I want to be kind to ev’ryone,
For that is right, you see.
So I say to myself, “Remember this:
Kindness begins with me.”
Ali Edwards, blogger extraordinaire, does an annual series called One Little Word in which she invites her readers to choose a word that will their motto, their Grail, their touchstone for the coming year. I like the idea, though I am generally resistant to the sort of rah-rah group spirit Girl Power cheerleading that happens when a group of people decide to support each other online. It feels a little false to me. I don’t know you people. I mean, I’m sure you’re great and all, but my success or happiness doesn’t actually matter, does it? Many readers, I know, do feel very strongly about being a part of an online community, but that’s just not me, for good or ill. But I’m looking to make some changes in my life anyway, and it happens to be the new year (over a week into it!), and this seems like something I can be a part of right now. One little word is broad enough to encompass the many specific changes I need to make, but specific enough to have meaning, and simple enough to be remembered pretty easily.
So this year I’m making a greater effort to be kind. I’ve noticed the growing creep of anger overtaking my life. I’ve always had trouble with my temper, but I seem to be growing all around crabby, though that’s a weak word. Constantly irate, maybe? Maybe even, as C. Jane explores on her blog, anger is becoming my go-to drug when I feel threatened or hurt. And I do feel plenty hurt these days, like all around battered. The Jersey Shore after Hurricane Sandy. That kind of feeling.
So something needs to change, and, let’s be honest, the only thing I really have any control over is myself (and that’s with a fairly generous understanding of the word “control”). I don’t want to live in an angry world anymore. So I’m going to stop being angry (harder than it sounds) and start being kind. Kinder. No, no. Just kind. Maybe every now and then I’ll share my efforts with you. Not in a braggy way. Not like, “Look at me being kind!” More like, “Here’s what I learned about diffusing anger today,” or “Did you know kindness has blah blah blah effects on the brain?”
This is the closest thing to a resolution I have for this year. What are you going to be working on?