Real Connections Blog

The Kind Life

  • Rick Elgersma
  • November 2, 2023
Hand outstretched with palm open and up

If You stretch out your hand…

Hate or Hope?

Imagine reaching out for a helping hand, only to have it hacked off instead. Yikes! Obviously, the choice is a no-brainer. You’d run away instead, right? I would. But here’s the thing: life is rarely that clear-cut.

The Arm of Betrayal

man holding card with seeking human kindness text

Recently, one of our clients shed some light on this very issue. When we’re hit with grief or pain, it’s natural to want to scream, cry, or lash out. Those feelings can feel like a dank prison cell, and we’ll do anything to escape them. But here’s the kicker: These emotions used spitefully are like being greeted with a hacksaw to the recipient of the emotion. How we choose to express those emotions is up to us.

The Hand of Expression

Our client, for instance, had been taking out her anger on her husband in the form of spite, contempt, and lashing out. She felt justified because he had betrayed her trust, but deep down, she knew that being so unkind was not what she wanted for herself. Instead, she has been practicing kindness and empathy toward him, though showing up for practice has been difficult. What she has learned though is that kindness is not about excusing his behavior or pretending everything is okay, but rather choosing to lift him up and grow with him gives them both a chance at a better life.

It’s not easy, but in the end, she’s building a bond that’s unbreakable. After all, we all make mistakes and face the consequences. But that doesn’t mean we have to turn our backs on each other.

The Fingers of Emotion

Emotions are a messy business. While they’re understandable, sometimes their results are less than ideal. Enter kindness, the superhero that can boost productivity exponentially. Without it, we get nowhere fast. Of course, kindness doesn’t mean ignoring consequences. It’s more about the giver’s heart than the receiver’s action or reaction.

The Fists of Hate

It takes guts to show kindness in a world that often spews venom in the name of grief, despair, or betrayal. Hate or Contempt cannot give rise to hope.

The Reach of Hope

Now, a personal story: One of our dearest friends and one we knew as family (“framily) was brutally murdered in a crime of passion. The perpetrator was found guilty, and we went through a rollercoaster of emotions. But we refused to hate him, knowing that even from behind bars, he could turn his life around and inspire others. We believe it is more courageous to stand up in the world with kindness for a troubled world than it is to join the many who fill the world with vitriol.

If we had hated him, we could never hope for redemption or wish good could happen. Hate only breeds more hate, while hope leads to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and all the good stuff. So, be the change you want to see in the world and spread kindness, even in the darkest of times.

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