Did you have a bad day? Or were you inundated with messages about your friends, family, and loved ones having a bad day? How did that impact you and how did you feel when you called it a day and got some sleep?
Today is a new day. You have an opportunity to look back on yesterday and decide if you want or need to continue the badness of the day before or take a new approach. Easier said than done? That, of course, depends on you.
Looking back on a previous day’s events, whether you are doing this as you go to sleep at night or the next day, you can choose how you want to review what occurred.
Might I suggest that you seek out kindness?
Be kind to others
Among my friends, there have been a whole bunch of things going on. Some were impersonal but impactful because of a shared community, while others were personal and spurred disagreement. Things were said in the heat of debate and argument that I suspect were not intended to be as hurtful or argumentative as they came across.
The single biggest problem with the internet, text messaging, and social media is the lack of tone in words on the screen. When you talk to someone you get tone and a level of context that typed words tend to be less capable of conveying.
So snark, sarcasm, condescension, and other generally subtle cues tend to get lost. Or easily misinterpreted. A simple q and a can turn into an angry argument where people come out feeling hurt and upset.
These are trying times we live in. Because of the fear-base of society, and surreal levels of anger, upset, blame-tossing, saber-rattling, and name-calling, getting offended takes little to no effort for many people. As such, it is easy to get into unpleasant debates, arguments, and fights.
Consider if it is more important to be right or to be content. If your prior bad day caused you to get into unpleasant discussions with friends or get caught up in the arguments of others, should you hold onto who is right if they are all friends — or find a kinder middle-ground?
We all make mistakes, say and do stupid things, and inadvertently anger, hurt, and otherwise upset the people we care about. The point is, if we care about them we need to remember that kindness matters. This is why it’s good to rewind and be kind.
Be kind to yourself
For many people, this is a much greater challenge.
Let’s say you were responsible for the screw-up, instigating the argument, or causing a volatile situation to explode. Perhaps at the time you were convinced you were totally in the right, but things still got said or written that you might not be happy with now. It doesn’t mean you aren’t still in the right, but you feel responsible for the impact that occurred.
You might be annoyed with yourself, or the whole situation, and unsure what to do next. This is where you need to be kind to yourself.
You are perfectly imperfect like the entire rest of the human race. This is our nature, to be a paradox of right and wrong, good and bad, ecstatic and angry, and so on. Forgiving this in yourself and showing yourself kindness can be particularly challenging. But that doesn’t lessen its necessity.
Being kind to yourself involves self-care. Eat well, rest, rejuvenate, and forgive yourself when you screw-up. This will go a long way towards changing your approach to the next day and future debates and discussions among your friends and loved ones.
At fencing practice last night I could not find my footing, my distance, or my timing. I started to get really flustered about this, but rather than beat myself up and berate myself, I decided instead to be kind. Everyone has off nights, myself included — so I chose to accept it, forgive myself, and stopped before I got upset. This was a kindness, and not something I always find easy to do.
Be kind to yourself because you should treat yourself how you want to be treated by others.
Kindness makes this world a better place
One of the most infuriating things happening in the world today is the utter lack of kindness between people. Look at how politics always spins negative. People get abusive, rude, and thoroughly unkind towards one another.
Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg spoke at the UN and implored world leaders to address the seriousness of the climate-change crisis. Those in opposition to this and denying the problem, rather than just state their opposing opinion, have taken to name-calling, insults, obnoxious comparisons, and other extremely unkind things. Ms. Thunberg, to my knowledge, has not responded in a like manner.
We should all be disturbed when a teenager is more of an adult than the adults out there.
This, unfortunately, is a prime example of how unkind the world has become. A brilliant kid has taken it upon herself to secure the environmental health of the world for all of us, and rather than a civil discourse she is unkindly compared to a Hitler youth by those opposing her view. Unkind in the extreme.
I can’t do anything about this on that level. However, I can be kind to myself, friends, family, loved ones, even random strangers at the convenience store. You can, too. When you give what you prefer to get, kindness seems like a logical choice to me.
So rewind, be kind, and consider how far kindness can go after an imperfect, frustrating, or otherwise off day. Make it a point to be kind to people today, and don’t engage or feed the trolls online. You deserve to feel good and not carry forward anything from the day before.
“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” — Amelia Earhart
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you matter — so be kind to yourself and others.