Today, I officially started “the grind” towards the goals I have with my spoken word / poetry. I’ve had so many ideas floating around in my mind, and I’m finally taking steps towards them coming to fruition, all the while still learning how to take steps in taking care of myself in the process. Nothing is able to be done if I don’t take care of myself, and respect myself in the ways I need to.
Along with this first day of “the grind,” I started with a challenge. And now, I’m determined to have a challenge to accomplish with all the goals I have to accomplish as well.
Today’s challenge: Say something kind to someone you find it hard to be kind to.
I find myself silently, or even verbally judging those with whom I find it hard to click with. Maybe we don’t vibe well, or maybe that person, in my eyes, is too proud or rude, the list goes on. But, a tweet / IG story by Reyna Biddy I think spurred me onto this challenge…
“don’t be too quick to call somebody weird because they’re different from you.”
After reading this, I thought to myself, How many times have I called someone “weird” because they were different than me? What is that person going through? Why am I so adamant about being myself despite other people’s opinions, when that person could be being themselves, and I’m judging them for it?
So, I decided to challenge myself (and anyone else who follows me on social media) to say something kind to someone I didn’t necessarily like, or maybe someone I deemed different than myself. I thought it would be easy, honestly; not that I find it hard to be kind to a lot of people, but I thought that I would have had someone specific in mind.
But truthfully, I’m sitting at Starbucks, and I haven’t accomplished this challenge yet. And it’s dinner time. And I thought I would’ve run into someone that I didn’t necessarily click with, and be able to give them a kind word, but I’ve run into people, and there isn’t necessarily anyone I would say that I find it hard to be kind to.
I mean, maybe; it’s not like I’m looking for people to hate haha! But I think this challenge of kindness has made me think about the genuineness of my kindness.
Because, there’s this little thing called “southern hospitality” – you know, where you’re kind to someone to their face, because it’s the polite thing to do, but later when you’re with your friends or family, you talk about them in a different way than you would have when they were standing in front of you. And while I have been kind to many people today, and they aren’t any people I find it hard to be kind to…was I being sincere?
Did I really care that they lived in a certain area, or that they were working on “x, y, z”? Was I asking the typical “how are you?” questions because I actually cared, or because I just wanted to avoid the awkwardness of talking to someone I hadn’t seen in a long time? Was I so stuck in the “southern hospitality” mindset, or just the being polite in general mindset, that I couldn’t tell if I was being genuinely kind or not?
I would like to think that I was being sincere with my kindness; that I wasn’t just being nice for the minute or two I was talking with someone. But I don’t know…a challenge like that just makes you think about the day-to-day things, people, and situations you encounter.
With that in mind, I do still encourage everyone to be kind, and be sincere about it; don’t just say something to check it off a list, or to accomplish a goal. Truly be kind because you don’t know what people are going through, and a kind, encouraging word can go a long way for someone, whether you like them or not.