Keeping Up With Kindness & Compassion
As 2019 comes to an end, my mind has me thinking about all the love and support my husband and I have received over this past year. This has been one of the happiest and most stressful years of my entire life. There have been moments of joy like I have never felt before, as well as times where I just wanted to hide underneath my covers and start the day all over again. I know many of you have felt this way, too, which is why I believe this article is important.
The year kicked off in a way like I could not have ever imagined. My husband, Nick and I set out to change the toy industry with the creation of our “Same-Sex Barbie Wedding Set.” It quickly caught the attention of the mainstream media (and of course, Mattel), and started an international conversation that was never had before. Going viral opened up our eyes to the power and strength of social media. It also reminded us of how much hate still brews throughout our world. Many of the hateful comments we received were “you’re going to hell” related. As men who have a strong connection with God, we decided to make a pact early on to not read such comments. Instead, we continued to stay motivated, do media interviews, and spread our message that love is love.
As leaders of love, we all must try to reflect the light that we want to see into the world. It is easy to immediately react with defensiveness or anger when negativity comes our way, but we all must strive to not feed into anything or anyone that is going to knock us off our lighted path. People who hate don’t have God in their hearts and lack genuine kindness, which will prevent them from ever being truly happy. In order to be fully happy in life, you must have compassion for others. It is that simple.
That is why I am asking everyone to kick up their kindness to an even higher level and be more mindful about how we treat others. This can all start with everyday life changes and routines.
I am not asking for everyone to be best friends or agree on every topic, but to have more care and consideration. Kindness is contagious and I think our world needs more positivity than ever before. It is the simplest of changes and interactions that can help. Take a look!
1.) Express Your Gratitude
Your ride or die tribe should be made up of your closest family members and friends. They are the people that you trust the most. I encourage you to take some time to express your gratitude to your friends and family that have truly been there for you. Life can get really chaotic, but we should never get too busy to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us. You never know when someone needs a little “life lift.” I wish more people asked Nick and I this past year if we were “okay.” It meant the world to us when people would message us with support. We have dealt with a lot, including the loss of Nick’s best friend from cancer. Hateful online comments we can handle, but nothing prepares you for the death of a dear friend. So, reach out to that special someone if you have not heard from them in awhile. They might just say, “I am so glad you called.”
2.) Cut Out The Complaining
Let’s all get real. Complaining is not one bit cute. Social media is filled with so many unnecessary negative remarks. Don’t you think Facebook has turned into a weird online diary for some people? You can learn so much about a person just by looking at their content and how they publicly react to the most random incidents. I suggest you do the complete opposite and take a second to pause before you post. Share something online because you think it will motivate, uplift or make someone smile. We need more goodness in our social media feeds, and it can all start by cutting out the pointless online complaining.
3.) Don’t Hide Behind Your Phone
Smartphones have become our security blankets. What has happened to everyday human interaction? The next time you get into an elevator, look to see how many people immediately start looking at their phones. It is almost like people are afraid to smile. Don’t be afraid to engage in conversation with a stranger in line or a colleague in an elevator. A simple “hello” is a good first step.
4.) Start An Activity
Find an activity that keeps your mind and body strong. The gym has been my place of motivation and peace. Your “feel-good-hobby” should ignite those happy endorphins and keep your body in check at the same time. Everyone needs some kind of creative or mind-stimulating outlet. Do your research and find an outside of work activity in your community that you can join. It is also a great way to network and meet like-minded friends.
5.) Don’t Forget That Manners Are Everything
“Please” and “Thank you” should continue on in your adult life. It does not take much to toss in some good old-fashioned manners into your conversation. This rule goes the same with texting and emails since it is often difficult to understand tone. Adding in just a little extra dose of kindness can go along way especially when it comes to business or when trying to get something done.
6.) Start Your Week With An Act Of Kindness
I know Monday’s are not for everyone, but why not start your week by making someone else’s day. That can be as easy as buying a coworker a coffee, writing a family member a card, or sending a friend an inspirational quote. The key is to do it with the greatest of intentions and not having any expectations in return. Kindness is not just about being nice, it is also about reflecting goodness with a pure heart.
7.) Stop The Gossip Before It Begins
We all know that one person with a big mouth that can gab on and on. Spilling the tea is actually pretty darn negative because if someone is gossiping about another person to you, that same person is likely to do the same behind your back, too. So, cut that kind of conversation short before it begins, and feel free to clap back with an, “I’m not interested.” That usually does the trick.
The points above should serve as friendly reminders, as we all know what it is like to be around or read negative energy. The biggest lesson I hope everyone takes from this article is that it is important to be kind, as you never know what someone is going through behind the scenes. A smile, nice message, or thoughtful act can go a long way.