Here’s how to use kindness as our weapon against negativity:
Let go of anger.Anger lies at the root of many sins such as envy, violence, slander, and bullying. It’s normal to feel anger, but holding on to it for a long time creates inner wounds that eventually make their way outside and harm others if you are not careful. That’s why it’s best to find a healthy outlet for anger when the emotion is fresh, so that you avoid taking it out on others. Of course, not all anger is harmful. There is negative anger, and there is righteous anger. Righteous anger is when one is stirred up with the world’s issues such as poverty, hate crimes, and injustice of any kind. Channeling righteous anger towards any of these issues will motivate you to become a catalyst for positive change.
Empathize. Sometimes cruel people seem to lack humanity because of their short supply of compassion and love. It’s important to understand that they have needs just as we do, and they are not greater than us or vice versa. Where does their anger come from? What led them to be the offender in the situation? Seeing them as real people and, perhaps, identifying with them on a common level, will help ease your anger towards them and help you show genuine kindness to them instead.
The Golden Rule.We all know the golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated. I don’t say this to sound cliché, but this piece of advice is perpetual! If you shouted at a coworker for spilling coffee on your brand-new white blouse, would you want them to apologize and offer to buy you a new shirt? Or would you rather them shout back, “Well, you should not have been in the way”? Think of how you would feel if someone responded to your offense in an uncommonly loving way. Would you want to share that same piece of love to others, no matter how nasty they act?
Employ selflessness.What I mean by this is don’t be so easily offended. When we get offended by a personal insult, our pride is involved. We can’t let pride get in the way of showing kindness to others. So instead of focusing on crushed pride, remember that the one who offended you may be harboring more wounds on the inside (“hurt people hurt other people”). Consider what woes the offender may be going through; everyone’s insult comes from somewhere.
Give a “soft answer.” In a typical argument between parties, you normally see folks having a shouting match going back and forth. Responding with a gentle answer when someone yells at you keeps the situation calm whereas yelling at them in return creates more chaos. Eventually, the louder person will become more tranquilized by your soft responses. Try not to feed off their loud energy in these moments, thereby gassing up the conflict. Think of this on a larger scale: when the world gives us something to be angry about (homelessness, abuse), your “soft answer” can be manifested in activism, nonviolent approaches, giving, and donating.
Edify!Be bold and promote good ethics and morals to those who add poisonous ingredients into the pot any way you know how. Even if others reject your edification, keep persisting and don’t grow weary in well doing. By doing this, you will be planting seeds of goodwill into the barren hearts of difficult people and eventually, they will take heed of your kind, edifying words. You may think some people aren’t listening to you now, but they are treasuring your words on a subconscious level.
Educate. Lack of knowledge is one thing that causes folks to give in to anger, violence, and bigotry. It’s not knowing our history. It’s not understanding human nature. It’s being uninformed of various cultures and what goes on in different countries. It’s being unaware that absolutely everyone has good inside of them, but the ones who hate are too reluctant to search for that good that hides inside of them. So, educate! Educate others about our history. I’m talking about the history that didn’t make the textbooks; offer a first-person perspective on worldly crises – teach others about different cultures and their lifestyles.
In the end, the only way to overcome evil is with good.