You know how people think that cats are smarter than dogs? Because cats are so standoffish, and dogs are so affectionate? According to recent studies, dogs have more than double the cerebral cortexes than cats, indicating that dogs could actually be twice as smart as cats. So why do we assume cats are smarter?
Because we put a premium on being “cool”. We think that if someone behaves coolly towards others they are more intelligent or stronger, so we tend to assume that when someone is kind they are a push over.
I posit that this is actually not the case. Think about when someone hurts you – anger is the quickest, easiest, and first reaction. It takes effort to calm yourself down and to put on a kind face and to speak kindly. If someone is kind to you, remember that they don’t have to be. They are CHOOSING kindness every day. If they are kind to you, they are a lot stronger than you give them credit for. Anger is easy. Anger is weakness. Kindness takes effort.
Further to this – if someone shows you seemingly endless kindness, remember that NOTHING is endless, and if you push hard enough, the strongest person will snap and their ability to provide you with kindness will end. You will find that they will turn their attention to someone who appreciates their efforts and who has the strength to provide them with reciprocal kindness.
Take a minute to appreciate those who have the strength to be kind. Thank them. Show them kindness. Real, authentic kindness. In this life of instagram posts and Facebook shoutouts, it is easy to assume that posting something online counts as demonstrating how much we care about someone, but it isn’t it. We all know that. If you post a picture of someone who loves you, talk about how much you love them, but then do not behave that way at home, you are not being strong. Don’t take the easy way out. Choose to be strong. Choose kindness.
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