Wednesday, July 11, 2012

In any language . . .

Carry it with you.

                          In your heart.

                                                And when your heart hurts?

Make it a decision anyway.

I've been working on this.

I lost power for five days at the start of July and forgot all about being kind. 

I've really struggled with this recently.

But . . . I wasn't as unkind as I felt like being. So that's something, isn't it?

I stayed patient with the power company--I didn't even yell once. I kept a smile on my face toward my family (mostly) and stayed nice toward my husband (mostly . . . okay, sort of). 

I mean, baby steps, right? 

It felt like a failure at the time, but in hindsight, I actually think I've made some progress. Like this kindness as a way of life thing is kinda starting to sink in. A little. Because while I wasn't the epitome of kindness in a rough situation--I also wasn't the epitome of nastiness. Which, at times, I totally felt like being.

Anyway, I just wanted to say--to anyone who's struggled with being kind, I think sometimes even bothering to struggle puts you a mile ahead of the rest of the game. It's not a failure. It's a step forward. Yanno? Some people choose to be nasty and mean when they're frustrated--they let their inner monsters loose when it's the most difficult to be kind--and don't even think about it after. But if we keep ours in check, or at least try our hardest to? I think we're on the right path.     

Baby steps are better than no steps at all.



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. We post the second Wednesday of every month. 

Check out today's posts by other writerly friends participating in The 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                      
Sophia Chang       
Jessica Corra                          Tracey Neithercott                   
Leigh Moore                          

Want to join us? Grab our button and spread a little kindness.


  1. "...even bothering to struggle puts you a mile ahead of the rest of the game."

    Absolutely! It's so easy to go the automatic route and snap and be mean. Just like a muscle, I think kindness needs to be exercised...and baby steps or giant leaps, they're all headed in the right direction. :)

  2. What a beautiful post, Sara. It is so easy to be snarky and mean. I was just not so nice to my mother the other day and I'm calling today to apologize - baby steps in the right direction, right?? :-) I am glad to hear you got power back. I've missed your blog posts!
    All the best,

  3. Yes...baby steps. Any step, no matter how small, in the right direction is a good thing. :)

    <3 <3 <3

  4. Such great encouragement. It's easy to give up on being kind--especially if our kindness is thrown back at us--but struggling on keeps kindness a reality.

  5. I think of that as being in neutral, which isn't the worst place to be. We have to go with the energy we have in the moment, and sometimes just holding in the explosion is all we can do. That's really ok. It's actually kind of great when the alternative is being mean.

  6. I would argue that exercising restraint when you have every right to flip out is its own manner of kindness.

  7. I'd say 99.9% of people struggle with being kind 50% of the time. It's hard. People can be exceptionally mean. People can do and say really stupid things and sometimes it takes all your willpower and strength to take a deep breath and smile. But a lot of times, that smile will knock the mean right out of them or (hopefully) knock some sense into them. It doesn't always work but it's definitely worth the time to take a deep breath (or ten) and try.

  8. Ditto on what Mary said. Kindness is really hard. I don't know anyone that is kind all the time, especially in difficult circumstances. Not sure it ever gets easier, really. Maybe we all go through life with baby steps. But the fact that you're thinking about it, or even struggling with it? That says a lot. So many people...it never even crosses their minds. You're ahead of the curve, my friend. And I'm honored to call you friend. A kind friend at that.

    Also, when can I see you again????? It's been too long. Seriously. Going through Sara withdrawal here.

  9. Great post! I agree with what Mary and Carol said. Continuous kindness is hard. We can all have moments of temper, but I love that you said this isn't failure. The fact that we make the effort to get back on the kindness path is the important thing. :)

  10. There's that whole thing about making a choice to be kind. I think there's something to that. Even if you don't feel it on the inside, what's that thing? Fake it til you feel it?

    Good work, Sara! At least you paid it forward w/kindness. :o) <3

  11. This is what we call "strengths-based." We're human, after all. Perfect is a ridiculous target, so it doesn't make sense to beat oneself up for not reaching it. And--when in stressful situations, it is normal to act stressed. I heartily agree that making the effort to show restraint and being mindful of how one's behavior affects others is a much more sustainable, attainable, and productive activity on which to focus.

  12. I think it's sinking in with me more & more each month too. These posts help. I like baby steps because it is still moving forward.

  13. I'm sorry you've had a rough month! This post is so true though, sometimes it's the fact that you're even thinking about it and trying that makes all the difference. Those baby steps can take you down great paths if you keep on keeping on. :-)

  14. Exactly - just the awareness itself does a huge amount for our own expansion. Sometimes awareness is all we need to completely shift our perspective in a moment.

  15. How funny - the theme this month is Baby Steps of Kindness. What a great realisation to come to. We don't all have to be perfect. Yahooo! Little bits of kindness whenever we can. Thanks.

  16. So true!! Boo on the loss of power. 5 days would be like an eternity. So kudos for being kind through that. Baby steps lead to big steps, so that's great that you noticed that and checked yourself. Being kind is an everyday thing, something you have to work at (we all do) Sounds like you're on the right track ;o)

    I love how creative and visual your posts are ;o)

  17. Wonderful post....WTG on keeping your cool during the 5 days without power. I like what you said about kindness being a way of life. Very nice!

  18. It definitely does put us a mile ahead to simply keep the thought of being kind in our heads, somewhere. Even when we slip, we know our goal and we can get back on track. Sounds to me like you handled a nasty situation admirably, though. My hubby would have fared far worse! ;)


Yay! I love when you have things to add :)