The Importance of Kindness

Throughout my life I’ve participated in many different types of ice breakers. Whenever I find myself in a new group of people, it seems like the first thing people decide to do is have some type of ice breaker. Sometimes we play games like Never Have I Ever or Two Truths and a Lie and other times the ice breaker is as simple as everyone going around answering some random question…

If you were a fruit, which fruit would you be and why?

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have three items with you (you can’t have a boat), what would those items be?

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

If you could have any super power, what super power would it be?

So people go around giving out their various answers…

I would be a banana because I’m tough on the outside but soft on the inside.

I would bring my favorite book, a doctor, and a chef.

I would have dinner with my favorite singer so that he could serenade me while we eat.

I would choose to read people’s minds.

Inevitably, conversations spring forth from the answers that people give as other people in the group agree or disagree with the responses that were given. People may even start conversations based on the more controversial answers…

“Being able to read people’s minds is an invasion of privacy,” one person might say.

“Well that may be true, but you could also use it for good,” another person might reply.

And both of these responses are true. Reading someone’s mind without their permission would be an invasion of that individual’s privacy. But at the same time, being able to read someone’s mind may come in handy if you want to catch someone in a lie or if you want to find out someone’s true intentions. This could be particularly handy in parts of the world where people aren’t encouraged to share their true feelings.

In some parts of the world, when someone asks the question, “How are you,” it’s not uncommon for the person to stop and tell how they truly are doing. People will spend an hour in the street talking to someone just because they really want to know how that person is doing. In other parts of the world, that’s not the case. When someone asks the question, “How are you,” you are just supposed to say “good” and keep on moving on. You could have just lost your house, gotten a divorce, been lied to by your best friend, and lost your job, but you’re still expected to say that you’re doing well.

In this instance it would be nice to read other people’s minds. You would know if someone is having a bad day and you could respond accordingly. If someone was feeling down and out you would probably try and be a bit nicer to them so that their bad day could be a little bit better.

Unfortunately for us, we can’t read people’s minds. We just have to take them at their word when they say that they are doing well. We don’t have the power to tell if someone is really feeling bad even if they happen to be keeping that to themselves. But we do have the power to treat everyone with the same respect that you would treat them with if you found out that they were having a bad day.

You see positive thinker, everyone has something that they’re going through. Just take a second to think about your life right now, and I’m sure that you could come up with more than just a couple of things that are plaguing you. The same goes for every single person on this planet. Some of us may be going through things that are a bit bigger than the things that other people are going through, but they are still problems all the same. And while some of us may be more willing to share those problems with the people that we encounter doesn’t mean that those who choose to suffer in silence should have to have the added burden of running into unkind people.

Taking this into consideration, we should all make an extra effort to be nice to other people (even the ones that you don’t know). That extra kindness that you show to the people you encounter on a daily basis might just be enough kindness to make that person’s day a little bit better.

We all have problems in our lives, but having to deal with unkind actions from people that we encounter from day to day shouldn’t have to be one of those problems.

Remember, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”

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