Are you kind? I often hear angry people say, “I’ll be kind if you’re kind. But when you’re mean, I’m as mean as you.” Competition it is. This is an attitude of people who wants to be understood than to understand. But I don’t want to judge anyone. Each one has his own story to tell. What I’ll be telling now is my story of kindness and how magnanimous it is.
Kindness is beautiful. I’m unsure whether it is learned or a gift given to someone at birth. I’m glad to have a fair share of it. Perhaps it’s one of my innate qualities. Or, maybe a gift that I could give to anyone who needs it. But, hey! I’m not that kind twenty-four seven. Or else, you’d be talking to a saint. I also have my qualms. Or so it seems I’ve tamed myself that much. Okay, enough about me. Let’s focus on kindness.
According to Mark Twain,
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
Some people refuse to be kind for the reason that, like niceness, it signifies weakness. For them, it’s much better to appear unapproachable than appear kind and be abused. Abuse is another story. A kind person is never abused. He is kind because that is his quality. That is his strength. When someone considers himself as a victim, then that’s the time he is abused. One is kind because one is loving. He couldn’t be unkind because to be kind is his quality.
If kindness is a gift, it’s not given in a perfect shape. It needs to be honed and applied in actual situations. Real situations had been my school to sharpen this skill. For more than a decade I was confronted with a vengeful boss. She wasn’t that bad altogether because she could be nicer to others even on the surface. That’s quite an effort. She’d say nasty words, insults and I even feel she hates me for some reasons she alone knows. At times I feel she wants me to be some kind of a person I refused to become. Seeing that I am just what I am made her dislike me. Office politics made the situation worst.
When I started with that job I was a bit immature. I easily got hurt. So, I started to loathe that boss too. As the years passed there were no smooth seas between us. She openly displayed how much she disliked me, while I stayed in the corner licking my wounds. Until the time came that I started the self-development journey. Then and there I remained kind to her despite the reaction I got. I kept telling myself it wasn’t me for I’ve tried to do my best at work despite her criticisms. It’s her. And she’s that due to her unfulfilling personal life. Professionally, she was a success. Personally, it doesn’t appear to be. So it seems.
Some of the employees wasn’t that genuinely kind to her. They deal with her nicely on the surface yet scorn her at her back. It’s a common reaction everywhere, whether in the workplace or not. It’s a domino effect, one that follows the saying to don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.
So the situation goes on and on. She seems to be confident showing me that nasty side of her being aware that I couldn’t be unkind in return. Until the time came that I decided to quit. I quit not because she hates me. I quit because I know I owe it to myself.
There were no sentimental reactions when my resignation letter was read. I thanked her on my last day of work but never got a response. Someone advised me to indirectly pour out all my feelings about her in social media. But I refused to. That seemed easy to do since most people do it. I refused the temptation. Surely, I posted something on my wall about my resignation on a more objective and deeper level. A post that neither hurt anyone nor showed me as a victim.
Two months passed, I received the good news that I was to receive an amount from the company, as a recognition for the length of service that I’ve rendered. That was small but huge for me. I sent a message to my former boss thanking her for her generosity. The kindness paid off. She replied to me and wished me a happy Lenten celebration. Three short sentences but meant the world to me. A stone seemed to be lifted off from my heart. I was on cloud nine. At last, things ended well for the both of us.
Whether her words were genuine or not, the fact that she said it made it all worth to be grateful for.
Now let me leave these words with you: Treat others kindly not because that’s how you want to be treated. Treat others kindly, because they need to be reminded that kindness resides in their hearts too.