Cultivating kindness


I'm having a bit of a digital detox at the moment while I get on with some art. I find online can be a double edged sword at the best of times. Whilst it's an opportunity to learn, to connect and have fun, the downside can be a tide of negativity, spitefulness and just downright nasty behaviour. All that energy comes via your phone into your home. Your subconscious is always listening even when you think you're switched off to this stuff. Words are powerful, words influence your neurochemistry without you realising it.

It seems like whenever something goes wrong people have to shout about it but they're less noisy about good things. We're all human, we all have bad days, imagine your error being called out on social media. We're beginning to be in a world of instantaneous judgement. That person who's parked wonky in the supermarket carpark and finds themselves humiliated in a post on a social network..... could be a nurse who's been on night shift, it could be someone who's partner has just died, you really don't know the circumstances.

A while ago I had two trees come down in a storm and the Tesco delivery chap climbed over a multitude of times with my groceries because we couldn't get a car out to go to the shops. I phoned Tesco to say how amazing their drivers were and the lady at the customer service center said: "we don't often get calls like yours, usually it's people complaining". And I think that's kind of sad. We should say when people do a good job, cheer them on, tell them their hair looks nice. One small kindness can have a huge impact on another.

Guilting, shaming, humiliation, calling out over minor things is an awful exchange of energy. It may make the person doing it feel temporarily more powerful, or self righteous, but that doesn't last. And quite often it can lead to a pattern when power needs to be grabbed from others habitually in this way.

Cultivating kindness and compassion within yourself and allowing that to radiate out  isn't easy sometimes in a world that can seem like it's dog eat dog, that values a certain ruthlessness to get what you want, it is worth doing though. Everything we do can potentially leave an echo in someone's life, and it's being mindful of what that echo is.

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