I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about kindness for a while now because I think it is such a key ingredient to life that we either take for granted, or don’t think about as often as we should. And before I begin this, I want to stress something so crucial: I’m not perfect. I know there are many times in either my day or week where I could display kindness better, or when I let frustration and anxiety get the best of me. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t hear the little voice in the back of my head that tells me, “Hey, maybe that wasn’t the best way to approach that situation.” Then I move on, and try better next time.
I had never really given much thought about the word “kindness” until I saw the 2015 adaptation of Cinderella. The whole message that was referenced in the movie was to “have courage and be kind.” Not only did I absolutely love this quote, but it had me thinking about what kindness meant to me. The more I thought about the word, the more I realized how big of an impact it can truly have. And again, I’m no expert. But I do think kindness is something we should all take the time to consider more and to ask ourselves, “how am I displaying kindness in my life?”
Living in Los Angeles has definitely opened my eyes to what a person with true kindness in their hearts acts like, and it can be a very rare quality to find in this city. A good majority of the people that move here, are coming to be the best or to make something of themselves. Whether it be for acting, modeling, dancing, singing, directing, etc. in this business, it’s hard to be anything but selfish. We are constantly told we have to look a certain way, eat a certain way, dress a certain way, take a certain class, go to a certain event to meet a certain person, talk a certain way, have our hair a certain color, go to the gym a certain amount of times during the week, live in a certain area, work the system a certain way to benefit ourselves, the list goes on and on (and you wonder why some celebrities fall off the deep end.) Kindness can be quite a challenge to find in a business that preaches vanity and doing whatever you need to get ahead. And yes, I know that not all of you live here. But I think regardless of whatever career you have, where ever you may live, or whatever stresses you may face, we all are seeking kindness in one form or another. So here are some ways I think we can all try to incorporate kindness more into our lives:
Be kind to not kind people
I know this is hard. Probably one of the hardest things anyone can do. But in all honesty, the people who are the least kind, are the people that probably need it the most. We have no idea what battles they may be fighting, and even if we do know, we’re not in their shoes going through it. Regardless of whether they show kindness back, you never know how you might positively impact their day by giving them a smile or a genuine compliment. Who knows? They might take your actions as an example of how they should act around the next person they encounter.
Take the time to listen
I forget very easily. I can memorize lines all day, but when it comes to remembering someone’s name that I just met, I’ll forget it as soon as they say it. I don’t think it’s necessarily my memory that’s lacking as much as my listening. We’re all busy, and we’re all constantly thinking about what we have to get done or, in my case, what I want for dinner. But pausing whatever you may be doing to ask your friend about his day, or maybe listening to your sister vent about her job, you are giving them kindness in one of the most considerate forms: your time.
Show yourself kindness
Everyone has insecurities and we’re all hard on ourselves to some capacity. But how can we expect to show others kindness when we’re busy criticizing ourselves? Lady GaGa said that each morning she gets up, looks in the mirror, and says five things that she likes about herself before progressing with her day. I thought that was interesting so I decided to try it. Not going to lie, it’s pretty cool! It starts your day off in a positive way, and it gives you a boost of confidence to tackle whatever you might face through out the day. Showing yourself kindness can cause you to have more faith in yourself, and when you feel great in your own skin, it can help you spread that joy to other people. You never know who might need it!
It’s simple and I feel like sometimes we make it so hard. Helping others doesn’t have to be this grand affair. It can be something as easy as opening the door for the person in front of you, or giving a dollar to someone in need. I recently read a quote by Morgan Freeman that said, “How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.” It’s so true and it all starts with helping others, no matter how big or small the act may be.
I hope this post has encouraged you to think about the ways you display kindness in your life. Whether it be through listening, helping others, being kind to those that need it the most, or even giving yourself a smile in the mirror, kindness is a powerful thing that we need more of in the world. So lets start spreading it!
Until next time,
P.S. one of my dear friends, Emily, has an amazing blog called Adventures and Kindness where you can find more ways to incorporate kindness into your day, as well as fun tips for traveling and planning your next adventure! Check it out! 🙂