Someone once said something along the lines of “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness,” and that phrase has been the sum of my life’s journey so far. If there was one thing that encapsulates the way I want to react to others, it has been this. That’s because I’m one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet.
I generally wear my heart on my sleeve, and I give people the benefit of the doubt more often than not. But others take that as weakness, that I won’t stand up for myself when the time comes for mobilization, that I can’t embrace a cause and wring the hell out of it. Incorrect.
Don’t get me wrong. There are tons of people out there in the world who truly are weak when it comes to confrontation, who won’t stand up for themselves when they know they’re right, and who, for whatever reasons, let people walk all over them. I just don’t happen to be one of those people.
My ready smile and my attention to congeniality don’t automatically place me in that category. I can be kind and strong at the same time. It’s a talent, perhaps. Regardless, I really do value being kind. I want people to come away from meeting me thinking about how nice I am. Of course that also means I work hard to make sure I’m showing the real me at all times too.
There’s nothing like meeting someone, they put on the full court press, and you feel like you’ve met a kindred spirit. Then you find out later that they were pulling the wool over your eyes. That is THEIR strength — being fake. I used to be one of those people, but I’ve worked hard on showing the real me on first sight anymore. I don’t care if that makes me seem vulnerable. WE are all vulnerable in some way, shape, or form. I’d rather be vulnerable in showing my kindness, just so long as it’s also understood that I’m not weak.
Why am I so adamant about not being weak? Because people walk all over those who appear weak. It’s like survival of the fittest or something. If you’re weak the strong ones eat your liver and stomp all over your bruised and battered body. Being kind is not a weakness. It’s one of the biggest strengths you can have. Because it means you can sympathize and empathize with others. I would have it no other way. And even if it is taken for weakness, I can usually prove otherwise very quickly. Being kind is a gift. I’m glad I possess it.