Can Kindness Be The Answer?

The other day, Kate Spade, a woman who I did not know, but who is around my age, died from suicide.    I have no idea what was going on in her life, but I have to suspect that she was most likely emotionally worn down, feeling exhausted and just tired of "it" all.  Maybe I'm wrong; I'll never know.

But I CAN tell you that lately I've been feeling that way.  Two weeks ago I had a cold that still has a hold on me with a cough that continues and an early that just won't completely unclog.  There's been a great deal of upheaval with my 7th grade son (which the rational part of my brain says is normal and typical, but the emotional part of me screams and has yet another breakdown).  My dad had same day (minor?) surgery. Work can be stressful and getting to work even more so.  (What I really needed yesterday was an hour and ten minute commute home...a route that was less than 12 miles!)  Finances freak me out.  And, I'm sure none of this is helped by the fact that my hormones are probably doing all sort of funky things as I enter (or am in?) menopause.  (If you don't have a uterus, but all the other parts, how do you figure this out?  I'm not sure.)  

Let's put it bluntly...I am a goddamn MESS!  I have screamed at my son.  I have cried on my husband.  I have ranted and raved to anyone who will listen. And I am NOT unique!

It doesn't matter WHO you are or what stage in your life you are at, we ALL are pushed to the limit at times.  And when those times arrive...There is an emotional weight that bears down on you so hard that you can barely breathe.  I know I have been there. I AM there right this moment!  I can feel it. It's deep within my chest, spreading throughout every pore.  It is soul/spirit crushing and completely and utterly exhausting!  When it comes, the last thing you want to do is face the world.

So how do I get through?  Kindness.  I'm not saying it's the cure.  It doesn't make my problems go away.  It doesn't necessarily lift the weight from my chest.  But it DOES make it possible to keep moving forward.  It DOES give me hope.  We all need to keep moving forward, inch by inch.  We all need hope.  We all NEED kindness.


(The above photo comes from a dear friend of mine.  Andee, thank you for sharing this when I needed it.  Thank you for being kind.  If you are as moved as I am by the above, go to and purchase a copy.  Hang it on your wall for all to see and remember.  Follow it. )

Years ago, Burt Bacharach and Hal David said what the world needs now is love (sweet love).  I don't completely disagree, but I think kindness might be needed just a little more right now.  There is so much negativity in our world.  People yelling about this and that.  Blaming him or her for whatever.  Calling names.'s not just for kids anymore! We can hide in the world of social media and be as cruel as we want to.  Shame her.  Taunt him.  Social media is not to blame...WE are.

We have allowed ourselves to live in a world where kindness is a rarity.  Where compassion desperately needs to be shared, but isn't.  It's not HIS fault; it's not HER fault; it's OUR fault.  We NEED to add kindness to our lives and to our world.  One simple act a day CAN change EVERYTHING.  In order to have a kind world we need to CREATE a kind world.  Just like a house is built brick by brick, the only way we can build a world where kindness is an everyday part of life, is by one act (large or small) at a time.  Kindness by kindness.  Day by day.  Don't stop.  Keep going.  Keep going. 

Be Kind.  Be kind to your family.  (Not easy...oh definitely not so easy when your child "forgets" an assignment for the zillionth time.)  Be kind to your friends.  (Not easy when someone you care for says or does something that rubs you the wrong way.)  Be kind to strangers.  (Not easy when the guy in the car behind you is leaning on the horn and giving you the finger.)   Be kind to yourself.  (This is probably the hardest of all.  But you ARE worth it!  Even in the times of heaviest sorrow and darkest ooze that pours out of your soul in tidal waves of self-loathing, anger and despair.)

Take a deep breath.  Be Kind.

Maybe we cannot solve the world's problems.  Maybe we cannot even solve our own.  But we CAN be kind.

Be Kind.

Note:  If you are really in that dark place, you are NOT alone.  24 hours, every day, there IS someone out there for you.  Call 1-800-273-8255 or go to If you want to help me (and my team) as we walk to fight suicide, please visit: and make a donation.  (ANY and ALL donations are greatly appreciated.)


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