Kindness has received some bad press in the past. It’s painted us as weak and without grit. It’s left us feeling powerless and checked our pride.
But is power and pride what we are really seeking, is being right our end goal?
My kids school has these words printed as you walk in…
It’s more important to be kind, than right. Or something like that, I have a horrible memory for accurate details.
Point is, that being right over kind can come at the cost of hurting our relationships, our friendships, our careers.
That placing your pride on a pedestal leaves no room for another person to coexist and have thoughts and feelings of their own.
Being right has its place. Seeing injustice, abuse or mistreatment of a human should always be called out and stopped. Pulling over when you see someone hurt or needing help, is the right thing to do. Standing up to a bully, is always right and just.
But in everyday life, when living and working among other imperfect humans that may disagree with you, being right can cost you more than your character. Being right can cost you the chance of belonging to a community. Belonging to a group of imperfect humans that also mess up and also think they are right, but choose to set aside their pride to maintain their purpose, a relationship with you.
It’s taken me a long time to learn to keep my mouth shut. To not have to force my thoughts down your throat.
The realization I came to is that being ‘kind’, holding my tongue and knowing my truth in that fight, was more important than being right and isolating those I love most.
Being kind instead of right has looked like an apology. Not to cower down or give up but to take ownership for the actions I made that were hurtful.
Being kind instead of right has looked like walking away instead of engaging in an argument with ignorance.
It’s looked like giving grace to an imperfect person and understanding their perspective has value and worth, even if it’s not mine.
4 “The Lord is your mighty defender, perfect and just in all his ways; Your God is faithful and true; he does what is right and fair. – Deuteronomy 32:4
The beautiful truth I have discovered is that we don’t have to always defend ourselves, because we have a mighty defender. A protector of our hearts that will atone and avenge all that’s been wronged and make them right.
So in that conflict, that fight, when you have a moment to decide your next move…stop. Walk away, hold your tongue or just own your part. Know that He knows your heart when the world misunderstands it. You don’t have to fight every battle when you have the heavyweight champion of the world on your side.
Pick your battles. Stand up for those being hurt. But practice kindness over pride. Practice humility over arrogance.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
1 John 3:18 NIV
Love with action. Love in truth.
This is a daily practice for me. I was born with a very passionate heart and a mouth to accompany it. I’ve learned when I need to speak up and stand my ground, but I’m also learning when it’s best to be quiet. I’m learning that being kind is more important that being right.
How can you be more kind today?