How Unkindness Motivates Kindness

Be the Sun, Not the Salt wants to see kindness become the norm. I invite you to explore the good, and take a look at what it means to be more kind by being an observer of yourself when you are unkind. This blog is about being unkind, and how it makes you and the person you are unkind to feel. I want to talk about unkindness as a way to nudge us towards being more kind. A friend of mine told me recently that after he said something that was a bit salty to his wife, his wife calmly turned to him and said, well that was rather unkind. In that moment he knew he didn’t want to be unkind. He was wrong to have said it and he apologized. Think this is a nifty way for us to think about being kind by being a mindful observer of when we are unkind.

For some of us, being the sun is a bridge too far. Somedays it’s just too far for any of us. We all have those moments. When you are in that place, just know that it’s still really powerful to not pour salt on people’s roots.

Bite your tongue. You don’t need to say everything you think. Refraining from raining on people’s parades is so obvious that it may seem ridiculous to bring it up. But sometimes reminders are good. Just as there are so many ways to be kind and heliotropic, there are as many ways to be the salt. Don’t be!

• Don’t be a talking machine. Stop. Listen.
• Don’t be a jerk. Observe your behavior and turn it around.
• Don’t be a drag to be around. Loosen up. Brighten up. Make it your aim to inspire others.
• Don’t be a fault-finder or blame-thrower. If there is a problem, help solve it.

It’s a lot easier to see when other people are being jerks than when we are, but if you take care to become aware, you will begin to notice when you are pouring salt on someone’s roots. When you observe that it happened, you have a choice; you can do it again or not.

You don’t have to complicate it, just make a correction. Don’t interrupt next time. Stop yourself from assigning blame.

We don’t want to be thought of as unkind, and we certainly don’t want to be unkind. All of us are simply capable of being unkind and that’s enough to let it slip every now and then. So, let us think about unkindness as a way to motivate us, nudge us, and remind us to be kind.