Hello, my loves. I stumbled upon this saying a few weeks ago, and it’s been on my mind since:
Do not become who hurt you.
I have a problem remembering that. I was hurt pretty badly in middle school by a group of girls. They were mean and alienated me from their whole group, and the sad part was that I had to face them in every single one of my classes day in and day out. I was miserable, and depressed, and never recovered from those hurtful times. It’s because of those experiences that inspired me to always be kind, to never utter a mean word to another living creature, because I knew what it felt like to be on the receiving end. I knew what mean words felt like, what unkindness felt like, and I vowed to never make another person feel the way I felt.
Unfortunately, as the years have gone by and the memories from middle school faded, I’ve forgotten what that feels like. I’ve forgotten what means words can really do to a person, the damage that can be done to their souls. I’ve forgotten how needed kind words are, even in the midst of my own anger or sadness. And even worse, I’ve said so many mean things to innocent people because I was impatient and upset. These people deserved better from me and I failed them. I had sworn that I’d never become the people who hurt me, and I failed. But no longer. I’m not going to become them. I’m learning and will learn.
Please remember, my loves, that people never forget how you make them feel, whether its positive or negative. People remember the joy you brought them, the light and warmth and kindness you filled their days with. They remember your selflessness, your generosity, the way you made them laugh and cheered them on. They remember genuine compliments, sincere smiles, warm hugs, and acknowledgement of their day. People remember the lunches you bought them when they were hungry and broke, the sharing of food when you weren’t eating, the invitation to conversations when the silence around was thick and suffocating. People remember kindness.
People also remember unkindness. They remember hurtful words, alienation, forced and bitter silence, and ignoring. They remember the fake rumors, blunt and curt exchanges.
Worst of all, or best of all, they carry these memories around with them. They may fade after some time, but they carry them long after the words have been spoken, and long after the actions have been rendered. They recall those times and either smile or seethe.
I still remember back in seventh grade a boy said I had a “sexy” smile. It was such a sincere and out of the blue compliment that I was genuinely taken aback. And no, he didn’t say it because he liked me, or because of a dare (people have done weird things because of dares, I tell ya). And I don’t hold onto it because I liked him in any way. It was random kindness before I really knew what kindness could look like.
I recently read an article called, “The Life of a Disabled Child, From Taunts to Hate Crimes” by Margaret Carlson. One sentence from the last article struck out to me in particular:
The developmentally challenged so crave kindness they make inviting prey.
People can be so starved for kindness, particularly those who society deems as unworthy or is ignorant of their struggles, that bad things happen to them and to other people. We need so much more kindness in this world. We need to put aside our differences, our selfish blinders, our technologies and crazy status seeking, and make time for those who are invisible but are craving to be seen, who simply want a friend to talk to and be there.
Being kind is such a beautiful thing, more beautiful than getting a certain amount of followers or getting sponsorships and traveling the world. Let’s just be kind, for the now and for our future. Do not become who hurt us. Those people, either those close to us or those who hurt us nationally by their horrific acts, let’s not become them. Let the future generations, the future our kids will be living in, know more love, kindness, and unity then we know now.
So remember that. Do not become who hurt you, and people will never forget how you made them feel. Carry that with you always.
All my love and then some,
Am I Kind? by By My Bedside
12 Kinds of Kindness by Timothy Goodman and Jessica Walsh
Check This Box if You’re a Good Person by Rebecca Sabky
Take a Bad Year, And Make it Better by The New York Times – This article offers a positive perspective on the terrible year that was 2016. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the article for some crazy amazing kindness inspiration.
The Life of a Disabled Child, From Taunts to Hate Crimes by Margaret Carlson