The Fall and Rise of Kindness.
There’s a quote that has stuck with me for years now – “People want you to be successful, just not as successful as them.”
It’s a terrible quote, implying that the world is generally selfish and egocentric.
Thankfully though, it’s a deep rooted belief of mine that has been fragmenting and breaking over the past few years. Major changes recently in my life has led to some truly uplifting moments, as well as some very low ones. But it’s the kindness in people that has kept fully believing that the world is inherently a good place, full of beauty and wonder. I’ve moved away from a place where money appeared to be more important than the well-being of others, to one that allowed me to meet amazing people who will selflessly give up their time and money to enrich the lives of others. It’s been a remarkable shift, and even though I still have days where I think otherwise, something good will happen and I’ll be snapped back into the wondrous belief that great people can accomplish great things when they help each other out.
Now I know the title is a little deceiving as it really applies to my own life. But we all see things differently – something I find beautiful, like an abandoned building reclaimed by nature, could evoke feelings of sadness in another.
But that’s life, and naturally we all think and feel differently. Yet kindness is something that evades a lot of people. Smile at someone in the street or talk happily to a stranger, and often that act can be met with suspicion and distrust. As if they believe everyone has some hidden agenda. It’s sad we live in a world where such things are common place. Where kindness is mistaken for weakness. Or that you cannot be successful, strong, or even dare I say it – ‘manly’ without being unkind.
I know many people who truly think that to get to the top you have step over your peers, belittle others, or even sabotage the work and name of people in order to get what you want, or where you want to be. Even more bizarre, I know people who were kind and pleasant, got successful, let it go to their head, and believed they now had to be mean to everyone ‘below’ them.
I find this to be so stupid. We all came into this world the same way, and we’ll all leave it the same way too, regardless of how much we have accumulated, whether it be money or power. Life isn’t a race to hoard as much ‘stuff’ as possible before the end, it’s a journey of experiences that have to felt at each stage of life.
Now don’t think I’m being hypocritical here – I believe everyone should be allowed to have abundance in life, and be able to live in happiness. But I don’t think anyone should cause havoc in the lives of others to get there.
Many will say I’m being idealistic, and that business is business, or that it’s a dog-eat-dog world.
But there’s a fine line between success and greed.
I’m happy to see the world in a brighter light. I decided a long time ago if I can help others achieve success I will. I’ll do my best to give time and advice freely to whomever asks. And through this sort of tithing, many people have in turn come into my life to help me. I’m truly grateful to the support of my amazing friends and family, and to the remarkable people who have entered my life over the past few years. I love you all, and you give me faith in this amazing world.
I guess through all my blathering what I really am saying is that despite the negative and distrustful people, you really do receive what you give out. Be kind to others, and eventually kindness will be given back to you. Those corrupted by greed and selfishness will slowly disappear from your life, allowing the space to be filled with more radiant individuals.
I think I’m going to keep my initial quote as a belief, only I’ll break it in half and discard the part that no longer serves me.
“People want you to be successful.”
And even if we don’t find the success we desire, at least we’ll be surrounded by astounding people who make life worth living.