Why We Need To Start Practicing Savage Kindness. STAT.
2016 was widely proclaimed the year of Crap.
Twelve months steeped in a quasi hate. 365 days where, for some, humanity disintegrated in front of their eyes like a biscuit dunked too many times in a cup of tea.
As a society we felt savaged. By division, disrespect and despair. But what if we could turn the tables and practice savage kindness?
To be fair the retreat of explosive kindness started a lot earlier than 2016. The origins are debatable but somewhere around when “incredible” was replaced with the omnipresent — “nice”.
Mothers around the world schooled their children in “nice”.
“Remember little Janey if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all”.
Teachers abound in “nice” as a safe form of positive reinforcement.
“Your story was really nice Janey. Your hair bow looks nice”
The other day I received some hugely sincere words from a friend about my (attempts) at this ever trialing task called writing.
“I wish I had your talent and drive, I really think you’ve got something special”.
There was not a “nice” to be seen.
It’s easy to compliment someone on their shoes and tell them their kid is cute. But why is it harder for people to dig deeper when the emotional payoff for the receiver is so exponential.
Incredible is considerably better than good.
Authentic and BIG honesty will always trump “nice”.
Why can’t compliments, praise and encouragement come in big juicy packages with big bows? The type you want to shake to see what’s inside?
Why are they so often small, offhanded or an excuse to fill the air in the work kitchenette while your lunch is being microwaved?
Be generous and flamboyant when it’s deserved.
Use the biggest words you know that are usually saved for when you want to sound important. Learn new ones when your list runs out.
Make a lot of exaggerated hand gestures. Hug.
On the day when I want to be writing but my inspiration is drier than the Sahara and my pile of rejection letters is threatening to topple I’ll think of her. I’ll embrace the power of a few uncensored words. Unrestricted. And I hope the power reverberates back to her on days when she is feeling less than her best.
Practice savage kindness for a week and watch how you feel. Watch how the people around you feel.
Watch how the world feels. One savage compliment at a time.