Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kindness is a Strength

 About The Kindness Project
Too often kindness is relegated to a random act performed only when we’re feeling good.  But an even greater kindness (to ourselves and others) occurs when we reach out even when we aren't feeling entirely whole . It’s not easy, and no one is perfect. But we’ve decided it’s not impossible to brighten the world one smile, one kind word, one blog post at a time. To that end, a few of us writers have established The Kindness Project, starting with a series of inspirational posts.
For this month's Kindness Project post, I am going to keep it short.
My last post detailed my frustration with my apartment complex supervisor. At the core, I hated feeling like the only way I would get anything done was to be rude.
I feel like this is just a small problem to the larger whole: that we as a culture view kindness as a weakness. 

So I say to you, kindness is never a weakness. Never. Choosing to be nice to someone when you would rather yell at them, choosing to view them as a human being rather than the inconvience in the way of getting what you want is not weakness.

It is a great strength. 

People who are kind to you, who are treating you with respect aren't meek. They aren't doormats. They are perhaps the strongest among us. When the situation is reversed, and someone is treating your kindness like it's an invitation to walk all over you, remember that. 

Your kindness is not weakness. It's a great inner strength. 

Please check out the other wonderful people posting for this month's Kindness Project!
Alina Klein                             Katharine Owens 
Andrea Hannah                      Len Lambert
Barbara Watson                     Liza Kane
Carolina Valdez Miller            Lola Sharp
Christa Desir                          Lindsay Scott
Claire Hennessy                     Matthew MacNish (available Jul16)
Elana Johnson                        Michele Shaw
Elizabeth Davis                      Sarah Fine
Elizabeth Poole                      Sara Larson 
Erica Chapman                      Sara McClung
Jessica Corra                         Sophia Chang
Leigh Moore                          Tracey Neith


  1. Yes, yes, YES. Sometimes I worry that kindness makes me vulnerable. And maybe it does. But it's a strong kind of vulnerable, impenetrable in it's own way. I always go back to Melanie Wilkes, who made me crazy because she always gave Scarlett the benefit of the doubt and treated her with kindness even when she deserved a punch in the face. But ultimately, Scarlett was the one with the greatest losses and Melanie lived a more fulfilled live. Obviously, these are fictional characters and things rarely work out like fiction, but I think kindness, while it doesn't necessarily lead to a life of comfort and luxury, it does lead to a more fulfilled life. And at the end of the day, we will look back and try to find meaning in the things we did and who we were, not in the things we owned.

  2. Thank you so much for this post. I struggle with worrying that people see me as weak because my tendency has always been to not fight back, give 2nd chances, and gloss over hurts so the OTHER person won't feel bad. That can be seen as weak. This is a great reminder that it's anything but and I needed to hear it.

  3. Yes! Choosing kindness IS the hardest option. That whole 'turning the other cheek''s anything but easy. So I love when you say "perhaps they are the strongest among us."

  4. Kindness is a definitely the stronger option, especially because let's face it, it's easier to be rude, easier to ignore people's problems, easier to walk away from something than being involved.
    When it comes down to it, those who have worked on kindness, and treated it like a muscle that can be strengthened, those are the people who have that inner emotional/spiritual fortitude and become the strong pillars in a community.
    (I've always understood "meekness" as "power under control" so I never equated meek with weak.)

  5. YES times a million. Being kind--especially in situations where you'd rather not--is being strong. Kindness is strength.

  6. Carol: I often feel like my kindness makes me vulnerable as well, especially in the situation I just experienced. I had to remind myself that just because I wasn't yelling at the other person, doesn't mean I'm weak. Thank you for this Project. :D

    And I LOVE your example.

    Michele: I agree. We are trained to see this as weakness to be exploited, but it's not. It takes a lot of strength and courage to forgive and forget when you would rather be rude.

    Barbara: It definitely is harder than yelling, something I don't think a lot of people consider. It's easier to just go off of your base reaction to shout than to remain calm and rational.

    Lizakane: You are so right. It's much easier to be rude. You bring up an excellent point though: I've regretted the times I was rude, and I've never once regretted being nice to someone, regardless of the results.

    Sara: Yes! Thank you so much for your comment!

  7. Love this! I like that you said being kindness is not weakness. I've often worried (and had people say) that I'm sometimes too nice, but I try to treat others as I'd like to be treated.

  8. Matthew: Thanks!

    Lindsay: I've had people tell me the same thing! I always wonder how someone can be "too" nice.

  9. Oh, I like this, they aren't doormats. Nicely said.

  10. This is a great point, and a hard one to remember when someone is being quite awful to you and yet you still try to be kind back. I sometimes think, "they must think I desperately want to be in their lives since I'm always nice no matter how mean they are to me." But as you said in this post, it's showing greater strength to remain kind, rather than return their rudeness with more rudeness. Thanks for this!

  11. Very good point. Kindness is strength. Thanks for the reminder.

  12. I've just come to your blog via Janice Hardy's. I love what you're saying... it's the way I try to live my life.... often not successfully.

    How do you sign up for the kindness project?

  13. Christa: Thanks!

    Claire: No problem! Thanks for the comment!

    Jo: Go to Carol's blog and email her. That's how I got in. I love this project!

  14. Sara: I know. It's really hard being nice when someone is being rude. That's what made me realize that people view kindness as a weakness, when in fact it's not. :D

    Also, Jo, let me know if you've made it over to Carol's blog okay. :D

  15. Well said. Kind does not equal meek. Being cruel and petty is far simpler. Kindness is the tough, but worthwhile route.

  16. AMEN, sister. True story.

    Being kind takes a lot of strength when what I want to do is open up a can of whoopa$s. (sometimes we HAVE to open that can, though. ;)