed remorse at the death of the 140,000 and rising from COVID-19. He is constantly bullying, meanspirited, and unkind to anyone who is not in total agreement with or support of him.
Unfortunately, the GOP and most of his followers take their cues from him. All they care about is themselves. Their selfishness and unkind, unempathetic actions are dividing us all further, as well as raising the numbers of sick and dying due to the pandemic.
Why? There is an idea — a very false idea — that kindness and empathy are “unmanly” and a sign of weakness. Hell, how many movies does the bad guy tell the hero their kindness will be their undoing?
Why does nobody remember that most of the time the kindness and empathy is why and how the hero wins?
Being kind, compassionate, and empathetic towards other people is not in any way, shape, or form a weakness. The truth is that kindness and empathy make you and those you give them to stronger.
Hostility and indifference are weak
When someone comes at you being utterly hostile, what mood does that put you in? What tone does it set for your interactions?
In my experience, hostility has put me on my guard, made me feel uncomfortable, and overall negative. For example, a State Trooper pulled me over for speeding. Rather than the standard “Can I see your license and registration?” I got yelled at, threatened, and made to expect that I was about to be placed under arrest. (For the record — I was going like 70 in a 50 zone or some such). I was instantly made uncomfortable, scared, and didn’t know what outcome to expect.
I had every intention of being polite and respectful — instead, I was put in my place and became fearful. Was that necessary? Not in the slightest. How bad would it have been if I were black or another POC?
Indifference can be just as bad. When you are telling someone about something that has happened in your life — and they cannot express anything but indifference — you feel like crap. It’s unkind, it’s disheartening, and it makes you wonder why you bothered in the first place.
Hostility and indifference build up nothing. They are weak because their impact takes things away. Additionally, they are weak because they are negative.
Negative things are low-energy and low-vibration. That also means they are weak, as such. Kindness and empathy, however, are positive things, and thus high-energy and high-vibration. I don’t know about you, but I am certain of what I prefer to experience.
Remember that like attracts like. Give hostility and indifference and don’t be surprised if you receive the same in return.
But that pulls everyone down, doesn’t it?
Kindness and empathy cost nothing
Acts of kindness and expressions of empathy come at no cost. Seriously, they cost you no money, little to no time, and very little to no effort.
Seemingly simple, everyday things count as acts of kindness.
· Holding a door.
· Smiling at someone passing by.
· Saying hello.
· Signaling lane changes.
· Taking a few extra steps to maintain six-foot or better social distancing.
· Allowing the person with only 2 items in front of you at the check-out lane.
· Wearing a mask indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
· Making statements about injustice.
These are just a few examples. Do any of them cost money or much time? No. How does it make you feel when someone does any of the above towards you? Good, right?
Kindness is so, so easy. And it is good and strong.
Empathy also has no real cost in time, money, or effort.
Practicing empathy, like practicing kindness, is super easy. Simply listening to what someone is telling you and actually HEARING them allows you to empathize. Acknowledging the plight of those who are suffering, marginalized, discriminated against — and not supporting those doing these terrible acts — is a matter of empathy.
Responding to Black Lives Matter with All Lives Matter completely misses the point. Black Lives Matter doesn’t mean that the lives of anyone else do not matter OR matter less. It means too long have the lives of black people been the subject of discrimination, marginalization, profiling, surreal police brutality, and other horrors.
Empathizing with Black Lives Matter means voting out racists, not supporting racist businesses, and not accepting racism from friends and family. All of these are examples of acts of empathy.
How do kindness and empathy make you strong?
Simple. Because practicing kindness and empathy is an act of giving.
When you are kind and/or empathetic towards someone you are giving them good. Good energy, good vibrations, good intentions — all of these have a positive impact.
We live in a fear-based society. Right now, those in power have nothing BUT fear to show for their work — so they are trying to use it to make themselves look good. Trumps’ new position on “law and order” is based on a scare tactic to make his followers believe they have something to fear (that, frankly, is a complete and utter lie) and that he alone can fix it.
This is very much a Wizard of Oz type of thing. Look at the big, scary head — ignore the tiny man behind the curtain manipulating it all with nothing but flash and bang and zero substance.
Acting out of fear, hostility, and indifference weakens everyone. Instinctual fear reactions tend to lean towards extreme weakness — ergo, pissing yourself, fainting, freezing in place, heart skipping a beat, and so on. All of these are expressions of weakness in reaction to fear.
Kindness makes you stronger because it builds you up. When someone does something kind and makes you feel good, it tends to cause you to desire to also do something kind and spread that feeling. At least, that’s my experience.
Making others stronger makes you stronger. Weakening others makes you weaker, too. When you take from others rather than give nobody gains and everyone loses. How weak is that?
Practicing mindfulness to get stronger
How do you recognize when you are being manipulated by outside forces — or your subconscious mind? By practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness is not the end-all-be-all solution to everything. But it is the key to living a better, fuller, more complete life.
Mindfulness is simple. It is being aware and conscious in the here-and-now of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. It is being inside of your current, conscious headspace/mindset/overall psyche. That lets you see what you are thinking, what and how you are feeling, and the intent of actions you are taking or planning to take.
All of this, in the end, gives you influence and control over the one thing you can control — yourself. Specifically, your headspace/mindset/psyche. That control helps you to make choices and decisions for you to build or destroy.
You are empowered to improve yourself. When you practice kindness and empathy it makes you better by being a better example and giving better to others. Ergo, being kind and empathetic makes you — and those you share with — stronger, not weaker.
Please consider this as you scroll through social media and otherwise interact with people day to day. Do you practice best practices and be kind and empathetic to build people up — or — do you practice taking people down with hostility, indifference, and other acts of negativity?
The choice is yours. Please strive to be mindful and make good decisions. Keep in mind and ask yourself — what do you prefer to experience?
Know that you are worthy and deserving of using mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done our thoughts, feelings, and actions matter, as does kindness and empathy to build strength for yourself and others.