I know I keep coming back to this, but it seems that it needs to be said, over and over.
Our emotions are not who we are. Our actions are who we are. This is my philosophy.
I read a post in an Expat group today. A midwife was describing her struggles to learn the language and thus get into a position in a hospital. And then the post became about something else. How some others got in front and got the job because they "had a bad time".
We all assumed she was talking about Ukrainians, and the post got a lot of heat, blaming her for her lack of compassion.
But can someone be blamed for an emotion? A feeling?
I don't think so. A feeling is something telling you something about yourself.
Some people attacked her, which also showed their triggers and what kind of feelings they had. You cannot force kindness on others.
What you can do is change their outlook. See the big picture and get out of the little package that is themselves.
Make them feel part of something bigger, and feel less insecure.
I taught a class recently and the kids were saying they want to be happy in life. I ventured that if they are only concerned about themselves, they will eventually not feel happy after a while. They need to find purpose, and usually, that comes with goals, achievements and ... helping others.
I told them kindness is proven by our actions, not who we think we are, not even our emotions. Not even if there is gratitude or ingratitude on the other end.
We all think we are kind. But are we really? How many kind gestures do we really do for others? Others that can not give anything back. I am not talking pity here, as this feeling makes us feel more important. I am talking about genuine concern for the well-being of our kind, of humans.
That midwife did not have empathy, true. Would I want her to birth me? Absolutely not. She needs to acquire maturity, growth and compassion before entering a sacred event and play a role. Did I dislike her? On some level, but I worked on that, and understood she is on a different path, and life probably kept her still till she is ready to see others differently.
Back in my class, some kids were worried they "had to " give and be left with nothing. One even asked if I was a communist, which made me laugh. I asked her to describe communism and she could not.
I told them that the only way to be happy is to understand ourselves and others. To accept who we are and work on the parts we don't like. To make someone's life, better. Kindness is not sacrificing. Jealousy does not make you the villain, this is not a movie.
We have different emotions throughout the day, depending on our state of being. Hungry, tired, sleep-deprived, constipated, or well rested, fed, and warm.
We make decisions based on feelings that are closely attached to our physical being and our past experiences and beliefs.
For the body, good food, no excesses, motion and some form of body therapy will do the trick. For the mind follows, and the heart as well. And if the emotion is negative, we make a choice not to act on it.
And that moment defines us.
The series of actions or one big action that overshadows everything else.
Being kind is work sometimes. But being kind is the only thing that makes us human, realizing we are a tribe, a whole, and making other people's lives better if we can, becomes a habit, a way of life and a sure tap into the source of divine energy.
Because at the end of the day, any unkind word, any unkind action, comes from a place of dry, fearful, and bitter place of emptiness, where we try to get attention, money, or something to validate that we matter. That we are worthy, important, able, even if we have no clue on how to do that without taking from others.