Through middle school I was bullied. My classmates excluded me, spoke meanly to me, and made me feel as though I was a bother and not worth the time of day. I imagine many people experience this (particularly in middle school; we all have our own horror stories from that age) and it is such a sad fact. Although I do believe that this experience made me a MUCH better person and certainly causes me to be incredibly appreciative of my friends now, it could have all been avoided had those involved acted with kindness.
Every word you say has power which is why having kindness at the forefront of your mind is imperative. By acting with kindness we take an extra step to benefit others or hold our tongues when we don't have anything nice to say or pick someone up when they are feeling down. Being nice and having a positive and loving heart does not just improve the lives of those you interact with, but also makes you happier and more fulfilled.
When I am around people who are unkind and who speak badly of others I feel myself shutting down and the negativity pouring in. I wonder if they are able to say such cruel things about people, what must they say of me when I am not there? As I have been exploring minimalism more and learning that cutting out clutter and that which does not bring you joy is a major way to improve your life, I have reaffirmed my belief that it is not worth my time or energy to be around unkind people.
We all deserve to be treated with respect and love, so I encourage you to implement this mentality for every interaction you have. Remember that how you make someone feel is a true measure of your character.
What are your thoughts on kindness? What qualities must someone have to be your friend?