In Praise of Kindness

I will be honest in telling you there is little knitting related content in this post, although part of it relates to things I have seen in some knitting communities lately that I find disturbing.

I am wondering why, in a day and age when diversity is supposedly celebrated, even flaunted, that TOLERANCE is so lacking. I love communities like Ravelry, and I fully expect online communities like that to have it’s own areas where you have areas that are not as nice or are edgy, gritty, or however you want to term it.  We, the collective we, the cultural we, have this attitude that we are all inclusive and yet there is so much negativity.

Case in point: posts that encourage bitch sessions of the day. Let’s get together and just share our daily bitch. It amazes me how many people get on to just complain and complain and complain.  Can they remember to comment on the person who was kind to them? Can they remember to be kind themselves? People get really steamed about the smallest issues, and then they jump on these really big platforms to share their pet peeves with the world. And they don’t stop to think about the many blessings they have in their lives. No one’s life is going to be perfect. No book is going to be perfect. No experience is going to be perfect. Can your pleasure in it be wonderful? Yes.  Be pissed off about that glass being half empty or be happy it is half full, be depressed that it is half empty and sit and stare at it, or go get yourself some more to drink. So much of our daily life and experience depends on what we choose to make of it ourselves. We cannot help our initial reaction and feelings, but we can choose how we are going to act and react to those emotions. We can choose to be controlled by our day or we can choose to take charge of our own destinies.

I won’t give specifics about what initiated this particular post, as it was not an incident from my own life. It was something I observed and it struck a chord. I will say that I am getting a little tired of the attitude that to be nice is somehow to be a pushover. Or that to be nice means you are not honest about your feelings. That to be nice means you are mealy mouthed and a pushover and it is not to be respected. I am a little tired of the attitude that it is okay to be obnoxious, bitchy and rude because you are being “honest”. We can be honest and leave each other’s dignity intact. We can be kind to each other and make each other’s day a little brighter.

Instead of spending our time bitching, why do we not spend our time being thankful for the things that we have?

I am thankful for my family, and my creativity. I am thankful for the country that I live in. I am thankful for my many freedoms. I am thankful for my job, and I am thankful for the things that frustrate me too. Those things in life that annoy me remind me to count my blessings and not take them for granted.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace


6 Responses to “In Praise of Kindness”

  1. Gillian Says:

    I really agree with you. Sure I get upset about things, but who am I to spend all my time criticizing! When I die I will be easily forgotten, but if I’m remembered for anything, I hope if will be for something related to the positive. I greet people as I walk the dog (DH and I both); I may chat to people in a grocery line and there is no point in being angry, so I try to bring a positive to it. It’s more relaxing, and I’m tense enough without emphasizing the negative. Cheers to you.

  2. Ruth Says:

    Absolutely! I’m surprised by the persistence of the pseudo-feminist cliche that says happiness and consideration represent acquiescence to oppression, whereas anger and complaint are a sign of strength. Which is a sad comment on the state of feminism, because it means that we don’t ever leave the reactionary state of victimization. Whatever happened to personal responsibility – choosing one’s own destiny, one’s own state of mind, choosing to make the world better, rather than worse, choosing pro-active creativity over impotent whining?

    • jolenetreace Says:

      Yes, yes and yes. So eloquently put. My grandmother would have been shocked had I told her I thought her a strong role model of what a feminist should be, as she actually voted how her husband wanted her to (she was 94 when she passed away last fall). However, she lived her life by her own choices not out of fear or unwilling submission, but out of strength, joy, and her own free will. She made her own choices and lived her life the way she wanted to, with no regrets. And she did so without a harsh word to anyone. She didn’t need to express one to get her point across.

  3. Candy Says:

    I agree and I need to practice it a little more. I work at a desk with another nurse and it varies who is there with me. I can tell the difference in my attitude as the attitude of the different nurses vary. I hope I can take the high road more often than I do now and make my day more pleasant. I’m sure if I grumble less, I will infect others less with the grumps. Knitting on my breaks helps me be more mellow and I try to take some of that back with me.

    • jolenetreace Says:

      I know we all have our moments where a little practice would be a good thing. And you are right…it can infect, which is why I think it just eats away at our large communities. Cheers.

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