Today’s post stems, at least in part, from my recent viewing of Cinderella (2015). I finally watched it in its entirety on Tuesday night. In the movie, Cinderella promises her dying mother that she will always have the courage to be kind. Notice how she does not say that she will only show kindness to those who deserve it. If you have watched the movie or have any recollection of the various renditions of Cinderella, you will realize that this is a difficult if not impossible request. The stepmother and the step-sisters never show a moment of kindness and seem to delight in devising new ways of tormenting poor Cinderella. My husband suggested that I would have reacted rather un-Cinderella-like, and if I am totally honest, I am inclined to agree. I may have joked about reenacting a scene from “The Godfather,” which involved a horse and a bed. (Important note: I am not a maniac and would never do this. I also do not recommend doing anything remotely related. I hope that is obvious at this point.) In the end, Cinderella wisely selects a less gruesome way to deal with her horrid ‘family’, her spirit remains intact, and her kindness and courage result in the ultimate reward, a life filled with love.
Now, I am not going to tell you to become a doormat to those who treat you poorly. There is, after all, a limit to kindness. However, I do not think it is too much to ask people to be kinder to themselves and to each other. We live in such a negative society, where rudeness and anger seem to rule. If something goes wrong, we automatically jump to the ‘nuclear option’. Somewhere, kindness became a sign of naivety and weakness. Is it? It is far easier to meet hostility with a similar reaction. It is much harder to counter negativity with a gentle spirit and forgiving nature.
Today, I present a challenge for all of us. Be kind. Be kind even to those who might not seem like they deserve it. Say something nice about yourself, hold the door open for the people behind you, give a dollar to the homeless man on the corner, and for heaven’s sake—smile. You have no idea how much a small thing may turn someone’s day or life around. At the very least, it will make you feel better.
For further reading, check out this post “Love Yourself and Choose Kindness“, written by a blogger I follow, Emma Petshow. I really loved it and I hope that Emma does not mind that I am sharing it with you.