HOW DOES KINDNESS LOOK?
Last month I completed a "Thank You" tour. My tour was to show appreciation to and connect with three people I call my three pillars - my support system or the founding members of my new tribe which has been divinely placed in my life - "Thank You for your unwavering SUPPORT and KINDNESS."
Within a period of two years I have traveled to three states. I enjoyed the company of each member of my small tribe. They were there when the rough got tough. They helped me through some real tough moments. I picked up the phone and let each one them know I was struggling. My marriage of 24 years (at that time) was on the skids, I had been hurt, I was confused and was going through trauma. These three people were willing and ready to provide whatever I needed - without question. They listened, provided advice if I asked for it, they screamed when I didn't scream, laughed when I needed to laugh and were present for me. Each one of them held me up when I thought I was going to topple. I wanted to thank them in person for their KINDNESS. So, I have made face to face contact with them to say THANK YOU and let them see that I am standing, succeeding, blessed and encouraged about the path ahead.
My tour could also be called the "Kindness Tour" because my support group provided and continue to demonstrate their thoughtfulness and generosity with love and affection. Each one of these people have exerted energy by giving of their time and attention.
I believe that kindness is within all of us but is often underrated because it is associated with meekness or weakness. Let me tell you that my three pillars are some tough folk! They are sound, tested, experienced and confident people. They are battled tested and know how to provide aid and assistance - they've been there.
What does it take to be KIND?
During the course of my journey there have been people who have embraced me when I thought I was alone. I realized that I had to be open to receive their embrace. My circumstance is nothing new or unusual but it was a deeply personal event that occurred to me just like death occurs daily. There is a process for grieving and during this process I could no longer hide behind the hush and crush of my transition of separation from my husband and the movement toward divorce.
I didn't want to walk around like nothing was happening to me - I felt no shame and didn't want to hide (51% of marriages end in divorce - no biggy, right?) Well, the hush comes from the fact that it's a death march, it's painful and can be demoralizing especially if you've been married for a long time and created a family. People don't want to acknowledge a transition that has so much perceived unhappiness, innuendo and derogatory (I'll write about this in a future post) Through all of this pain, there were people who opened their hearts to me when I felt I needed to open myself up and stopped hiding.
Angela was the first person outside of my original Three Pillars to just sit and listen intently to me. She absorbed every word I spoke. Unselfish with her time and concern, I felt that she would be a great sounding board to me because she has been someone I admire greatly. Angela has succeeded single-handedly raising a child, progressing in her professional and personal life while smiling through adversity. She's a Kind Warrior!
Some of my cheerleaders include: DeBora, Judie, Lori, Gail, Joy and Mychelle, Andrea - to name a few. They have smothered me with so much encouragement and compassion. They continue showing up kindly because they know who I am and where I come from. Their strength and non-assuming nature has provided a safe, soft space for me. With an open spirit, I have continued to receive kindness from some of the most wonderful and inspiring people!
Pass Kindness Around
The act of kindness is so special. It should be passed around daily as it is integral to our lives. It's my belief that we are in this world to assist, help, aid others for the benefit of all. If you can find some time to give to another, lend your ear to a troubled heart, make someone smile or laugh, provide energy and encouragement so that they may stand, get out of bed or feel that they are not alone - do it . Be Kind!
Kathy A Hampton is a writer, storyteller- focused on "wellness writing"; research analyst, creative thinker and advocate; she has a love for learning and is the author of the forth coming book On a Good Day My Sister Speaks Mandarin. Educated - Howard University, Army Brat, Hometown - San Francisco; currently residing -Newark, NJ