We live in a time where cruelty has become widespread, especially on the internet. It’s so easy to pass judgement on others while we scroll through Instagram before bed. It’s so easy to leave nasty comments anonymously with no consequences. It’s so easy to launch an attack on someone else from behind the safety of our glowing screens.
I’m not a mean-hearted person, but I’ve definitely had my fair share of experience with gossip and judgement towards others. It’s important for us to remember that when someone triggers us – whether they trigger anger, jealously, inadequacy, or anything else – it’s a sign that whatever they did to trigger us also exists within ourselves.
When someone or something causes a reaction in you, it actually has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you. Instead of acting out of anger towards them, we can choose to examine why we’re feeling what we’re feeling.
Maybe we have a hard time being happy for someone else’s success because we’re operating from a lack mentality and think that somehow their success is a threat to ours or that it in some way diminishes us, when it really is just an example of what we’re also capable of.
Maybe we feel the need to bash everything about so and so because we don’t fully accept ourselves, are feeling insecure, and thus have a hard time fully accepting them.
Maybe we take pleasure in other people’s downfalls and heartbreak because our ego needs a boost and we need to maintain that we were right that it was doomed from the beginning instead of feeling empathy for what they might be going through.
Whenever we are tempted with being mean to someone, it’s an opportunity to instead choose to look at ourselves and determine why we feel that temptation. What is the situation reflecting back at us? What do we need to learn here?
Why did I put cool and kind together? Because being cool is too often associated with being smug, snobby, dismissive, and arrogant. The people who always catch my eye are the ones whose kindness, authenticity, and acceptance of themselves make them cool from the inside out. They’re the ones you can’t take your eyes off of because they don’t just look cool, they are cool – through confidence, humility, gratitude, and kindness. I don’t care how cool you look if you’re a terrible person. The only way to be cool, in my opinion, is to be the best person you can be.
Kindness isn’t about what you can get from pretending to play nice with someone else. It’s about how you make the other person feel.
Our world desperately needs more kindness and compassion. We get to choose every day how we will treat others and also ourselves. Kindness can be life changing. For ourselves. For others. For the world.
And it literally spreads like wildfire so throw it around like confetti, as it says all over Pinterest.
Here’s to being cool and being kind.
Photos by Crystalin Marie
Style + Spirit sweatshirt | Kohl’s jeans & boots | H&M leather jacket (similar) | Forever 21 beanie | Ray Ban aviators