This is a question posed a while back by a blogger I follow, Tessa Violet (look her up if you have the time). With the Trump administration officially in office and the amazing support seen at the Women’s March this weekend, this question resonates a lot with me. Why not choose kindness?
Maybe kindness is just more difficult or inconvenient. Or maybe it just doesn’t seem practical. “Gretchen, sometimes it’s just unavoidable to say something to someone they won’t want to hear.” I get it. Where do you draw the line between being kind and doing something unkind that might be more beneficial in the end? How do you decide what kindness really is and how do you choose kindness without getting walked all over by ignorance, extremism and hatred?
So instead of simply pledging to choose kindness in 2017, I pledge to always choose mindfulness where kindness might be a little muddled. Mindfulness of my actions, my words, my shopping choices, my approach and my intentions. Instead of spend energy fretting over issues in the world, make the choice to lead by example. And when I fail—be that purchasing a product from a company whose practices don’t fit my own, or failing to take someone’s feelings into account or failing to write as many “thoughtful” blog post as I’ve set out to write in the month of January (obviously not something I struggle with, wink wink*)—instead of being tripped up, I pledge to dust myself off, realize it’s okay to fail, that life is a process, that choosing mindfulness and kindness is a process, and try again.
It’s not always an easy choice, but it’s a worthwhile choice.
Originally posted in Feb. 2017 on grerchenholzgang.com/blog
GRETCHEN IS A WRITER-BASED IN PORTLAND, ORE. SHE GOT HER START AS A JOURNALIST WORKING ON THE SUSTAINABLE FASHION AND RESTAURANT BEAT BEFORE MOVING INTO COPYWRITING AND ADVERTISING WORK. SHE CURRENTLY BLOGS AND WORKS AS A FREELANCE WRITER.