We are all familiar with the saying "nice guys finish last." It's a staple of the American language and usually refers to the nice guy who gets rejected by the pretty girl because she goes for the bad boy.
Sayings like this give "kindness" a bad reputation, but is this really true?
In my life, I've always been told that I'm too kind. If you know me and disagree with this statement you're probably in the minority group. The problem is that when I'm told "You're too kind," it's usually in the context of me getting taken advantage of by someone else. This could be because I'm generous to an extreme or by taking more on my plate than I can handle because I don't want to disappoint someone.
The reasons don't matter. Being kind has not always worked out perfectly in specific moments of my life. Despite this, I wouldn't have changed my actions looking back on these events.
Going back to my elementary school years, I would hate to see kids get picked on. It would make me sick to watch and one reason for this is because for a period of time, I was the one getting bullied. This was because of my size which was a target for smaller kids to try and take me down to their level...literally! This didn't work though and I thank these bullies because they really taught me kindness. I knew how I wanted to be treated and it wasn't by getting picked on. Obviously, I'm not going to name names because you know who you are, but to all the bullies I truly thank you for drilling kindness into my body at a very young age! It worked out for me...
My parents were also big advocates for kindness in my life. My mom would always make me say "thank you" before I was even given something by another person in her presence. We'd be at lunch and the server would be filling up my soda across the room and my mom would be like, "WHAT DO YOU SAY!!!" This did teach me to say thank you though and kept me on a path of kindness as I grew up.
So why does being kind really matter?
In the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you have or how you got it. What matters is the type of person you are and how you're remembered. We are typically treated the way that we treat others. If someone doesn't reciprocate the kindness they're given, it's their fault. I'm not saying I'm perfect because I, like everyone else has made mistakes. What I am saying though is that when others have gone low, I've always done my best to stay high.
I'm not going to lie. I have been taken advantage of because of my kindness. Despite this, the amount of times this has happened has paled in comparison to the benefits I have received from doing my best to always treat other the way I want to be treated.
Do you agree? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Send me an email or reach out on my social media!