Tuesday, 26 February 2013
This year I made one New Year's Resolution I was sure I could keep: be kind. Think kind thoughts, do kind things, say kind things and look for kindness in others. It's been hard because I'm sarcastic and get by on the cheeky things I say. And shamefacedly I've often forgot about my resolution. My one resolution. I toyed with losing weight (and funnily enough I've lost a fair amount with being ill) or making more effort to look good - or at least get dressed every day...but those things? While they're 'important' in the scheme of my health and my mental health I figured that being kind was of greater importance.
I don't feel good about the world when I spend time (wasted time) thinking unkind things about people. I feel very disconnected to myself, in fact. In high school I was one of these people who would bat away most of the hurtful conversations people would try to have in our little group. "I don't think they're like that!" I would protest with my 'friends' who were talking down other 'friends.' I hated bullying of any kind and ended up in a lot of trouble defending people who were being bullied. I didn't always handle it so brilliantly. One time I saw one of my friends being kicked so I threatened the boy who was kicking her. He laughed in my face and asked what I was going to do about it. "I'm going to beat you up after school!" I declared quite loudly and proudly.
After school came and he was waiting for me. Rather than walk past, forget my promise of what I was going to do even though I knew it was wrong, I stood face to face with this boy. This boy that I'd shared a desk with the previous year, this boy that I quite liked (as a friend) and thought was a decent enough person. I threw the first punch which sent him down to the ground. Everyone was cheering me on. I felt sick, I felt like this whole thing was all wrong and I didn't feel like a very nice person in that moment. I don't know what happened next but my friend from the year up came out and suddenly it felt like the whole school was involved in the fight. It snowballed into something I hadn't imagined, all because I'd forgotten to be nice.
After the event I got into a lot of trouble. My parents were thoroughly mortified and ashamed of me. I felt so terrible for such a long time, I didn't know how to make it okay with this boy and I didn't know how to take back anything I'd done. But I did learn that being nice is far more important than anything, even if you lose face - whatever that means. I learned that you can be the healthiest, fittest person alive but if you're not a nice person? It doesn't actually matter. You can have supermodel looks but if you're a nasty person then it doesn't matter. You can have well dressed, well mannered children but if you're not a nice parent then none of that matters. If you're not the nice example your children need and deserve then you're doing something wrong.
And everything else will fall into place but being nice is my priority for 2013.
Have you managed to break or make any resolutions?