Be Kind unless you aren’t
I’m sure no-one disagrees that it’s actually a good thing to be kind whenever possible to others. However, I’m the first to admit I’m not always kind. The reason I’m not always kind is that there are various factors which I justify in my own head which are present, which “excuse me”. They don’t really excuse me, but my ego thought system will always justify me doing something that goes against my best interests if it keeps the ego going.
Kindness is a choice
What this quote is actually saying is that you can always choose to be kind whenever possible. For me, this was a stretch at first. Why should I be kind to someone who verbally attacked me? Why should I look benignly on when someone did something which violated my values? Of course, growing and learning in this life journey has caused me to understand that no-one is attacking me, and no-one is violating my values. These are simply interpretations I have put on other people’s actions and behaviours, which usually have nothing to do with me at all. So stripping that back, the option to be kind whenever possible is a choice I can make. There is no obligation on me to be kind either. But at least I recognise when I’m not being kind, I could have chosen otherwise.
Standing in another’s shoes
There are some situations when it’s pretty easy to be kind. Usually, if for example, someone is suffering and upset, and they are being vulnerable, our instinct is to reach out in kindness. However, that same vulnerability and suffering can be in existence even if the person is raging, abusive or unkind themselves. This is when it is difficult to cut through the defence mechanisms and recognise the pain and hurt inside. But when you can, you find it easier to be kind, no matter what the situation.
A friends husband started to verbally attack her when she decided to leave him. She chose to ignore his behaviour on a level because she knew he was hurt. His pain was causing him to lash out. That’s not to say you should put up with someone’s poor behaviour because they are suffering. But while you are getting out of the way you can still be kind.