A plead for Kindness

Kindness- Charity, compassion, friendship, and empathy without prejudice and for its own sake.

For most, life’s shaped by society. Those that follow it’s rules are most likely the shallow people, with not much to offer those around them beyond kindness on a declarative state. Society teaches us to say happy birthday, to wish someone the best of luck in their endeavors, a perfect marriage on their wedding day, to say you’re sorry when you offend, offer regrets and state support if needed, and use “please” when you need something. It also gives us a great excuse not to care beyond words.

Transcending rules, reality struggles to contradict. Learning by living, you notice that there are rebels, renegades of society that refuse to follow the crowd and often, they are the ones that embody virtues without reciting them like a poem.

Maslow used the terms Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem and Self-Actualization to describe the pattern that human needs follow in importance. According to him, physiological needs are the physical requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, following those of safety, the human body cannot function properly, and will ultimately fail.

Thus, when you need a ride, to borrow a dress or just bar hopping company most likely you will say please and ask for support, as those are superficial and unimportant if you get turned down — having to do with Self-Actualization. But when you need something from the bottom of the pyramid (psychological or safety layers), when you’re so sad you can’t sleep or when your mind gets scared and loneliness kicks in playing safety charades, most probably asking someone for a fix won’t be the first solution that comes to mind as that part of your body is already on the borderline of functioning.

Society’s like a crowd watching a circus, where each of its individuals gets a turn into the spotlight. Their acting is poor ’cause everybody actually loves to watch the show, not be it.

Consider compassion. An embrace is most valuable not when you crave for it or offer it instead of “hello”, but the moments you didn’t know you need it so. Don’t be surprised if the ones offering it won’t be the same that excel in empathy: they didn’t spend time learning its rules, they simply aren’t part of the crowd.

I’ve staged a relevant comparison in my mind: imagine somebody getting hit by a car, laying on the sidewalk unable to get up and then imagine people walking by. Each of them is saying: “I’m so sorry for your grief, please — if there’s anything I can do, just ask.” Now compare that picture with the image of someone loosing someone dear. The first instance of suffering is more obvious, although health is one layer down in importance in Maslow’s scheme compared to sleep, and on the same level as security.

Now what’s kindness again?

Doesn’t this make you turn to wrath?