As young women we are expected to be kind and as young women were are also expected to be strong. Our mentality and our actions always have to illustrate strength or qualities like it for unlike males, we can not go to the gym and become muscular to the point where people just assume that we are strong. Therefore, in order to seem it we have to illustrate our strengths using other methods instead. The tool I myself have always sought to use for the purpose of expressing my strengths – or, now when I think back on it, lack thereof – have been unkind words. I would really like to say that that the words in which I relied upon were nice, kind and generous words but they were not. I’ve called other young people – mainly young women like myself – the worst names in the book mostly due to a desperate effort to seem strong and like I had my things together when in reality, I did not. I sometimes felt like I was a really unglamorous version of Regina from the movie Mean Girls; Insecure, ridiculous and completely ignorant. However, upon realizing that I never felt better or stronger following some of these incidents, I still just kept uttering degrading words about others thinking that eventually I would make myself feel better. For example, upon learning that a girl I knew had kissed my so-called boyfriend I immediately made it my duty to call her a “slut”, “fat”, “ugly” and everything else I could think of. I uttered these words for weeks upon weeks and months later, I now sit here regretting that I ever said those things about her despite the true hurt and disappointment that I felt towards her at the time.
I have always been told that when others talk about others, they’re doing so in an effort to make themselves feel better. I never, ever believed that was the case regarding my own actions and words until recently. What about you? Do you feel that you are expressing true strength through your unkind words? Or is there something else that lays behind them?
Upon arriving to college, I was sent on the roller coaster of a lifetime. Instead of dealing with the typical freshman year problems in which I faced with productive, positive manners I instead took the easy, cowardly way out and created wars of words with numerous individuals. How petty, right? Yes, I do feel that it is petty but it has also been a true lesson for me.
I have written about the Kind Campaign before but I felt that since school is about to start again soon for most of the nations students and because of the fact that the third volume of the Kind Magazine was just released, I wanted to write about the campaign again. This campaign is dear to me because I learned about it at a time where most of my actions and words had been anything but kind and I truly feel that if we all sat down and thought of our actions, things would become better.There is no miracle that will ever end the unkind actions that most of us illustrate towards one another on a regular basis. However, we can all work towards illustrating kindness daily. I like to think of it as the process of recycling bottles; for every bottle you recycle, that is one less bottle that the earth will (or not) absorb. Same thing goes for unkind words and actions; for every unkind word you do not utter to another individual and for every unkind action that you eliminate in your daily life, that is one less individual and one less action that will negatively impact either yourself or someone else. Being kind as a day-by-day process. Trust me, I know myself that there are just some people who you truly want to call assholes but I also truly believe that can be dealt with in another manner. The process of counting to ten, for example, often works for me. You can also just refrain from talking to that person at all. It’s not always easy to be kind but it’s worth it.
This issue of the Kind Magazine actually featured a story in which I wrote myself. I never thought that they would use or publish it but I am ofcourse truly honored and happy that they did. This months issue also features stories from other young women such as Amy Anton. These stories are an inspiration to me and I am sure they would be inspirational to you too. To read the Kind Magazine click here.
The founders of The Kind Campaign will soon be on the Dr. Phil show to discuss their efforts and are going to be traveling the country for their documentary starting September 1st.
I encourage you all to think about your future words and actions. No one is perfect and there will be times where you illustrate unkind characteristics. However, this is a large problem – bullying and being mean has a fairly simple antidote: to be kind and to act kind.
To illustrate your want to be kind, you can purchase merchandise from the Kind Campaign such as the t-shirts featured below as well as wristbands. To go to the Kind Campaign store click here.
Sources: Fanpop.com, kindcampaign.com