Thursday, October 16, 2014

What I Learned About Kindness (a.k.a. getting knocked down a peg)

I'm working the last two weeks of my time as an editor at the food magazine I've worked for the last two years.

The word is spreading that I'm leaving. Someone from another team, who hasn't been here long, sent me a question about some work that I'm actually not supposed to be helping her with. It's probably the fourth time she's come to me instead of the other editor who is supposed to help her. I've corrected her each time.

So I responded, simply, with the answer she was looking for and a new reminder—that I actually won't be here in a week's time and she'll HAVE to go to the other editor then. End of email.


I nitpicked everything about her messages and wondered why they couldn't have filled her position with someone smarter.

And then, the Universe handed me a beautiful lesson. She responded to my short email saying how happy she was for me and how she'd miss me when I'm gone. And it was genuine. I know she meant it.

And there I was, bitchface cursing her ineptitude when she's a truly nice person who's got a lot of different (and complex) responsibilities.



A couple months ago, I overheard someone at a restaurant refer to their server as a moron. Angry, I'd told my husband, "I'd rather be a moron than a bitch."

Today, I was both.



I'm OK with having re-learned that lesson in kindness. I suppose I needed it. I need to fill my last two weeks here with kindness in order to leave the kind of legacy I should.

Thank you, co-worker, for being kind. Thank you, everyone, for making hundreds of choices each day to be, above all, kind.

7 comments:

  1. I'm excited to hear about your next adventure.

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    1. Thank you!! Posts about it coming soon. :)

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  2. To try to show everyone some kindness, because you may never know their story, has been the hardest lesson I've learned. I used to be very judgmental but moving to a small island (where talking about someone definitely gets back to them) and having kids (needing kindness from others) has done a lot to change that.

    Thanks for the reminder :)

    Amber at OurCharmedLife.net

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    1. I'm sure that's a unique type of lesson, living there, too! Thanks for sharing your perspective.
      Like many things, it's so easy to say "be kind" and believe you are, but completely another to LIVE it. I like to think the world throws reminders like this at us when we need them.

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    2. I totally agree with you. Honestly, I miss being catty sometimes. It's so easy to judge people based on their clothes or their actions and I definitely need those little reminders to not do that.

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  3. This is my life story...I don't know why I cant just be kind to begin with! I'm definitely working on it. It's sad but I think it stems from feeling very competent, so I hold others to that same standard and immediately categorize them once they aren't keeping up. But the truth is that everyone is doing the best they can in their current state of awareness and getting annoyed/judging them doesn't serve me or anyone else. So I am with you- I am trying to be more kind, especially over the past few months since I've started becoming more in tune with my true self. I love this post.

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    1. Yep, funny you mention "doing the best they can." My father-in-law started saying "they're doing the best they can" in a snarky way to calm down about idiot/jerk drivers on the roads…and then the sentiment turned into actually a genuinely nice thing, because it's true! Everyone really is doing the best they can in the moment…whether it's their—or your—all-time best or not!

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