I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, and LGBT advocacy.
Finding Kindness Where We Can
It's strange to think when I first started writing this post on #WorldKindnessDay, I was feeling low and ready to just remind people to be kind. Kindness seems to be showing up in increasingly short supply lately. Look at social media: there are more posts where one side continuously bashes another side, and it seems to become clearer as the weeks wear on that people are not feeling particularly kind to one another at all. To me, that's almost as exhausting as COVID has been. Seeing the really biting comments some have made online and their responses starts to make you wonder, on occasion, how low humanity may have sunk.
However, I do understand to an extent. 2020 has sucked the life out of many. In my case, teachers have been engaged in a lengthy battle with the government (settled, thankfully, at the provincial level a few months ago but not locally for many teachers), so that's been wearing. Policies continue to shift and change and people almost need a rolodex to keep up with what's going on and expectations tied in with each policy shift. Lockdowns - and the ongoing threat of more lockdowns to come - bring with them a degree of fear about what's coming and just the general unknown of where we're going to end up when the pandemic finally comes to an end is weighing on people. People's stress level is higher than its ever been as COVID threatens livelihoods because much as we want to say "lock everything down and it'll be all better," that's impractical, as people still need to keep a roof over their collective heads with all this craziness that's going on. People have also been stressed out over the neverending election madness in the United States, though the ongoing lack of concession by Donald Trump has been intriguing to watch. People have also started to wonder if and when this pandemic will come to an end - and all of these points are just the tip of a very large iceberg.
However, I'm setting that aside. I want to focus on kindness. In no particular order, then, here goes:
To my running partner, I appreciate the laughs and our ongoing ability to push our limits as we head out on adventures. To my original running crew and their parents, you guys are awesome for continuing to come out and push yourselves. Parents, I love that you keep pushing your kiddos and the others in our group - it's a truly wonderful thing. To my Monday run group - you are fantastic. To my karate colleagues and friends: thanks for the laughs whenever we work together, and our ongoing ability to keep encouraging each other to keep going and be our best. Thank you also for everything I learn from you. To my school colleagues, I appreciate every last scrap of hard work and dedication you all put in for your kiddos. This has by no means been an easy year, but you're still looking for new ways to have fun and innovate, and I respect you for that. To my office mates and friends: thanks for the conversation, the venting and the laughter every lunch hour and after school. It's great to have such wonderful support.
Finally, to my family. It's not easy living with someone who has a hard time sitting still, and certainly, you've put up with my frustration as I try and find ways to cope during COVID. You've dealt with me as I take on yet another project, as I try and encourage you through school online and in person, and through our martial arts training. I know it hasn't been easy, but you guys are rock stars.
See? Kindness. People need to hear that they're doing well and that they're appreciated especially now, when we're all feeling frustrated and like we're simmering about any one of a number of things. So, even though World Kindness Day was a couple of days ago, it's something we should be practicing year round. We forget that though, particularly I find in times of crisis when we're just struggling to stay afloat ourselves.
Hang in there. Tell your people how great they are every so often. They'll appreciate it and you'll feel lighter for having shared how you feel.