Be kind to others! It’s a motto that I live by and have tried to teach my kids. But what does it really mean? It means to live by,’if you don’t have anything nice to say, maybe it’s best to not say it’. That is of course it is absolutely necessary to speak up and protect yourself. Kindness can be as small as a smile (even if you are wearing a mask, people can still see the smile in your eyes) or as big as a grand gesture. One thing about kindness that not a lot of people are talking about is that kindness also means being kind to yourself. This means saying, "No" to someone that is taking advantage of you. Is someone asking you to do something that just doesn’t feel right in the pit of your stomach? Then, say, “No”. You can say it politely and kindly. Is somebody asking to borrow something that you just don’t feel comfortable lending out? Then, say, “No.” I’m sure there are millions of examples, but you get the gist of what I’m saying. If someone asks you to do something, say something, or for something, and it doesn’t feel right, then you must say no. Why? Because you just won’t feel good about it afterwards and it could lead you down a path of not trusting yourself anymore. If you keep ignoring that little voice inside that says, “ummmm… I don’t like that idea”, it gets harder to hear. It gets harder to distinguish your ideas from others and you can lose your way. Stay true to yourself. Be kind to yourself. Listen to that voice and know that you are still amazing and kind.
One other way that we treat ourselves unkindly, is when we let negative thoughts become our narrative. Our mind narrates many thoughts that are not always true. Talk to yourself kindly. Appreciate who you are. Appreciate your body and the things it allows you to do: smile, laugh, see friends, practice your sport, create art, give hugs or high fives, and live this life in kindness and gratitude to yourself and to others.