Most of us are no strangers to the phrase, “The world is a cruel place.” Isn’t it odd that there is no phrase saying something like, “The world is a kind place”? It seems as if we have become so resigned to the fact that it is the basic nature of human’s to be cruel.
We choose to be cruel. Everything we do is a decision. Each decision has consequences and reactions. We can just as easily choose to be kind. Cruelty is not a necessity.
1. Why is it even necessary?
This is something I ask myself every day. When is it ever necessary to be cruel to people? It does not make sense to me, and to be honest I hope it never does. I would rather understand kindness than understand unkindness. Here’s the thing, we don’t HAVE to be cruel to others. We don’t HAVE to be mean to others. Meanness and cruelty are an indication of uncontainable anger, and it is nothing to be proud of. Society has only made us think we have to get angry in order to get what we want. What if we all didn’t get angry, what if people helped each other out of want and not fear…does that seem like too farfetched an idea?
2. So what if they made a mistake?
So what if someone did something wrongly or not to your liking? There’s a 90% chance that this mistake was probably an accident. Sure, there are those 10% who may do it out of spite, but that’s only a small percentage. People respond well to a guiding hand, they don’t want to feel like they have disappointed someone. Guide them, show them and most importantly, reflect on when you were once in their shoes. Remember that, it is an important lesson. If you went through some struggle, why make someone else go through the same struggles when you have the power to guide them in a smoother direction?
3. You don’t know what struggles other people may be going through.
We only know what people are willing to reveal. It’s human nature to protect the most vulnerable parts of ourselves. That boy in the bus next to you may be facing a hard time at school. That mum on the train that you’re irritated with because her kids are kicking up a fuss could be a single parent. While there are extreme and less extreme ends of the spectrum of what struggles people are living with, the truth of it all is that everyone has something that is weighing them down. Why then, are we making the lives of those around us worse and not better? We were not placed on this Earth to hurt those around us intentionally. So don’t. Being the bigger person doesn’t cost you anything. But it could bring a bit of joy to someone who is having a bad day.
4. Everybody is somebody else’s loved one.
Each and every person around you is someone’s boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé, husband, wife, sibling, relative, mother, father, or child. Think about it this way: would you want someone acting cruelly towards your child? The same goes for any other member of your family or loved one. Would you want them to be treated cruelly? So why then, would you treat another person’s loved one in the way that you would not want your own people to be treated? Treat people with kindness, and people will appreciate it and react with kindness, which is what we all want to receive in the end.
5. It takes just as much effort to be cruel than it does to be kind.
Being the bigger person and letting go of your anger may require some deep breathing and happy thoughts, but letting your anger take over you can be just as exhausting. Getting angry also requires cooling down, which can sometimes take awhile when you are in the pinnacle of rage. Again I reiterate, you don’t HAVE to get angry and be unkind if something unfavourable happens. Why get angry and then spend time cooling down only to realize your mistake in flaring up (if you even do), feel ashamed and apologize for it later. Here’s my opinion: don’t yell, don’t be unkind, and don’t be cruel if you’re only going to apologize for it later to feel better about yourself. The truth is, the person you were cruel too could have suffered emotionally and you never even knew. Just take that one step to cool down and skip the anger, act with kindness.
6. You’ll be a lot happier with your life.
We go through life, wary that people will be cruel to us and hurt us. It is a sad thing to note that we have become acutely aware of how unkind human beings are that we shield parts of ourselves from them. Parts that could shine if only they had the chance. There really is no reason we need to be cruel, no reason we need to be unkind. We can choose how we react to situations. You hold the power to start kindness. Be kind, and people will react with kindness. Take pride and happiness in knowing that you have touched someone’s daily life in a small way. And perhaps they will pass on this small bit of kindness to someone else in their life.