Kill Them With Kindness ~ A Mother’s Wisdom

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Inevitable she always answered back with the same four words… “Kill them with kindness.”

When I was a little girl, I often would find great disappointment in those around me.  I can remember running home to see my mother, my wee brow furrowed, my tiny jaw sent and my lip curled into a massive pout.  I would stand in front of her with my arms crossed defiantly in front of me and I would announce to my mother how I was wronged… “Veronica wouldn’t play with me at recess,” or whatever distressing world ending tragedy that was unpacking itself in my very dramatic little life.  My mother would patiently listen to my rant and inevitable she always answered back with the same four words… “Kill them with kindness.”  

I could get behind the first two words… “kill them”!

Kill them with kindness?  What kind of a crock was that?  I could get behind the first two words… “kill them”, but what the heck did “with kindness” mean?  I had no idea and it wasn’t helpful in my moment of real and true need for the universe to swallow up these evil people who had offended me.  My mother knew NOTHING!!!

I started to understand what my mother had been trying to teach me…

As I matured, I started to understand what my mother had been trying to teach me… It has taken me 46 years to fully grasp what “Kill Them With Kindness” looks like.  Let me step back for a moment…

I believe there are two kinds of people in this world when it comes to kindness.

I believe there are two kinds of people in this world when it comes to kindness:  those who are genetically dispositioned to being kind and those who are not.  I, sadly, am the later.  I am not inherently kind.  It doesn’t come naturally for me.  I have to be intentional and work at it and still it can feel very foreign for me.  Not like my husband, Cory.  He is simply just a kind person.  I don’t even think he realizes it, it is just who he is.  It’s part of the very fabric of his DNA.

Practising kindness has softened and changed me.

Let’s look at it like this… just like your clothes have a tag showing what they are made of, what if we as humans came with a tag too!  Mine would likely say 99% steel wool!  Abrasive, cold, inflexible yet efficient.  Where as my hubby’s tag would be equal parts of kindness, patience and love with some spandex thrown in (for being so flexible and easy going).  That being said, practising kindness has softened and changed me.  I’m no longer 99% steel wool!

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Even a simple smile while making eye contact can be a kindness.

Here is the real magic!  When you practice kindness, a transformation occurs.  When I intentionally am kind; that is I change my thoughts, words and actions; it transforms my feelings and emotions too!  Not only mine but 99% of the time the transformation is contagious to the individual who was the focus of my kindness.  Don’t believe me?  Try it!  Again, as it isn’t easy for us steel wool types you will have to look for ways to be kind.  Usually the simplest of things become random acts of kindness.  Hold the door for someone, let them merge in front of you in traffic or even a simple smile while making eye contact can be a kindness. Kindness has begun to weave its way into my DNA and has become more natural for me.  The more you do it the easier it becomes and you will have to think about being kind less and less!  

We will NEVER run out of kindness and the world will never stop needing more of it.

So my mother was actually something of a revolutionary genius! She knew that when I chose to “Kill Them With Kindness” it would also kill the negativity in my own heart and replace it with something positive and productive.  Who knew!  To this day, she still tells me to “kill them with kindness” (clearly I still need to hear it!).  When I think back to the little girl with her arms squeezed so tight in protest, a thought occurs to me… I think I may have actually been giving myself an insecure hug because what I needed… what I really wanted in that moment was some simple kindness.  Kindness is free and is abundant to give.  We will NEVER run out of kindness and the world will never stop needing more of it.  What do you have to lose?  Go ahead…Kill Them With Kindness and see what happens!

Aitken, Rebecca

Rebecca Aitken

The Aitken Group